Well, as they say, into each life a little rain must fall, and you don't expect your mission to never have any trials; so I think I'll share one with you, hopefully with enough humor included to let you know we have survived and aren't discouraged. One day as I sat at our computer, I saw a "creature" dash by me out of the corner of my eye. I screeched, of course, and told Elder Farnes that we had been invaded. I gingerly peeked behind the TV (which we use only to show LDS videos) and saw what I thought was a kitty...and then it ran into the kitchen, letting me see a lot better that it was a RAT...about 10 inches long...and that didn't include the tail! We called our landlady, and she brought over a plastic trap that was supposed to clamp over the rat's head, and then we could dispose of it just by squeezing it open (like a clothespin). Well, the rat made short work of that trap, setting it off just for fun. So, then we bought two wooden traps and baited them with cheese. Within a few days, the cheese was gone, the traps had not been sprung, and "Harold" (we had named him by then), and pushed one of them into the middle of the kitchen as if to say his plate was empty and he'd like some more. The war was on with the score at this point, Harold-3, Us-0. We went and bought a huge rat trap and, this time, baited it with peanut butter because we were told that it would be harder to remove than cheese without setting it off. And we waited...about a week! One night we heard the trap go off...but the next morning, we found the trap empty, the peanut butter licked off it clean, and NO sign of Harold.
A couple nights later, about midnight, we could hear all this racket coming from (we thought) the kitchen. Twice Elder Farnes got up to see what Harold was doing, but he couldn't see a thing. The next morning, once again at my computer, I glanced over to see that ALL of our individually-wrapped hard candies were gone from the bowl on our magazine table. Harold! The noises we had heard during the night were from Harold sliding the candy dish all over the table, hitting our printer, while he emptied it! I was beside myself...and then it got worse! That night we could hear strange noises under the couch, and we knew it was Harold. While I ran into the bedroom and stayed on the bed in terror, Elder Farnes jumped up and down on the couch to get Harold out...which he did, only to have Harold move to the stuffed chair next. That night we slept with the living room door closed between us and the living room/kitchen area. Harold-5, Us-0. The next day we headed to a store and bought rat poison...and within a week Harold had bit the dust...but he still had the last laugh. Our poor flat reeked from his decaying body, but even with the elders help turning everything in the place upside down, we couldn't find him. We did find his "home" in a crawl area under one of the cupboards in the kitchen, and that has been permanently sealed now. We also found most of the candy (lollies in New Zealand) with some of the wrappers in the bottom lining of our couch. In Harold's "honor" I have written the following ode: