Missionaries: I think I broke mine

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So this probably requires some backstory.

I have a long-standing tradition of having a house that is welcoming to the missionaries.
I realise that it’s not hard to find a welcoming home for the mishies in our area, but my house has several distinct advantages.

First, I’m not a member. This is a big plus. Hanging out with people who don’t have the capacity to get baptised, I’ve heard, does not score well with one’s MP.

Second, at my house the elders are able to exercise their knowledge of the gospel. I’m anything but a soft target. Some incredibly interesting discussions have taken place in my living room. I thinkk a good time was had by all in many of these situations.

Finally, if they don’t feel like being missionaries for a few minutes, they can just chill out and be regular 19 year-olds for half an hour and let their guard down a bit in a stress-free environment.

So that being said, I am surprised that the missionaries haven’t been coming around much anymore.

The elders before the previous elders stopped by once, did their pitch, and I never saw them again.

The previous elders stopped by a couple times, went hard at me the first visit but lightened up on the second and then I never saw them again.

The current mishies stopped by once and soft-sold me and I have not heard from them since.

I’m wondering, do you think that they are under instruction to avoid me because I’m a lost cause?
Perhaps they were reprimanded for wasting time at my house. I’m not sure.

Do you really think it’s a good idea to tell missionaries to avoid a non-member who is not an active investigator, but who is himself welcoming to the missionaries? What message does this send to me?

Usually I just want to be left alone, and I don’t really know why I take such pleasure out of talking to these young men (maybe it’s the Spirit); but I can’t help but wonder to what extent I’ve contributed to the delinquency of an Elder or two…

22 thoughts on “Missionaries: I think I broke mine

  1. From sitting in many warc councils where the missionaries disucss all the people that have visited that month/week members, inacitve and active alike as well as non members or part member families and I have never heard any leader tell the missionaries to stop going to visit someone. My bet would be to contact the Elders and ask them what happened?

  2. Perhaps you should look at this from a different angle. Being a Missionary is very much like being a sales rep. A sales rep can spend lots of time talking and socializing with peoople who are not curent prospects for their product or they canspend their time with people who are prospects.

    My guess is that you are currently experiencing Missionaries who are being careful with their time.

    Another possibility is that with the transfers went any knowledge of you and your hospitality.

    You could also join the Church and then the missionaries would be over to your house often wanting to know if you have any friends or relatives they could teach. You could also go with them on splits and use your knowledge to explain why the Church is true and why someone liked you are now should change and become LDS.

    Of course you would end up running from the misionaries since you ran out of non memeber friends years ago they could teach.

    One more angle to get them to come over, set up a time with your non memeber friends for the missionaries to teach them in your home. That would get them to stop by and visit you.

    Let us know how it goes.

  3. Bill, I feel so dirty, so … commodified.

    “You could also join the Church…”

    You are a funny, funny guy Bill.

    “…set up a time with your non member friends for the missionaries to teach them in your home.”

    Do you really want me to sacrifice the (few) friends I already have in order to swap stories with the elders? Two words: Amway party. I think you get the idea.

    My whole point is, if I am indeed not visited because I am no longer considered a prospect, it’s a bit cold and calculated. That’s fine if the only reason you visit people is to pad your dunk stats, but if that’s the only reason for the mishies to visit…

  4. Rick,

    There could be numerous reasons. Since we don’t have the missionaries’s perspective, we can only speculate.

    Here is my speculation. You are a non-member who doesn’t show interest in joining the church right now, but you have no problem inviting the missionaries over for religious conversation and all. You make good friends or raport with several missionaries. They soon get transfered. The new missionaries come in with their own goals and drives for the new area. While you may be a friendly guy, a Jack Mormon, they look at you as an opportunity cost. The time spent getting to know you could be better spent getting to know someone who has a higher chance of joining the church. It isn’t just that you don’t want to get baptized at this point, but moreso that they have to expend the energy getting to know you. A missionary’s time is valuable. A missionary’s effort at friendship is used with a desired goal. They go out to baptize. They don’t have the luxury of simply making friendships for the sole reason that they are in one area for such a short period of time, from one month to four or five months. If they make friends with you, it will only really last for at the max a couple of months. Then they have to move on to the next region. Therefore, they have to be judicious on where they spend their time. Their purpose is to baptize. If a family or individual does not choose to be baptized, the missionaries present in that area will continue to be friends with them. When it comes time for the transfer, they will tell the new missionaries the story, adding, most importantly, that that individual or family does not want to be baptized. The new missionaries then, for the most part, decide that it isn’t worth their time.

    I agree with Bill. If you want the missionaries over, get baptized. :)

  5. Okay, first off; the missionaries in this area are not baptising people.

    It’s not like I’m taking them away from prospective converts.

    “an opportunity cost”
    “expend the energy getting to know you”
    “A missionary’s effort at friendship is used with a desired goal”
    “it isn’t worth their time”

    So cold. N’est Pas?

    So what it comes down to is no dunkie no talkie. Ouch! That hurts. Right *here* where my heart would be if I had one…

  6. be realistic though, Rick, you are making friends with people who only are around for a few months. If you really want long-lasting relationships, get with the members and get talking with them about religion. i’m sure there are plenty in your area who would love to relive their glorious mission days with you and talk religion. :)

  7. “get talking with them about religion”

    But the problem is I don’t want to always talk religion…

    Sometimes it’s just talk about where they’re from, their take on local events, guy stuff. ;)

    The best part about talking to these people is that they have interesting new perogatives, whereas my neighbours are all entirely too predictable.

  8. Please remember that the missionaries are there to preach the gospel and help people become converted.
    I’m a little confused. Are you actually inviting them to come over and they are refusing? Perhaps they aren’t making “appointments” with you, because they make “appointments” with people who are interested in hearing about the gospel. If you just want to feed them and have a short visit, invite them over. (Our ward here is expected to help feed missionaries.)
    Good luck.

  9. “Are you actually inviting them to come over and they are refusing?”

    Nope. It’s an open invitation.

    “Perhaps they aren’t making ‘appointments’ with you, because they make ‘appointments’ with people who are interested in hearing about the gospel.”

    Yeah, no. These guys have more time on their hands than prison inmates.

    “If you just want to feed them and have a short visit, invite them over.”

    Yes to visiting, no to feeding.

    I saw them yesterday and gave them the ‘come over anytime’ speech again. I don’t expect to see these two any time soon.

  10. I don’t know all the personal relationship involed here but if you don’t mind why do you find it interesting to talk Mormon religion and not be one?

  11. I’m married to a member, live in a town that’s chock full of members and ,in general, find y’all to be a peculiar people with equally peculiar beliefs and cultural practises.

    I think that just about covers it.

  12. That explains a lot. So what religion do you consider yourself to be?

    Was your wife LDS before or after you married?

  13. Well, I’d say I’m Ignostic if I were really cornered. :)

    My beloved life partner was LDS since birth (purportedly before so as well).

  14. Rick

    lol, yes well that’s what the Boook of Mormon says, we are a peculiar people. And in some areas even more peculiar….let me tell you, the Church is different (I should say the member-culture) here than in BC and probably anywhere else in Canada. But it is little Utah.

  15. “Yes to visiting, no to feeding.”

    There’s your problem. Offer them food, make an official dinner appointment, they’ll come.

  16. Rick,
    Another way to catch the missionaries’ interest, other than offering free food, is to occasionally attend Sunday church services, and/or a ward dinner. They’ll be all over you like something-on-whatever.

  17. When we lived in CA and NE the missionaries also discovered that our house was a relaxing place to take a break. They would often come over on the pretense that they needed to use the phone (for missionary purposes) or needed something to drink etc. I am a member already so they weren’t there to teach us, just to take a break (although they would occasionaly justify it by sharing an encouraging scripture). Anyhow, we really enjoyed having them around, they always had fun with my husband and of course my kids adored them. Sometimes we would even go out and have some fast food with them. Now that I am in Idaho we have NEVER had any missionaries discover our place and we miss it. Also in Omaha we lived in a neighborhood with NO mormons but our friends accross the street, and elderly couple who were not affiliated with any religion, also provided a place for the elders to hang out for a break. They always offered them a pop, and enjoyed their company. They even gave the elders a ride to places sometimes. I relate to Rick enjoying the company of missionaries, they do bring an energy and fresh perspectives into the home. Some of them even remained our friends after their mission and we are still in touch and visit when we are in the same town.

    I can’t really explain why nobody has even stopped by in the first place here in ID (but the JWs have). It’s kind of weird not to have elders hanging around on a regular basis after having them around quite frequently for many years. Rick is right that they are refreshing change in comparisn to our like-aged neighbors and friends. Just something about them….

    Anyhow, in my experience Rick, I think it has more to do with personalities clicking than anything else. Also if an area gets “whitewashed” there is no companion to let the new transfers know about their traditions. But maybe the newer elders lately have simply been more uptight and new and friendlier elders will come along eventually.

  18. Our experience has been similar to yours, Nermalcat. What happened in Vancouver and what happens in Lethbridge parallels your experience.

  19. Rick,

    I bet they have a nice little write up in their area book that details most, if not all the visits they have had with you over time.

    Some comments may say things like “Cool guy, awsome to talk to, keep working at him” to comments like “Total waste of time, he ain’t going nowhere.”

    So, it probably depends on if you have campers, or preachers or some other type of missionary in your area. Also, they may have been given a larger area to work in, so they see a lot less of everyone if there arent enough replacements for the ones that go home.

    Could be a ton of reasons.

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