I WAS IN DOWN TOWN UTUROA TODAY DOING SOME SHOPPING AND I WAS APPROACHED BY A COUPLE OF WELL MEANING YOUNG ENGLISH SPEAKING EVANGELISTS. FYI: UTUROA IS THE PRIMARY LITTLE TOWN HERE ON THE ISLAND. THE DEFINITION IS- UTU= GOSSIP AND ROA= BIG. THIS ISLAND IS KNOWN FOR GOSSIP AS MUCH AS ANYTHING ELSE. ON HOLIDAYS AND REALLY ANY DAY, PEOPLE COME TO TOWN AND JUST GOSSIP ABOUT ANYTHING AND EVERYBODY ! IT IS A TRADITION. THEY SAY IF YOU COME TO UTUROA, RAIATEA, THE LOCALS KNOW YOUR SHOE SIZE BEFORE YOU GET OFF THE PLANE. SO THESE TWO VERY NICE YOUNG EVANGELISTS ASKED ME IF I HAD FOUND JESUS YET ?? I ANSWERED IN A VERY CONCERNED TONE THAT… NOBODY HAD ALERTED ME THAT JESUS HAD WANDERED OFF AND GOT LOST AGAIN ! THEY THOUGHT I WAS CONFUSED! (duh) AND THEY WERE TRYING TO CLEAR UP MY CONFUSION . (good luck with that !) They were very nice and very zealous. After they ran out of steam and calmed down, I told them that if I did meet Jesus, I would tell him that they were looking for him. They continued In good faith to ‘clear up my confusion’ but to no avail. I then suggested that if they were to find Jesus before I did, they may want to consider putting a bell around his neck and tie him to a tree so that it will be easier for people to find him in the future. I politely let them know that I had things to do in town and needed to say goodbye. They ended with a very kind invitation for me to come to their church. They were very sincere. I explained that I could not come and preach in their church because I do not do that any more because many people can not determine when I am being serious and when I am just playing the Court Jester. I left them in a kind manner but in a bit of a speechless daze. However, The downside of this little encounter is the COCONUT TELEGRAPH. (what the locals call the gossip) Who knows what kind of interpretation is going out on the local Coconut Telegraph ? However, just about everyone here seems to tolerate me and even like me. Why? Because I can make just about anybody laugh. Most of humanity responds to kindness and laughter if we will just extend a sincere olive branch.