|Subject:||Surprising Mission Rules|
|Date:||Jun 17 09:27 2003|
|I have always thought that the person being targeted
in the mission is actually the missionary, but the more I learn about Mormon
missions, the more it seems to be a form of the isolation
mechanism used by cults to indoctrinate.
I never went on a mission, so I am interested in rules that you found out after you arrived at the MTC or your mission location.
To me, almost all the rules are surprising:
Constant Companionship with a selected companion
I can't think of a single person I would choose to spend an entire week with, with no solitary time. I can't image having this person chosen for me, much less 18-24 months of having no chance of being alone.
Mother's Day and Christmas phone calls
Two days for personal phone calls is a bit extreme.
No credit cards
By restricting access to money, free will of the missionary is taken away. If a missionary in a foreign land has had enough, he/she can't just buy a plane ticket and head home.
Being torn away from radio, television, and newspaper, the flow of information to the missionary is skewed.
So all you RM's...what other mission rules are there?
|Subject:||Not only credit cards, but...|
|Date:||Jun 17 09:32|
|In one foreign country, the mission president
gathered up all the passports and visas.
Can you imagine what difficulties that could present to a foreigner? But it certainly makes for better control of the missionaries.
|Subject:||there must be something illegal about having passports and visas taken away?|
|Date:||Jun 17 09:37|
|in many countries (if not ALL) you must, if you are a foreigner, carry them with you always!|
|Subject:||most foreign missions try to hold your passports|
|Date:||Jun 17 09:38|
|and many limit the amount of money the misshies
spend. I remember someone on this board posting that they took a check
someone sent him and kept it, with the stated intention of returning it
prior to his coming home.
some missions have the rule of only speaking the host country language, with the result that American misshies are expected to speak to each other all day in Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, etc...
|Subject:||I went to Amsterdam...|
|Date:||Jun 17 14:01|
|we took our passports with us everywhere we went. The mission never held them for us.|
|Subject:||A rule we broke|
|Date:||Jun 17 09:48|
|The mission rules said we had to sleep in the same
room. I guess to discourage masturbation or to know if your companion
tried to slip out. Anyway, in one area we lived in a two bedroom mobile
home and we each had our own bedroom.
Then there were some policies that were just plain impossible to follow. As a district leader, I was supposed to know what the missionaries I supervised were doing every hour of every day. That would be hard enough if we all worked in the same city, but my guys were spread over a 50 mile radius.
We were also supposed to keep our mission vehicles clean "at all times." Well, most of my areas had dirt roads which turned to mud in the spring. Once we had to drive 120 miles, mostly over dirt roads, to get to a zone conference. The Mission president was pissed that we showed up with a layer of dust and dirt on the car.
Any accidents or illnesses, no matter the circumstances, were assumed to be our fault, because if we were truly righteous and living all the rules, the Lord would make sure bad things didn't happen.
We weren't supposed to borrow money from anyone, not even our companions. But the MP had a habit of ordering mass transfers in the middle of the night, toward the end of the month, when we were nearly broke. Yet, somehow, we had to come up with bus or plane fair plus enough to cover the settling of housing costs in both the new and old areas.
|Subject:||Where did you serve, Mutt?|
|Your description sounds a lot like my brother's
|Subject:||Re: Where did you serve, Mutt?|
|Alberta-Saskatchewan (Canada) 1971-73|
|Subject:||A reversal of policy just before the end of my mission.|
|Date:||Jun 17 12:02|
|Assuming the Lord directly inspired all mission rules, then the Savior did a 180 on the requirement that we must never ever ever go out without suit coats, no matter how hot it might be. We showed up for a zone conference and, horror of horrors, the APs were jacketless. "Oh, yeah, it's a new rule. Didn't you know?"|
|Subject:||No running with the bulls...|
|Date:||Jun 17 09:51|
|I broke that one twice.|
|Subject:||Re: Surprising Mission Rules|
|Date:||Jun 17 10:00|
|Author:||Aaron..........brother of Moses|
|Our MP was a bit of a psycho (Dean D. Baxter
Christchurch NZ '87 - '89)
1. "Elders, I want you to spend a month in your flats just reading the BOM. You will get the spirit that way."
2. "Elders, tracting is of the devil !"
Beggers belief !!
|Subject:||Some of these are mission-dependent|
|Date:||Jun 17 10:02|
|Anonymous Coward wrote:
> Constant Companionship with a selected companion
> I can't think of a single person I would choose to spend an entire week with, with no solitary time. I can't image having this person chosen for me, much less 18-24 months of having no chance of being alone.
Fortunately, these companionships are usually changed every 1-3 months. My longest was 5 months—and that was really long. Still, when you're in a long-term companionship, you try to arrange splits with other companionships as much as possible.
> Mother's Day and Christmas phone calls
> Two days for personal phone calls is a bit extreme.
> No credit cards
> By restricting access to money, free will of the missionary is taken away. If a missionary in a foreign land has had enough, he/she can't just buy a plane ticket and head home.
We didn't have this rule in my mission, and I don't know if it's new. It's been a decade since I served, and fewer missionaries had credit cards back then. Nevertheless, if I had had one, I would have held onto it.
> No media
> Being torn away from radio, television, and newspaper, the flow of information to the missionary is skewed.
This depends on the mission. In my mission, we could read the newspaper to keep up with the culture, though very few missionaries did. TV was off-limits, but we didn't have time for it anyway.
>the mission president gathered up all the passports and visas.
Yeah, that happens in some missions, not mine, and having been an international traveler before my mission, I would have balked at the suggestion.
|Date:||Jun 17 10:07|
|Do you think these new rules are part of the NEW tougher mish regime? Back when I served in 84, no one would've had a credit card anyway. They're commonplace now.|
|Date:||Jun 17 11:41|
> Do you think these new rules are part of the NEW tougher
> mish regime? Back when I served in 84, no one would've
> had a credit card anyway. They're commonplace now.
Well, all of the following were common rules when I served about a decade ago:
|Subject:||No hair gel allowed for mishies in Sydney North! nt|
|Date:||Jun 17 10:17|
|Subject:||Oh, that reminds me.|
|Date:||Jun 17 10:44|
|Back in the early '70s, when I served, one of the
fashions was barrel cuffs -- two buttons, one closer to the hand, one
closer to the arm. For some reason our MP decided they weren't allowed.
When a regional representative toured our mission, I noticed not only did he have barrel cuffs, but they were on a white-on-white textured shirt, which was also illegal in our mission.
|Subject:||We couldn't use the word "guys"..|
|Date:||Jun 17 11:34|
|because our Aussie MP thought it was a bad word.|
|Subject:||Yeah, for us: no Dockers, and no suits in fancy "European colors". LOL n/t|
|Date:||Jun 17 14:28|
|That's right, no basketball. One year into my
mission, the Pres. decided to outlaw basketball - too many injuries was
his story. Of course it was really just another in a long list of
power-plays on his part. At any rate, he gathered all of the ZL's (I was
one) up and told us that this new "rule" was the same as a
commandment from God and that we were forced to make a pact of sorts to
follow it. I kid you not! Two months later, I was transferred to the
mission office to be an APE...
So what did we APE's do instead of hoops? We bought skateboards!! Muahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
|Date:||Jun 17 11:40|
|Author:||Søvnløsener - Insomniac|
|we were rep'ing the lord, not Joe Cool.
|Subject:||It was no phone calls home AT ALL in my mission|
|Date:||Jun 17 11:43|
|It was against mission rules to call home. Period.
I've heard people from other missions talk about calls home for
Christmas, but we were never allowed. I did call home a couple of times,
but it was when I had reached a point that I couldn't stand it anymore
and wanted to go home. When my parents said "no" it helped to
intensify the cult disassociation effect. I felt closer to the mission
than to my own family, oddly. I have hard feelings toward my parents to
this day over it.
Here's another thing. They took away all our passports the first day and kept them in a locked filing cabinet in the mission office. You're right about not having enough money to come home. I could never have paid back $600 for a plane ticket from Ireland back then, even at home. And I was too young and insecure to go to the embassy and ask for asylum.
It makes me angry to even talk about it. I'll stop here.
|Subject:||I wonder what would happen if...|
|Date:||Jun 17 11:48|
|...all over the world missionaries started showing up at US embassies saying, "Help, I'm being held in this country against my will by my church. They've confiscated my passport and won't let me go home.""|
|Subject:||I used to dream about doing this on my mission|
|Date:||Jun 17 11:54|
|But half of me wanted to stay out, because I thought
I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. It was very confusing.
The cover story on the passports was so that we wouldn't lose them, irresponsible young men that we were. I'm sure if the embassy were to call the mission office, I would have gotten my passport back - pronto. But if I just asked for it, it would have brought on a grand inquisition. Not that I ever had the courage to ask for it.
Makes me furious to this day.
|Subject:||Re: Surprising Mission Rules|
|Date:||Jun 17 11:51|
|"Mother's Day and Christmas phone calls
Two days for personal phone calls is a bit extreme."
I made one phone call my entire mission. Christmas when I was just shy of going home anyway. Before that no calls were allowed.
"No credit cards"
I served back in the olden days before credit cards anyway. ;-)
We had media, we couldn't have a TV set in our own pension, I'm sure, but I don't think it was even a rule -- who could afford one anyway.
Other weird rules: No basketball allowed. Which was changed to basketball allowed right after my mission started. Hey wait a minute, that's right when I had my burning bosom experience!!! Now I get it, it wasn't the BOM after all, god was manifesting the TRUTH of basketball to me. Hey, maybe I should give this god character one more chance. ;-)
|Subject:||Well, in my day|
|Date:||Jun 17 12:22|
|Unfortunately all this is true:
We couldn't call home at all.
They confiscated our passports on arrival.
We weren't even supposed to read the newspaper headlines as we passed a newsstand, let alone read a paper or see anything on TV.
No music at all.
Solid color ties only.
Run from door to door - only slackers walk. And we were to do it as much as possible, and tell people we were representatives of Jesus Christ sent to leave a blessing on their home - and if we got in we were to immediately drop to our knees and leave a blessing, then the person would be so moved by the spirit they would want to know more.
Never talk about home - you shouldn't even know where your companion is from.
Covenant to sacrifice things (like sleep, food, mail, etc.) so you will be blessed with baptisms.
But you try telling that to kids now days . . .
|Subject:||No teaching to Black Families without special permission.. nt|
|Subject:||Other mission rules|
|Date:||Jun 17 14:32|
|France Toulouse Mission: 1979-1981
1. Zero phone calls home. Not for Mother's Day...not for Christmas. (We had no telephones in our apartments anyway.)
2. 25 Kilometer Boundary. We were not allowed to travel more than 25 kilometers in any direction from our assigned city. (We were on bicycles anyway, so the temptation wasn't as great as it might have been had we had cars. I happily broke that rule a couple times.)
3. Missionaries not allowed to ride in cars. That is, cars of members or of anyone that was not the mission president or office staff that drove one of the three mission vehicles. This was an incredibly silly rule. When I was in Bayonne, France, the branch was kicked out of its Sunday meeting place. There was no place to hold church. The members showed up on the first Sunday morning at the old place hoping for some divine intervention on finding a place. It resulted in a wild goose chase driving all over the area, including an 8 kilometer drive to Biarritz, where the city refused usage of a city office. We missionaries, not being allowed to ride in the cars of the members had to furiously pedal our bikes behind them to try to keep up. We ultimately ended up in a forest between Bayonne and Biarritz.
4. Two meals a day. We had breakfast and came back to our apartments for an afternoon meal, but were not allowed to return second time for an evening meal.