In every mission there are stories. Funny events that are often repeated, but rarely is the source known. In my mission there was a few of these, but there is only one that I actually know the source of. It is the story of two elders who were less than technologically literate. About a year ago, while I was on my mission, there was a youtube video released about Apple wave technology. It supposedly allowed you to charge your iPhone in the microwave. Now we’ve all believed silly things before. I believed my father ran around in a pink tutu waving a wand when I first found out he ‘was The Tooth Fairy.’ Still, once we reach a certain age, we should probably verify information that potentially ruin things that are extremely expensive, as well as anything that claims things are microwaveable. These two elders didn’t.
My companion and I were mission secretaries at the time. In Sweden, the secretaries handle everything imaginable that isn’t expressly covered by another job description. This includes tech support, and dealing with phones in general. So one day we were in the office, working to prepare for a zone conference or some other big important meeting, when we received a call from a number we didn’t have listed. My companion answered the phone in Swedish, saying “Hi! This is the missionaries.” I looked over confused, we didn’t often receive calls to our phone from people who we couldn’t answer by name. Elder Smith reverted to english, and it became clear he was speaking with some missionaries. I thought it was odd that they had called on an unknown number, but it wasn’t unheard of so I went back to what I was doing. Elder Smith left the room, going into another part of the office to get some things during the conversation. He didn’t return quickly however. I heard, “Elder Knecht, come here!” I turned around in the office and saw Elder Smith sitting on the couch. He said, “I promised the missionaries I wouldn’t tell anyone, but I can’t keep that promise. So want to hear what happened?” With a teaser like that, how could I refuse?
“Sure.” I responded.
“Well, those were the Karlstad elders. They called because they broke their phone.” Now, this happens less frequently than before when we didn’t have iPhones, however it still happened. Generally there isn’t a great story either, though always the potential for one.
“How’d they do that?” I asked.
Elder Smith burst out laughing. Through his laughter I understood, “They were at the church and had forgotten their charger. (Their apartment was a long ways away). So instead of going back, Elder John mentioned that he had heard that iPhones can be charged in the microwave. Elder Thomas agreed, mentioning that he too had heard that. So instead of returning for the charger they decided to try it.”
I remember staring at Elder Smith incredulously.“Tell me they didn’t…”
“Yes!” Elder Smith responded, “They did! They microwaved their iPhone trying to charge it!”
I had no words. Only astonishment. Elder Smith had told them to go to the apple store and to see what could be done. The phone had managed to survive…mostly. They could receive calls and texts still, miraculously, however their touch screen was broken and they couldn’t see anything on it.
Elder Smith and myself expected them to be laughed out of the Apple store. However, the Apple store fixed it for free under warranty. So, in case you are curious, microwaving your iPhone is covered under warranty, just so long as you don’t drop it.
And iPhones definitely do not charge in the microwave.