Monday, October 3, 2011

I Hooooope they call me on a mission...

The Mr. and I are on a mission to deconvert missionaries. I think I've met more albinos than I have deconverted missionaries, but I'm going into psychology and the Mr. wants to go into medicine: we're in the business of saving lives.

We've had 3 lovely meetings now and I've worked my very hardest to be hospitable, even whipping out the brownies and milk (because Utah missionaries live on a diet that is composed exclusively of brownies) to try and make them feel welcome. Let me introduce you to these sweet gents:
Elder 1 is from the states and has a german name that I can never remember so I just think of him as Elder Googenheimer. Elder 2 is from one of those boring states you pray (even if you're atheist) that you'll never have to drive through, so he's Elder Cornfield. Wonder Twin Powers ACTIVATE!

We like Elder Googenheimer. He's pretty thoughtful and polite. I told these guys straight up that I was an ex-mormon that used to be extremely active and fully-believing. I gave them the somewhat abridged version of events so they'd have a fair warning. Also, I didn't really want to waste several evenings politely nodding my way trough the Gameplan of Salvation. So, sweet Elder Googenheimer listens to my stories, woes and tyrades and doesn't try to bullshit me. When I give him a question, he tries to give me an intelligent, thoughtful answer. When I shoot that down and repeat the question, he says "You know, that's just a really good question." And that's it. No bullshit.
Elder Cornfield does a lot of the talking. A LOT. I explained to him in no uncertain terms why his analogy of same-sex attraction being like alcoholism was inaccurate, inappropriate and total bullshit and he responded with "Ok, but what I was going to say...." wasting nearly 15 minutes of my life with irrelevant old news. Guy has doublethink like you would not believe. I don't know if he thinks he's winning or he just keeps coming back out of polite obligation. As for Elder Googenheimer, his motives and real opinions are difficult to sift from his silence. We have meeting number 4 tonight. Baptism commitment is on the 5th date, right?

The hub finds this experience massively entertaining and tries to let me do a lot of the talking. He says it's been good to learn more about me because he had no idea that I spoke exceptionally fluent Mormon. It's my first language, after all. I know what answers they're going to give me before they give them because if I didn't, I wouldn't have left (good luck making sense of that sentence).

It also seems that the MTC is slipping in the quality of its training. That or they say "Oh, you guys are just going to Utah. Nevermind the software updates, Frank, just plug them into the matrix." Can't say I blame them either, "The Place" is brimming with Mormons, ExMormons and devout Anti-Mormons of all faiths. The demand for missionaries is pretty damn low. Still, I haven't picked up my quad scriptures in over 2 years and (I'm putting it modestly here) I can dance circles around these guys when it comes to knowledge of the scriptures. That's everything from what they say to where they say it. And they thought I was kidding when I said I'd been devout...

These poor little proselytizers haven't even read the bible cover to cover. They're talking to some one who read the OT front to back, the NT front to back twice, and the DaC page 1 to the end, and the BoM cover to cover 3 times, not to mention the first six Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites books. They don't really know what to say when I tell them I prayed about the BoM each time I finished it and never got that "burning in the bosom" it so explicitly promises. As an added bonus, my Mother-in-Law is like a Shiite Baptist, so my husband had a pretty well-versed biblical/anti-mormon upbringing.

Actually, the burning in the bosom thing was kind of hilarious (and I like to pretend I was wearing something cleavage-bearing for that meeting). I told them "Dude, I sat on my knees, praying about this for at least half an hour and was finally like 'ok, LORD, I'll be here when you get a minute. I've got school in the morning so I guess I'll go to bed'." They give me an answer that essentially says that God works in mysterious ways and I retort, "Sure, but he also promises in James to not upbraid. Seems like a lot of my unanswered questions could be resolved by upbraideth-ing not." They tell me maybe I wasn't ready to learn it or I was too proud or something and, ignoring that last one, I tell them it's kind of cruel to upbraid on a question you're coached to ask throughout your entire life.

Maybe we'll FINALLY hit feminism tonight...

Consider this post a suggestion box if you've got some unique and/or incontrovertible questions about the doctrine, history, practices etc. of Das Cherch because Gawd's men are ON IT!

Not to mention, I would sure love the potential discussion.


  1. This is awesome! I hope you plant some seeds with those two boys. They know not what they do.

  2. Ha! So now you're getting to see both sides of the missionary thingy. :oD Wish I could trade with you. I drew sister mishies instead. They're cuter, but they're dead devout and I'm not sure the former properly cancels out the latter. :o(

    Would give them the boot, but feelin' rather sorry for the lasses. They are really nice but have got all priorities screwed up and keep trying to nag me into saying a prayer while knowing full well that I don't believe in god and consider the Christian dogma (and all its variants) an old myth. So basically they're asking me to be spiritually dishonest in saying prayers that I can't possibly mean just because they think that people will convert to the religion if they just keep doing the rituals. Come to think about it, what's with all the obsession with rituals and temples in Mormons???

    Anyhow! Have fun at your next discussion and don't forget to tell us more! :oD

  3. I believe I had the misfortune to serve my mission in Elder Cornfield's home turf, if my suspicions that he comes from the Iowa-Nebraska area.

    I'm surprised they wait until the 5th discussion for the baptismal challenge, as in my day that was the topic of the 3r. And it was hinted at in the first, because the design of the missionary lessons in those days was "always be closing."

    That was an astute comment you left over on my blog, and I appreciate someone finally mentioning "Yeah, I saw it too, and it was worse than I had expected."

  4. I'm delighted to have you here, Alan! Your posts are always mind-blowingly insightful.

    To be fair to these poor blokes, I gave them the heads-up that I had been to the font once and had no plans to return. One of them got transferred and his replacement is very bright-eyed and excited to meet with us next week. His poor veteran companion seems a bit downtrodden every time he knocks on our door. Not that I blame him, I wouldn't be able to sit through as many of my diatribes as he has and live to tell about it.