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Posts Tagged ‘Missionaries’

Someone posted the following to our neighborhood message board last night:

Missionaries Knocking at Door

Tonight at 8:54pm, I heard a knock at my door. When asked who was at the door a man answered, ‘We are missionaries.’ Who ever heard of missionaries coming to your door at 8:54pm after dark? After refusing to open the door, I immediately went upstairs and looked out of my window and saw two people with very short hair dressed in long pants and long sleeve shirts with backpacks on (I assume they were both men). Can anyone shed some light on this?

Fair enough, right? I know who they were, obviously, but this lady doesn’t. I know that their curfew is 9pm, and that, while knocking on doors at 8:54 is an impolite exercise of bad judgment, it happens sometimes (I did it myself a time or two, but usually when it was still light outside in July in Germany). The lady’s concern and question are reasonable–strangers are knocking on her door and she wants to figure out who they are and why.

But the first response on the message board was this:

[T]his is extremely suspicious. I think you were wise to do what you did. Solicitors are allowed by County law only to approach homes before sunset or 5 PM, whichever is earlier. Moreover, church groups who engage in door to door proselytizing typically make the rounds in the morning hours, and I have never known any group of this kind to approach homes this late in the evening. In addition, I would be extremely suspicious of anyone identifying themselves as a missionary going door to door in this area, as missionaries typically work in underprivileged areas and underdeveloped countries. I suggest you call the police to report this so they are aware and can investigate.

Sigh. I’ll admit, I had a laugh. And then I did my best to set the record straight, clear up peoples’ concerns, and ask them to please not pester the police about it. But I don’t think I did any good: sadly, my neighbors seem intent on being scared even when there’s a perfectly good explanation for why they shouldn’t be.

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Maybe this is unreasonable of me, since I have no intention of going back anyway, but it actually bothers me that the missionaries haven’t showed up since my wife and I stopped going to the Mormon church.  I even saw them in our building one time, and I totally expected them to at least drop by and say “hi.”  I mean, we’re less-actives in their area!  Don’t they have an area book or at least a ward roster that they’ve gone over with their Ward Mission Leader to see who they can visit?

The last time I heard from missionaries was in December, around Christmas.  They called a couple of times trying to set up appointments.  They claimed that they were new to the ward and just trying to meet all of the members in their area.  I told them to cut the crap- we all knew that my wife and I hadn’t been to church in months and that was the reason they wanted to visit.  The missionary on the phone played innocent and wounded, but the insincerity was tangible.  That’s the one thing that really bugs me the most about the Mormon missionary program- it tends to foster really insincere behavior on the missionaries’ part.

Anyway, I told them it would probably be a waste of time for them to visit, but that I would talk to my wife and see if there was a time that would be good.  I don’t think they ever called back.  I was just being honest; I was a missionary myself, and I promise that it is extremely unlikely that a missionary is going to say something that would make me suddenly change my mind about the church.  And their sweet spirit isn’t going to do it either since I’m 1) very suspicious about making life decisions based on warm fuzzies that someone else interprets for me and 2) I know they’re doing everything they can to cultivate that sweet spirit, and some of it is genuine, and someof it isn’t.

In any case, we would be happy to feed them and chatand whatever, but probably it wouldn;t be worth the missionaries’ time, unless they just needed ot get in some reactivation hours to report back to the mission president.  Maybe I was too aggressive or forceful about it, and they wrote “wants no contact” in their area book.

In any case, it bothers me.  Maybe it shouldn’t, like I said, since I really have no intention of going back to Mormonism, but to me it makes the whole missionary program seem hypocritical.  Aren’t they suposed to at least be trying?

We haven’t heardfrom the bishop in months, either.  Our home teachers call every now and then, but  that’s it.  They’re good guys, and we’re happy to have them visit.  We had some friends in the ward, but they moved.  Our babysitter is a new member, but that doesn’t really count.

I’m just saying, it seems for all the bluster of saving sould and perfecting the saints and whatnot, that our ward and the missionaries seem perfectly happy to let us fall between the cracks.  That’s what bothers me. I don’t want to stay in the church, but it’s kindof insulting to have nobody even care when I leave.

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