'Twas the night before transfers, when all through the zone
Not an elder was stirring, not even by phone;
The white shirts were hung in the closets with care,
In hopes that each elder would get to stay there;
The planners were nestled all snug in their vests,
While visions of baptisms danced in their heads;
Elder Barnett in his trench coat, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's tract,
When out on a lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the porch to see what was the matter.
Away to the scene I flew like a flash,
Tore open my cards, and got ready to pass.
The mood on the face of the new-fallen Joe
Gave the sign of rejection like others before,
When, what to my wondering ears should I discern,
But a miniature fear, and eight tiny concerns,
With a little discussion, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment what lesson to pick.
More rapid than texting his questions they came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Adam! now, Noah! now, Moses! and Saul!
On, Joseph! on Jonah! on Peter and Paul!
From the bottom in darkness! To the top of the wall!
People fell away! fell away! fell away all!
As those in a famine who wander to find
A small morsal of bread, or a peice of a rind;
So have churches been built to satisfy and please,
True doctrines were lost and replaced with false creeds."
And then, thank the Spirit, he felt as he heard,
The pricking and pulling of each little word.
He drew up his head, and then turned around,
Welcomed us in, and had us sit down.
The stump of a pipe we both saw in his room.
We stole glances and knew what we had to each soon.
A bundle of books he had flung on a chest,
And he looked like a student before a big test.
His eyes--how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
He brought out a book he had cherished for years,
The blue covers of which nearly brought us to tears.
He was meek, and humble, and lowly in heart,
A baptismal invite was where I should start.
I looked in his eye, and the nod of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but indicated which day,
He gave us his number, and we asked him to pray.
We both shook his hand, and pulled our scarves tight;
And giving a nod, walked out of his sight.
"A success story like this, we'll be in the Ensign!"
We joked with our leader, in that night's call in.
But I heard him exclaim, which then turned my face white,
"Your transferred tomorrow, so pack up tonight!"