ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Being "The One"

Updated on September 14, 2016
Rodric29 profile image

Missionary work is the bedrock of Rodric's Faith. Read about these stories of faith and hope while in the service of God.

Umtata, South Africa

Umtata is a small city in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is not a tourist attraction or a place of retreat--unless you like normal and want to retreat to normal. The mixture of rich and poor are average for the nation, and the culture of the city is predominantly Xhosa as it stands with extremely heavy European influences as they established Umtata in1869.

Picture it, 1998....

On the sloping Sakwe Street rests a row of houses in one of which is where the missionaries lived. It was an unpainted house and fits perfectly in the well off houses of the neighborhood save the lack of color.

Picture it, 1998; I had just stepped into the new boarding. Barely getting to set my belongings down when a local member of the Umtata Branch paid a visit. I was excited, to say the least!

For Your Info!

A Boarding is a place of residence, a place to live like a house or apartment.

Andile, the member, would be my first contact with a member in my first area--by member, I mean of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; by branch, I mean a local congregation of the church; and by area, I mean a geographical area assigned to missionaries by the Mission President of the South Africa Cape Town Mission

Source

I did not know how he looked or what was his age, but I was informed that he was a bit eccentric.

Andile's unique brand of introduction began with fellow missionary Elder Zithulele Danisa from Durban. Elder Danisa himself was a unique story, but suffice it to say, he came from a hard life and had only so left it to join the church and served a mission within a year of so doing!

Suddenly, in stumbled a beggar requesting funds for food! We had been in town long enough to know that such things could happen, but it took me half kilter regardless. Andile, with the participation of our missionary companions Elders Thompson and Streadbeck, portrayed a drunken idiot seeking food and money as many beggars do around that area.

For Your Info!

Rands are the currency of South Africa.

Source

For Your Info!

Greenie is what new missionaries were called.

Source

"Two Rand for Chips Boss," Andile repeated as he staggered around the living room of the boarding. I ignored him.

I figured he was a member. I already knew about the "greenie" jokes. Greenie jokes were what the old fashion missionaries played on new missionaries to welcome them into the mission field or proselyting area. I am told they don't do that anymore, yeah right.

Andile was quite believable in his portrayal of an inebriated Xhosa man. Insomuch that when he went to "take" Elder Streadbeck's personal items Elder Danisa became charged!

Elder Danisa

"No, no no! You cannot take that," Shouted Elder Danisa.

"Put it back. You don't want fish and chips."

I wanted to proclaim to Elder Danisa that the person was just a member, and it was probably a joke, but I honestly was not sure. I suppose when I did not react to the performance Andile kept it up for Elder Danisa's benefit.

Elder Thompson was red with suppressed laughter. I shook my head as Andile continued to act--Academy Award style.

The staggering and begging would have convinced anyone unfamiliar with missionary pranks like Elder Danisa. I knew it was bogus; however, Elder Danisa was feed-up! He did have a quick temper.

Just as he was about to kick the stuffing out of Andile, Elder Streadbeck alerted Elder Danisa to the jest. I thought it was over. After laughs and conversation, Andile addressed me very seriously.

Elder Thompson

Anointed One

"Elder Johnson," he began, "I have something to tell you." By this time my guard was down and I suspected no jesting.

"In our tribe, we have a prophecy about the Black that would cross the waters and become the anointed one of our people."

"What," I said confused. Andile's visage appeared deathly serious, enough to scare the tar out of anyone--and by anyone I mean particularly me!

"Elder Johnson, you have fulfilled my people’s prophecy. I must tell my father and with him, we will come tonight and take you to your new home."

An eerie feeling came over me, and I became a bit disturbed. I said lightly, "You are crazy." I looked at Elder Thompson and continued. “Is this guy for real.?

"Hey, this is news to me," said Elder Thompson excusing himself to laugh about the situation I thought.

Andile continued to become more detailed about my uniqueness and my particular status. He flattered me and frightened me with his worshipful devotion to my supposed status without flinching once! His accent was that of an English poet and words flowed off of his tongue like water from fresh spring. By the time he finished he had everyone in the boarding at attention!

After about 20 minutes of this, I successfully made Andile believe I did not believe him. The truth was I did. I put on the performance of my life trying not to appear affected by Andile's words. Never once did he indicate that what he said was false or that he had invented the tale.

When he left (Take in mind, Andile at the time was a 17-year-old kid and I a 22-year-old Elder) I expressed my mind to Elder Thompson. He honestly did not know that Andile had planned this. He knew enough about Andile that he could not conger up a tale like that on a whim--in his opinion at least!

Can you imagine the night I had? Every sound killed me slowly. It was my first night in the area. All of my misconceptions about Africa were still vividly floating in my consciousness! Though logic told me otherwise, my prejudice and misunderstanding caused my heart and mind to imagine scenarios that would occur if I closed my eyes in this new place!

My fear showed my arrogance and ignorance. If I had known that South Africa was just as normal as South Georgia, I would never have lost any sleep over Andile's story.

Me, Elder Johnson

The One

I just knew someone would remove me that night.

Since I was ignorant about Xhosa people, I was thoroughly convinced crazy people would get me any night.

I embarrassingly expressed my fears to Elder Thompson finally, who did nothing to ease my mind! He only said he did not know!

When I saw Andile at church my first Sunday, I asked him about my so call "Anointed One" status. He did not remember!

So I rehearsed laughingly the whole thing hoping he would say yea or nay to its truthfulness. I had to know because I lost sleep over this issue. I never knew if someone would steal me away and force me to be some tribal leader and do all types of tribal leader stuff that I knew would be awful!

He looked at me with the most pathetic and empathetic eyes and said, "You really believed that. I was just messing with you elder."

From that point on, I became The One.

The one Andile played all his intellectual mind games with because I was so gullible. Each time my acting became worse, and he convinced me more of some strange new thing!

Who knew a 17-year-old could be so talented at acting? He taught me what a prison my ignorance about Africa created for me emotionally and cured me of my prejudice!

© 2012 Rodric Anthony Johnson

Have you ever been fooled or pranked? Share!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Rodric28 

      4 years ago

      Njongo Ntliziywana why do you want to cancel your church membership? Have you spoken with your friends at church or your home teachers? What has happened to make you want to cancel your membership that you are willing to share. You can email me if you want at rodricjohnson29@gmail.com. I will not judge and I can tell you what to do if you persist.

    • profile image

      Njongo Ntliziywana 

      4 years ago

      I want to cancil the membership in your church i am no longer intrested

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      This is a very interesting hub. Thank you for sharing it with us. We can be fooled and need to remember that.

      Voted up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)