Crazy Mission Stories

Huzzah! Another question in the inbox! This one comes from Joey at Wide White.

I came across this video of two Mormon missionaries getting attacked by a parrot when they knocked on a guy’s door. It made me wonder if you have any crazy stories of things like this happening during your time as a missionary?

Here’s the video:

HA. LOL. That video is great.

That missionary’s reaction to (what appears to be) a perfectly harmless pet bird is priceless. Plus goober Missionary #2 swatting at the bird like a 12 year old with a giant grin is pretty good, too.

So you want to talk Mission Stories, huh?

Here’s the thing about mission Stories: Mormons love to tell them, but after a while you just get kind of sick of them. Mission stories all start to sound exactly the same after a while.

You see, missionaries all get home from the mission, and start telling each other mission stories. And everyone is pretty sure that their mission stories are better than everyone else’s. And all these returned missionaries try to convince each other that they served in the biggest ghetto ever and there has never been a ghetto more ghetto than their ghetto. And then you figure out that their definition of ghetto is Richfield or somewhere else completely middle-class. And then you figure out that you’ve all got exactly the same set of stories.

Plus, a lot of things that are really funny at the time just don’t make great stories. For example, watching this video was funny, but imagine Goober Missionary #2 trying to tell his friends at home about this experience 10 years from now.

One time, we were out tracting, and we knocked on a door, and when the guy opened it, lol, a bird came out! and I was like “Sqeeeee!” and my companion was like “Heeyeyyeyeyywoo!” And then the bird flew back in the house and they guy told us he wasn’t interested in the Book of Mormon and asked us to leave. Oh man it was crazy! Fun times.

See, not exactly riveting.

After a while, you get a little bit jaded. Now, if I’m sitting in Sunday School and some dude raises his hand and says, “Well this one time on my mission…”, I just roll my eyes.

“Oh great,” I say, nudging the guy next to me. “It’s Mission Story Guy.”

I had some fun times as a missionary. I have many fond memories of life as a missionary and different things that happened on people’s doorsteps. I met a million different kinds of people, met some really great folks, and was rejected in pretty much any way you could imagine. But I really don’t like to talk about the mission much. Those experiences are important to me, but they don’t really make great stories, and they don’t define me – and the mission overall just wasn’t a high point for me.

I love watching vids of Mormons on YouTube, though! I love that all these 19 year olds have so much free time on their hands, little to no direct supervision, and increasingly, video cameras and bicycles. It’s a perfect combination for YouTube!

Maybe some of my readers have some good mission stories for you, though. What do you say, readers? Ever get chased by a bird while knocking doors?

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4 thoughts on “Crazy Mission Stories”

  1. heh. I assume you’ve heard about Romney’s “austere” living conditions on his mission in France. (Reportedly, the reality is different and he spent most of it in a veritable mansion.)

    As an adult convert, I didn’t go on a mission but I did go on splits with sister missionaries a few times. The strangest was a media referral (he saw an ad on tv for a free video and called). He was a computer programmer but had no computer, phone, or furniture at home. I assume he called for the video from work but don’t know where he’d watch it since he had no tv. All that was in his apartment was a blanket, pillow, and maps from National Geographic magazines on the walls. It was a very strange visit and that’s not an exaggeration!

  2. Boo. Nothing juicy!?

    Seriously, good answer. (Because you were waiting on the edge of your seat for my approval…) Great point about stories often sucking more when told than when experienced. I love to relate to people with my own stories but have to work to be careful so I’m not “that guy.” I probably am “that guy,” but hopefully less so than other “that guys.”

  3. My companion and I were teaching a Jehovah’s Witness and on the 3rd or 4th lesson there was a knock on the door. It was the police. Obviously, he was embarrassed, and went out on the porch and closed the door, leaving us alone inside. I think he thought that would shield us from the discussion, but we could hear it all.

    They were there with an arrest warrant. The charge? Making lewd and obscene phone calls to a woman he worked with.

    Only time I had someone arrested while I was teaching them. That was pretty crazy. We told him to give us a call when he was ready for the next lesson and we never saw or heard from him again. I was laughing, but my companion was really freaked out by the whole experience.

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