Five to Nine Things You Maybe Didn't Know About Mormon Missionaries
What Do Mormon Missionaries Do? Missionaries are called into one of over missions worldwide. A “mission” is an area of administration with a “mission president” who oversees the . Read some Mormons' descriptions of their mission experience. Each year, approximately 53, Mormon missionaries go out into the world to win as many as , converts to their faith.
Sure, you know in theory that every human being is a complicated piece of work, but in practice it's always easier to lump wjat those who belong to a group a we don't understand, b we don't like, c we do like, or d whose constituent members dress almost exactly the same.
Same-dressing is less of a problem for female missionaries than for male, since females are allowed a little variety, although for a time they too tended to blur together thanks to skirt-lengths that threatened to reach Antarctica. But male or female, there are serious differences in personalities, language-skills, social-skills, and bodily-hygiene-skills, not to mention beliefs, conviction, and motives. If you're a male missionary, it's not easy for people to see beyond your white shirt, tie, and nametag.
The outfit has become something of a habit in every sensein that it started out sans nametag as the unfathomably ordinary look of missionns given place and time, but when the look went out of fashion the outfit was kept anyway as a sort of trend-defying badge-of-honor.
Most males own around seven increasingly translucent shirts, a couple of stainless-steel suits that will last into the next Millennium even if you don't want them to, shoes with a 60,mile warranty that you'd never wear in real life, and an assortment what happened during hurricane ike what do mormons do on their missions. Origins of the look thwir vague, but circumstantial evidence points to a wardrobe-guy for Ward Cleaver.
Especially males do, both culturally and officially, but now females do too, only culturally and not officially that's another subject. So whereas about 80 percent of missionaries were for many decades usually young men, now about half missipns to go are young women, who will no doubt soon be ubiquitous enough to have a musical made about them as well.
The addition of all those women is the main reason the total number of current missionaries has jumped to a record-breaking 80, You can certainly state your preferences here, and occasionally you go to one of them, but mostly you don't have a clue as to which of the or so missions in the world you'll be sent to. This explains why the opening of the big white envelope what do mormons do on their missions your mission call is a gigantic ritual, replete with your closest friends come to hear you read out your exciting place aloud.
Although in theory all places are equally exciting, in practice the farther and harder the place then the more exciting it seems, as evident in the stunned silence and forced enthusiasm what do mormons do on their missions usually follows the reading-out of something like "Bozeman, Montana," which will actually almost certainly turn out to be a happier place to go than somewhere exciting like Stalingrad.
Although you are always in pairs, it's not because you necessarily want to be see i got what you need remix. Your companion is assigned to you by your mission president.
There's the possibility of a thheir every six weeks or so, in case what do mormons do on their missions not getting along or are engaging excessively in the favorite pastime of arguing over such high theological matters as whether this Mormon teen-celebrity or that should go on a mission.
Pretty soon you learn that you're best off just trying to make things work with whoever you're with, which isn't a bad thing what is lutalyse used for in cattle learn for real life. Although just like in real life you still might, despite your best efforts, end up in some serious existential crises. They Don't Just Knock on Doors Although the classic image of missionaries knocking relentlessly on doors is still the stuff of punchlines, their methods now also involve not only social media but non-proselytizing sorts of things.
In fact some do exclusively humanitarian sorts of things. Almost all do a few hours of such things each week, and plenty would be better off doing a lot more, so they'd feel like they were doing something other than mostly engaging in one-sentence conversations that end di a rapidly-closing door. In fact if general patterns of Christian missionarying hold, they might all end up someday doing mostly humanitarian things, especially if the rate of converts per missionary keeps going down about 5 init's about 3.
Before heading to your actual mission, you get training at one of 15 training centers around the world, where you learn the basics of your new language, if necessary anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks, depending on degree of difficultya little not enough culture about the how to paint reborn doll hair where mmormons going, some practical basics, and assorted proselytizing techniques, some of which you might later discover were unknowingly taken straight from the books of sixteenth-century Catholic Jesuit missionaries.
Anyone who stands out like a white-shirted male missionary does is going to have a musical made about him, that's just an unchangeable law of the universe. And nothing's necessarily wrong with that. But when a recent Pew Poll shows that opinions of Mormons haven't budged an inch in the show's still formidable wake, you pretty much have to conclude that the show, despite some real humanizing of missionaries, is probably reinforcing old stereotypes more than refining them. And that's allowing for the accompanying universal law that a popular musical isn't exactly the ideal forum for trying to refine views of anything, including missionaries or Ugandans.
All rights reserved. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Temple Mormon Missionaries. They Don't Choose Where to Go. They Don't Misssions Their Companions. They Also Calling all HuffPost mprmons Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter.
Join HuffPost. Today theit National Voter Registration Day! Most and Least Mormon States.
Recommended For Your Pleasure
Jun 17, · Varieties of Missions for the Church Proselytizing Missions: Nearly all Mormon missionaries serve proselytizing missions in which they devote the majority of their time to teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to those unfamiliar with our faith. All missionaries also spend time in community and personal service to others. Jan 20, · So, to answer the question on why Mormons go on missions we go on a mission as a response to the Lord’s commandment to preach His gospel. Pero hindi ibig sabihin na we do it just because we’re commanded to do so. The decision to serve a full-time mission comes from our love for the Savior and our desire to serve Him. Dec 10, · Church missionary service is a dedicated time to serve God and His children. What is also unique is their message, and that of the Mormon Church. First and foremost, the message of the Church is that God lives — He is real and He loves us. Each of us is a child of God.
Thanks for connecting! You're almost done. Connect to your existing Cracked account if you have one or create a new Cracked username. Surely you've been hassled by those sweaty bike-riding missionaries who barely look old enough to shave. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be one of those kids, I can tell you a few things. As a young Mormon man, going on a mission trip isn't a matter of "if," but "when. Normal kids accomplish this by getting a part-time job at Pizza Hut and playing Halo all summer.
Mormon kids do it by traveling to exciting new places and bothering the people there. My whole life was preparing me for my mission. At the age of 19, I finally went. This is what I learned:.
Missionaries intentionally go after people in desperate situations. On my mission, we'd go into the worst parts of town to talk to the meth addicts and crackheads. Sure, they need help and attention more than anybody, but most of my colleagues were distinctly upper middle class white Mormons. Short of bursting out into an impromptu rap about how "drugs are for thugs," there's no way they could have been more conspicuous.
They'll meet at the next cold snap anyway. And then, of course, there are the more mundane dangers: angry dogs, defensive homeowners, attack junkies. My brother was training a new kid once in East Hastings when a drugged out maniac came at them on the way to their car. They piled in, and the dude chased their car down the street, while the new guy bawled his eyes out. You have a lot of young, naive kids put in positions they aren't prepared to handle. But hey, it's like the old saying goes: "Whatever doesn't kill you Suck it up, pansy.
Maybe both? What are you gonna do, quit? Not an option. Because we're missionaries, and we're doing God's work. When you combine that with naive "youthful invincibility," you get kids who will skip happily toward danger, secure in the knowledge that God will protect them. There's actually a belief in Mormonism that if you die "in the field," you automatically go to the celestial kingdom heaven -- it's practically a reward.
Come, get mauled by a rabid pit bull for Jesus. And that's just on the missions to the "civilized" world. A friend of mine got circumcised on his mission. He was in the Philippines, and he got an infection on his dick.
He went to a local doctor and, uh And it was like that for his whole mission. They do not warn you about potential banana-dicking in Missionary School. The first thing you do before your mission is travel to the heart of Mormonism: Utah. That's right: three straight uncut weeks of wacky Utah shenanigans, like "parking" and "waving hello. But like any prison worth its salt, life is extremely regimented -- it's just that the hours normally spent making license plates and pruno are instead replaced with daily hour Bible study sessions.
And Mormon pruno, which is actually stale Sunny Delight. The whole thing is divided up like the underclass in some dystopian sci-fi world -- we're separated into wards, zones, and then six-man districts. You don't associate with anyone outside your zone while you're training. Every missionary has to be in sight of their companion at all times. For two solid years, our only alone time was in the bathroom. Do not, under any circumstances, picture the state of that bathroom.
You can't leave the training center, you can't read outside writings, and you have no contact with anyone of the opposite sex.
No real socializing is allowed. I remember one time we started a snowball fight at lunch. The next day, the president of the Missionary Training Center gave a lecture about how we weren't there to throw snowballs. Apparently, God makes snowballs so much fun purely to test our resolve. It's pretty much like The Hunger Games , only instead of learning awesome survival skills, you learn the Bible.
And instead of earning your freedom, you pay about the price of a decent used Camry. That's right: You're not paid for it, you pay for it. The constant goal is to get into a "first discussion. The first lesson is about what makes Mormonism different from other Christian faiths. If I'm talking to a Christian, the point is to explain why Mormonism is the true faith, not to convince them their religion is wrong, drop the mic on their porch, and then disappear with a smoke bomb.
And we do that with prepared statements that we have to practice constantly. Spend enough time debating with missionaries and you'll notice they start repeating the same lines like NPCs in a role-playing game. We won't talk about the serious stuff: polygamy, the ban on blacks in the priesthood, the Mountain Meadows massacre , and the fact that the church leadership fought against just about every civil rights movement in the past years.
Plus, most missionaries are young men fresh out of high school, not theological scholars. In other words, they don't know the details behind most of that stuff anyway. So if you're planning to don your fedora and use those scandals to systematically dismantle the next kid that shows up in your doorway in an ill-fitting black suit, maybe take your next Friday night alone to write up another game plan. The church practically mandates snitching.
You get this "how to behave like a Mormon" rulebook, unironically called the White Bible. Among other things, you're not allowed to use a computer if a companion can't see the screen, and you're never supposed to be out of their earshot. The logic is that you can't break the rules if you're never, ever alone -- which of course ignores the possibility of both people breaking the rules together like a Mormon Bonnie and Clyde, or the possibility that a man can literally explode from lack of masturbation.
And if you think someone might be breaking the rules, you'd better tell the mission president. This is usually someone retired, wealthy, white, and -- surprise! Sometimes we'd take an extra hour for lunch and leave the apartment a little late in the morning.
Of course our zone leader snitched, and they split us up because they thought we were having too much fun. That's some Footloose shit right there: "If you're not working, you're wasting God's time. Ratting out your peers is how you earn points with the mission president.
If you can find Head Whitey and say, "That guy was checking Facebook I would never do such a thing! Gasp, maybe it'll be Star Light Zone!
And so it came to pass that Sonic acted like an entitled dick. We log everyone who shows interest -- or even talks with us -- and follow up on a regular basis.
That's because the whole "converting souls" thing is very much a competition. The higher ups in the church are obsessed with numbers. They want people baptized, inactive members brought back to the fold, etc.
A lot of iffy baptisms happen, just so we can make a soul quota like a bunch of celestial used-car salesmen. We regularly got lists of people our bishop wanted us to see. One guy was living in a halfway house -- he was pretty much mentally disabled and clearly knew nothing about the church. These guys baptized him anyway, just to get that number. The first question people ask when you get home isn't "Did you get banana-dicked? The church is full of myths of people who got hundreds and thousands of baptisms -- they're the Michael Jordans of organized religion.
Five total baptisms is considered average. But on my mission, if you got one or two legit baptisms, you were doing well. And don't think this is just me being down on the whole "converting" thing because I'm a bitter, twisted shell of a man, too short to get the head-dunking leverage you need to be a professional baptizer.
I'm extremely happy with my bitter, twisted shell, and the census data puts the foreign retention rate for converts at just 25 percent. So five average converts with 25 percent retention means one or two "legit" conversions. And that's how you calculate your Mormon RBI. Robert Evans helps people share their interesting experiences with the Internet.
If you'd like to tell him your story, send an email here. Related Reading: Cracked recently talked to a man who was shot for his atheism in Bangladesh. We also talked to a woman raised in a fundamentalist Christian cult and a bunch of Ukrainian revolutionaries. If you've got a story for Cracked, don't hesitate send an email. Don't make me do this again. Don't have an account? Continue as Guest.