Laurel is my wife. A few days ago, when sharing stories from the time we spent as LDS missionaries, this story about her father came up. I asked her to repeat the story so I could record and document it. I was the only one listening to the story both originally and when recording. She relayed this story to me in our living room in Provo, Utah, the two of us seated on adjacent couches.
In the LDS culture, young men are encouraged and expected to serve a two-year mission. Young women are also permitted, but not expected to. Men are able to leave on a mission anytime from ages 18-25, while women are allowed to leave from the ages of 19-25. One submits what is essentially an application when ready, and soon after a call is extended from Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah to the prospective missionary, specifying the country/state he/she will live in for two years (1.5 years for female missionaries). As adult members of the Church, one typically wears a special undergarment (for many in place of regular underwear) as a symbolic gesture and reminder of the promises he/she has made to God, or as quoted from lds.org, "an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior." Although the garment serves the aforementioned purposes and therefore is implicitly understood by members to provide spiritual protection against temptation and "immorality," it is not uncommon to hear stories circulated around the Church, usually in F.O.A.F or P.E.N. formats, detailing miraculous instances of physical protection resultant from the use of the garment.
Mission, garment, fire, Spanish.
How Collected: The story was recorded on an IPhone 5s using the Voice Memo App. Excessive "ands" were cut out and run-on sentences shortened. Text: One time on my dad's mission in Spain, he was with a companion that was very much a Spaniard. They only talked in Spanish to each other, and they tried to make a lot of Spanish food. Now, one time, my dad was making Spanish rice on the stove and he, um, his companion said, "Let's say a prayer." I'm sure he said that in Spanish. So, my dad said, "Ok," and he turned around, and while they were praying my dad noticed that the rice was burning because he could start to smell it. So, right after the prayer he turned to go attend to the rice. As he turned around, his companion said, in English, "You're on fire!" and tackled him to the ground. My dad was shocked, because A â€“ his companion never spoke English, and B â€“ his companion was correct. He had turned and put his buttocks into the flame, and it had snuck all the way up his shirt and burned the entire shirt off his back. But, it did not burn any of his garments and they remained unsinged, as a miracle, even though they were nylon, which is very flammable.