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Posted by: paulk ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 04:14PM

I got on a plane in Salt Lake and the guy next to me turns his seat display into a foreign language -- the same language that I spoke on my mission. I asked him how he learned the language.

His response was "I spent time on a humanitarian mission in the country".

Being in Utah, I was now 99% sure what his mission was. I responded "was it an LDS mission?" To which he answered yes. It was just funny that he tried to couch it as humanitarian service.

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Posted by: Shummy ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 04:19PM

Served under inhumane conditions no doubt.

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Posted by: Stray Mutt ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 04:35PM

Sometimes the fact I lived in Canada a couple of years will come up in conversations -- usually about nasty winters. Whenever I mention it, I hope no one asks, "How did you come to live in Canada?" I don't want to get into the whole I-was-a-Mormon-missionary thing. I guess I need to have a good short lie handy for those occasions.

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 12:23AM

I had to endure two years of wonderful weather in California lol

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Posted by: notmonotloggedin ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 04:49PM

is mutated into "serving a humanitarian mission".


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Posted by: bender ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 05:22PM

He could of been ashamed to say he went on prosyletising mission so he just said it was a humanitarian one. I know I've done that in the past. Several years ago I was a a work Christmas party. My wife and I sat by a couple we didn't know and started talking. It came up that they had spent time in Haiti. I asked them what they were there for, and they said they went on a mission for their church. Their church was partnered with the group Engineers Without Borders, and they spent six months there helping villages rebuild after the earthquake. It sounded awesome.

Then my wife told them that I had served a mission for our church in Chile. They were very interested and asked what kind of work I did. After hearing their story, I was ashamed to say I spent two years trying to convert people to Mormonism and give ten percent of their small incomes to Salt Lake City. So I kind of fudged the truth, and made it seem like a humanitarian mission where I helped people.

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Posted by: BeatMeatSparingly ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 05:56PM

I was always ashamed to tell people that I had served a Mormon mission, even as a recently-returned, TBM RM. Now, I won't even mention that I went to Brazil or speak Portuguese. I don't want to answer the follow-up questions.

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Posted by: sd ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 06:30PM

he was embarrassed. There's hope for him.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 07:35PM

I did lots of things on my mission.
None of them were "humanitarian" work.

It sounds like your seatmate was trying to put a "positive spin" on the truth:

That he wasted two years trying to sell a ridiculous cult religion to people that didn't want to hear about it, and doesn't even have a t-shirt to show for it.

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 11:13PM

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Posted by: Stray Mutt ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 11:18PM

ificouldhietokolob Wrote:
> I did lots of things on my mission.
> None of them were "humanitarian" work.

The only things I did on my mission that I'm not ashamed/embarrassed about were totally against the rules (at least in 1971-73). I did manual labor for people who needed help. Digging potatoes, painting houses, plucking chickens, branding/castrating calves, baling hay, etc. I had a companion who was a farm boy and another who would rather do anything other than proselytize.

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Posted by: Stray Mutt ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 11:20PM

"Humanitarian aid workers" is also the lie ChurchCo tells some governments in order get missionaries in.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 07:48PM

Humanitarian. Wow!

This RM has to know that the LDS proselyting mission is anything but altruistic and philanthropic. Book of Mormon thumping is not the same as building a well or a shelter or teaching agriculture. So couching the mission in a deceitful way is a clear admission that he is not proud to have done it. Such desperation--trying to give the Mormon mission some dignity. Keep the front up at all costs. He has learned that well.

I do believe that about 80% at least are going due to parental pressure--direct or indirect. Twisted family honor. I really feel bad for these kids for they "know not what they do." Hope he enjoyed the hero's welcome.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 06:56AM

"Humanitarian service" sounds so much better than "door to door salesman for a religious MLM scam"

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 22, 2017 02:30AM

Maybe he was referring to teaching people English for free...

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Posted by: jaded ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 12:53PM

My husband just tells people he lived in Ireland for two year. It sounds adventurous instead of pitiful.

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Posted by: Curelom Joe ( )
Date: June 23, 2017 12:38AM

He could add: "Making my way as a traveling peddler" and it would sound downright picturesque. If he didn't mention what he was peddling....

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Posted by: Swiss miss ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 03:14PM

I would never get away with calling my mission in Zurich, Switzerland, a "humanitarian" mission. People would wonder what kind of humanitarian aid the Swiss could possibly need.

If I let it slip that I lived in Switzerland for 1.5 years and am then asked why I lived there, I just tell people I was a missionary for my church and that I am no longer a member. I hate lying and am not good at it. Referring to an LDS proselytizing mission as "humanitarian" is definitely lying.

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Posted by: focidave ( )
Date: June 22, 2017 06:50PM

Great response. Honesty is the best policy.

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Posted by: Bamboozled ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 04:23PM

Yes, you read that right.

We were there to preach the gospel and baptize. Others could be humanitarians.

One area we would visit a handicapped man who was living in an assisted living facility. We were constantly told by the staff there how great they thought it was that we came to visit and how it changed their view of Mormon missionaries as not being so obnoxious.

Of course, once the mission office caught wind of our "humanitarian" effort via the weasley spy network of DL's and ZL's, we were ordered to cease and desist. I was dumbfounded.

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Posted by: Aquarius123 ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 07:05PM

I am embarrassed and just don't bring it up.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: June 23, 2017 01:06AM


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Posted by: Chicken N. Backpacks ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 10:57PM

Other churches:

Build houses
Clear debris
Assist with IV tubes for starving children
Feed starving children
Supply mosquito nets
Drill water wells
Help with sustainability projects
Work with AIDS patients


"Can we mow your lawn?"

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Posted by: GC ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 11:49AM

I tell people I spent two years pitching religious propaganda to vulnerable people in Europe -- for what I refer to as a mild cult, which I am no longer a member of.

It often makes people laugh and it is true.

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Posted by: bluebutterfly ( )
Date: June 22, 2017 03:03PM

Haha this is great! ^^^^^
It seems as though the man on the plane was either trying to make Mormonism sound normal or is embarassed by it altogether.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 12:35PM

I always refer to my mission as "in a previous life." ex.: Yeah, I originally learned Italian in "my previous life," when I was very young. I only own up to my Mormon mission if they ask about "my previous life."

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Posted by: Mujun ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 01:24PM

I never referred to myself as such. I used "ex-missionary" or "former missionary." Perhaps my rejection of the preferred nomenclature was one of the seeds of my apostasy.

These days, I'm totally up-front and matter-of-fact about having been a Mormon missionary for two years in Japan, though I still don't use "returned missionary."

Thus spake Mujun

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 01:41PM

What I say--"Oh my god. I was raised Mormon. Can you believe it? I was even a missionary!"

People are either shocked, surprised, or simply ask, "A what?" since Mormons aren't the center of the universe where I live.

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Posted by: Void K. Packer ( )
Date: June 22, 2017 12:54AM

Humanitarian mission? Are they taught to say that or do you think that was just this guy's spin for whatever reason? I am so long out ('92) that I have almost no idea where missionaries go or what they do or how many there are.

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: June 22, 2017 02:15AM

Returned Missionaries don't get their money back. They just try on new clothes.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: June 22, 2017 02:34PM

Some of the visas state the missionaries are students. So they can say they studied abroad and be truthful. After all, the church would never lie on immigration forms.

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Posted by: namarod ( )
Date: June 22, 2017 04:41PM

During the years I lived outside of Utah, I referred to my LDS Mission as volunteer service on my resume. I focused on learning Spanish, living in a foreign country, and other non-church related duties.

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Posted by: Curelom Joe ( )
Date: June 23, 2017 12:41AM

"Oh, I went for a gap year in [insert country name] that was so great I extended it to two years!"

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Posted by: anonculus ( )
Date: June 23, 2017 12:51AM

Like when a former bishop says he was "pastor of a congregation"

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