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Mormon Ghost Stories

Dusty Shoes

Cover Image for Dusty Shoes
Moroni's Ghost
By: Moroni's Ghost

“And in whatsoever place ye shall enter, and they receive you not in my name, ye shall leave a cursing instead of a blessing, by casting off the dust of your feet against them as a testimony, and cleansing your feet by the wayside.”

D&C 24:15

“Elder, do you want to take this door?” my companion said to me as we approached a shabby looking house at the end of a cul-de-sac. The oppressive heat of the Texas sun beat down on my brow as I squinted up at the sun.

“Sure Elder,” I said, “just let me grab some water first. I started to reach back for my water bottle that sat on the side of my brand new mission backpack.”

“Wait!” he said “Put your water bottle in your bag. We can ask the people at home if they can give us a glass. It’ll give us a good chance to talk with them and maybe even share a short message.”

He pulled his own tattered backpack off his back and stuffed his dented water bottle into it and out of sight. I nodded and did the same. We strapped our backpacks back on and approached the house. The driveway was cracked and broken in several places along the edges. Oversized weeds consumed the front yard. A large “No Solicitors” sign hung next to the doorbell.

“Oh…Elder.” I said pointing at the sign.

My companion shook his head. “We aren’t soliciting” he said “we are sharing the true gospel of Jesus Christ with people who need it. Those signs are for door to door salespeople, not for us.”

“Oh, got it.” I said. I cleared my throat then rang the doorbell. It buzzed inside loudly enough that we could hear it clear as day on the outside of the house. We heard the sound of someone moving around inside and approaching the door. A large man ripped the door open, looked down at us and scowled.

“Sorry boys, we ain’t interested.” he said gruffly.

“We are just here sharing a message about Jesus Christ.” I began “Have you ever heard of The..”

He cut me off “I’ve heard your spiel. I’ve told them other fellas who came around to not bother us no more. You boys have yourself a good day.” He started to close the door.

“Could we at least trouble you for a glass of water?” My companion interjected before he could close the door all the way.

The man paused and looked up at the hot sun, then back down at our sweaty, sunkissed faces.

“Alright” he said “don’t want you gettin no heat stroke or nothin. You wait right here.”

He closed the door and disappeared into his house. After a minute the door swung open and he held two gas station cups filled to the brim with cool water.

“Thank you” I said as he handed one over to me “that’s very kind of you.” I took several big gulps of water, nearly draining half the cup in one go.

“Can’t believe they make you boys work in heat like this.” the man at the door said. “Damn foolish of them I figure.”

“Well, we do it because we truly believe we have a unique message to share with the world.” My companion said. “We know it can bless the life of anyone who hears it.”

“I know, I know” the man said “like I said, I’ve chatted with your church before. Nearly got baptized about 12 years back when I was younger. Thankfully my sister set me straight before I did anything foolish. No offense boys. But it just ain’t for me.”

“Oh, you’ve chatted with missionaries before?” I said “That’s wonderful! Do you remember their names?”

“Oh, they were both named Elder, but aren’t all of you?” He chuckled to himself. He waved his hand in front of his face as if doing so would coax some old memory out from the archives of his mind. “Shoot, I can’t remember either of their names now. Oh well. Been too long.”

“Do you remember any of what they shared? Oh! Did they give you anything like this?” Before he could say another word, I handed my half full cup to him and bent down to fetch a Restoration pamphlet out of my backpack. I ripped my backpack open without thinking, only to let my water filled water bottle spill out of the bag and onto the porch. The sloshing sound the water inside made was deafening.

The man looked down at the water, then he looked back up at me. Anger swept across his face as he hurled the rest of the water at my face. He then grabbed the water from my companion who was mid sip and dumped what remained on top of his head.

“You boys should know better than to lie. Some Jesus following boys you are.” The words came out softly but full of rage. He paused for a moment then scoffed. “I don’t ever want to catch you boys on this street again, do you hear me?”

“Yes sir...” we mumbled looking at the ground.

“Do you boys hear me?” he bellowed as loudly as seemed humanly possible.

We jumped up in surprise then belted out another “Yes sir.”

“Good!” He said as he slammed the door in our faces.

My companion and I looked at each other.

“What a d-bag,” my companion finally said. “I’m so sick of people treating us like we aren’t important.” He paused. As he watched the water drip down from his hair onto the porch, something within him seemed to snap all of sudden. He quickly began dusting his feet on the doormat of the house as aggressively as he could.

“Elder!” I said. “What are you doing?”

“I’m cursing this place,” he said. “the scriptures say we can do it. If he was almost baptized years ago and is rejecting us again, I am saying he has no hope.”

“There is always hope Elder, come on, let's go.”

“In a sec.” he said. “I want to make sure I am doing it right. No one ever really explained how exactly it works.”

Just then, we heard a large crashing sound come from inside of the house. My companion and I looked at each other, unsure of what to do. After a few moments, more clanging, this time closer to the door, echoed inside the home. Suddenly, the door swung open and the man reappeared. He was holding his neck and his face was swollen. It was beginning to become blue.

He motioned to us for help. My companion looked at me, then looked back at the man. Before I could say anything, my companion started sprinting away. Suddenly the man collapsed onto the porch. I tried to lift him up with no luck. I was only able to get him turned so that his face was no longer right against the concrete. His collapse appeared to have broken his nose and blood poured out onto my shirt, pants and shoes as I struggled against his weight.

“Come back!” I screamed at the top of my lungs as my companion’s outline disappeared around the corner of the cul-de-sac. “Help!” I yelled again. “Help! Please! Someone help!”

I felt as the man’s breathing became more and more shallow. Within a minute, his breathing stopped completely. I sat there in shock for what seemed like forever until eventually an ambulance turned the corner, sirens blasting, and pulled into the driveway. It looked like someone had heard my cry for help and called 911.

Two paramedics started trying to resuscitate the man while another came and asked me what had happened. I told her we had knocked on the door, chatted for a minute and then he had gone inside. Next thing I knew, the man was back at the door choking and my companion had run off.

“Wait,” she said. “Your friend, is he dressed like you?”

“Yes.” I said “he was wearing a white shirt and tie just like me.”

“You are riding with us to the hospital. Your friend is in the back of our ambulance. I’m sorry to tell you this, but he died just a few minutes ago.”

I felt faint. “What? How? Was he hit by a car?”

“No.” she said “someone called it in that he had collapsed on the side of the road. He was already dead when we found him. We tried to resuscitate him with no luck. We will need your statement back at the hospital.”

I followed her back to the ambulance as the other paramedics started putting the man on a gurney. They covered him with a white cloth then put him in the back. I followed the paramedic I had been talking with, riding in the back with two fresh corpses all the way to the nearest hospital.

A few days later I was finally told the cause of death by my companion’s parents. I had emailed them against my mission president’s counsel and told them how great their son was and let them know I would talk with them anytime to explain what had happened. Within an hour we were chatting on the phone. They told me that both my companion and the man had died of the same cause: drowning.

I still couldn’t believe what had happened. It didn’t seem possible. The whole experience had made me feel numb inside. I hung up the phone, tears in my eyes. I sat down at my desk and pulled my shoes off my feet. I grabbed my shoe polish kit that I used every week since I had been in the MTC. I picked out the rag and slowly started to clean the blood and dirt off of my dusty shoes.

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