Last night I was out paying some Relief Society visits. It was a fun night; dashing through several towns to see many amazing women before it got too late. At one house, the family members jumped up to rearrange the seating a bit to accommodate extra bodies (despite our insistence that we wouldn't stay). It reminded me of a visit I made as a missionary, in the city of Palmira in Colombia many years ago.
(Early 1987) We were making visits in an area I had never been to before when my companion remembered a family in the neighborhood that she had visited several times prior to my arrival. It was approaching dinner time, but we decided to pay them a quick visit. We were received warmly by several young women, their mother and a young boy. They offered us a seat and something to drink and we proceeded to enjoy some casual conversation. I can say at this point that I will admit to not completely following every bit of the discussion as my Spanish language skills were still emerging. I do remember the conversation coming in my direction, and felt it was obviously my turn to speak when suddenly and in a shockingly abrupt turn of events, everyone (except me) jumped up and out of their seats and started rearranging the furniture. I think I was too stunned to move. The distinct feeling of having missed some nonverbal cue settled over me like ill-timed drizzle on a good hairdo. I remember hearing a shrill whistle from the street, and the boy ran to the door and opened it wide, sort of standing at attention with the door knob in his hand. Next thing I knew, there was a herd of cows (followed by the boy's father) making their way through the living room and into the back part of the house, where they eventually went out the back door and settled in the small back patio area for the evening. I have never had that experience again, and will never forget when my living room chat was interrupted by cattle.