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Posted by: Toronto Boy ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 07:25PM

Attended Church over holidays with families. I attended several. The 4 men I met as missionaries seemed so young and disoriented. It was hard to carry on a conversation. One looked liked he missed is phone so much. I asked them if they were teaching anyone. No.

I met 2 sister missionaries. They were a little better at making conversation but again did seem to be really into missionary work. I asked them if the had any investigators and they said no.

All the missionaries seemed to be discouraged and said in many different ways that people are not interested in religion.

Has it changed that much?

All I could think about was what a waste of 2 years. I have never felt that way until now.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 07:36PM

The sad part is that these same "investigator-less", bored missionaries are probably sending home letters or emails about how spiritual and fulfilling the mission is and as they recount miracles and tender mercies and promptings of the Holy Ghost galore. And their parents and family are eating it up, hanging on every word. There is too much pressure on them to just write home the truth, "This sucks big time."

Yes. Disaster.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 01:58PM

Doesn't it make you gag!!

My aunt, who has been pretty good to me the past few years other than her TBM ways, always has to have a topic for her Christmas gifts. She had her son write this story about when he fell skiing as this year's topic. Her family always writes things in specific points and then tell you "miracle." So in this one story, they were about 16 miracles.

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Posted by: paisley70 ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 05:42PM

The missionary force in action!

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 07:53PM

One thing that has changed over the years was something I noticed only in one posting during my mission, '65-'67.

In every other location, at least, conservatively, 75% of the people we met had never heard of mormonism. So at the very least, we were something new.

In that one location, Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico, again conservatively, 75% of the population HAD heard of us, because the church, for whatever reason, had been in that small town for quite some time. The chapel had been dedicated by David O. McKay on 1929 and missionaries had been there from that time forward, except for the WWII years, so man, was it 'burnt over' country! There were no new people to try to fool.

In addition, there were only four missions in Mexico, the Mexican, the S/E Mexican, the North Mexican and the West Mexican; now there are 41, if I counted correctly. Which I take to mean that each mission has, in its totality, become 'burnt over' country.

Add to this that the greenies are greener than they've ever been and, yeah, it's a disaster, mostly.

But yet they manage to find people to baptize and I have to assume that chicanery is involved, in one way or another. When you look at the hurdles that other religions have in place to insure that the convert is making a knowledgeable decision, the mormon methodology promotes laughter, and then derision.

I just say to myself, it is what it is. But then, I had a good time on my mission.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 12:33AM

I lived in Guadalajara over the summer of 1965. I can still put that old Jaliscan twang into my Spanish if I want to.

I loved that city. I thought it was a beautiful place.

I have wanted for years to take DH - who is also bilingual - down to the DF as a tourist, because there are so many cool things there, but I have heard that it is now a terribly dangerous place for tourists because of gangs and crime.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 01:22AM

Chapala-Ajijic was a charming place when I visited there. I still have a couple of little art figurines (very distinctive style) that I brought home. There was a huge American expat community there. I met a few of them, and thought they were snobs. Many of them saw no reason to learn Spanish, because you didn't need it as long as you didn't venture out of the community.

Since I was there as an exchange student who was able to speak Spanish very well, I respected and enjoyed Mexican culture. It is SO heartbreaking, what the drug cartels have done to a warm and friendly country.

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Posted by: samwitch ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 08:32PM

No, it's a disaster. In the Morridor at least, I'm hearing anecdotal reports of more and more missionaries leaving their missions early or even while in the MTC.

Most of the US and Europe is now "burnt over" -- anyone who isn't already Mormon knows about the church, has probably been approached enough times to be annoyed, and isn't interested.

Nearly all of what missionaries do, other than service projects, has become obsolete: tracting, cold calling, teaching in-home lessons with each investigator, and stalking inactive people or kids. It's hard to imagine they get much in the way of results doing those things. Even the online chats could be done locally at the stake center -- no need to serve a full-time mission for that.

They're basically out there serving no useful function, selling a product nobody wants with tactics that belong in the 1950s or 60s. They're living away from home for the first time, suddenly disconnected from their online lives, friends, and social media, and getting blame and shame from mission leaders when they don't make the ridiculous quotas.

What could go wrong?

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 05:57AM

You got that right. It's as if they're peddling 28 volume sets of encyclopedias, life time supply of slide rules or ink cartridges for your typewriter. Everyone but Mormons have figured out that even God uses Google.

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Posted by: waunderdog ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 05:19AM

samwitch Wrote:
> now "burnt over" --
> anyone who isn't already Mormon knows about the
> church, has probably been approached enough times
> to be annoyed, and isn't interested.

This reminds me of when I was assigned to the mission office and our mission president got it into his head that the people living on the same street as the mission office had probably never been contacted by missionaries. So he had his wife bake up some pies and sent us over to make contact. The general reaction up and down the street was, "Aw f*ck, you guys again? How many times do we have to say we're not interested?" At least we had a lot of pie to eat.

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Posted by: deja vue ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 08:40PM

As painful as it is, I have to wonder if going on the mission isn't actually adding to the disenchantment of those involved and many actually find it a needed wake-up call to get the h*II out of Dodge.

Some may hang on but I think more and more are heading head for exit door either during or shortly after their loathsome "spiritual" experience.

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 08:54PM

My last missionary son got home a while ago. I asked him if his mission was what he expected. No, it wasn’t at all what he was told it would be like.

First, most of his work involved moving people and helping members. Second, the MTC training made him think people would be falling over themselves to meet with the missionaries—not slam doors in his face or throw previously left Books of Mormon at him. And lastly, those white baptismal pants his mother bought him were never worn—two years in a stateside-US mission without any baptisms.

He’s yet to say, “They were the best two years of my life!” I doubt he ever will.

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Posted by: abby ( )
Date: January 10, 2018 09:05PM

I do have a relative eager to preach. His senior companion apparently talks very little (English is not his first language) and isn't teaching him anything.

He's shocked at the usage of the F word in the U.K. It may be used more there or they don't have a high opinion of Mormons so it's heard even more.

It's such a wasted opportunity for these missionaries that serve in other countries to not be allowed to experience the culture. He had to stay inside on a major holiday.

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Posted by: thegame2017 ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 07:37AM

I'm in Scotland, I shit you not every time I see missionaries in our town centre they are just standing in city square being ignored by people. Nobody is interested and nobody cares. Usually eight of them dotted around on a Saturday and none seem busy. One is constantly just standing looking at phone.

Best two years my ass.

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Posted by: Jimbo ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 06:22PM

I visit family in Ayrshire . Ran into 2 missionaries by the town square . Talked with them for a bit . Asked them about thier being in Scotland . The one guy from Idaho the other kid was English .They said they don't knock on doors but mostly do the mischief thing in the town and people calling them .I can't imagine trying to sell the Mormon Church in a country like Scotland where hardly anyone goes to a church anyway . Church of Fitba that's about it.

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Posted by: Atari ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 08:30AM

I cannot imagine being a missionary post Prop 8 fiasco and the Book of Mormon musical.

And yes, the last few times I talked to missionaries they seemed very immature and totally miserable. Maybe they always have been, but I never noticed before.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 08:35AM

No one needs to be dragged into a destructive cult situation.

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Posted by: sparty ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 08:50AM

Yes, but I think it reflects more on the decline of the church than the actual caliber of missionary.

In the past few years, I've noticed that missionaries are really starting to look like children. Yes, this is partially because I'm getting older, I realize. All their lives, these kids have been told that if they are faithful and obedient, there won't be enough time in the day for all the teaching and baptizing they will be doing. Not so. Before the surge, I feel like missionaries at least had a year or two to pump the brakes a bit and realize that the real world won't be quite as perfect as the church movies make it seem. For a lot of the young missionaries, this realization can be hard - it's great for us, because this causes a lot of them to question their faith. Others, however, get discouraged because they assume they aren't able to find investigators because of some personal shortcomings on their part.

I have only met a very small handful of missionaries since the age limit was lowered, but the few I met were genuinely nice kids. They were a bit immature, and maybe even idiots, but Lord knows that I was a dope when I was 18. They should be off being obnoxious with their friends at college, or starting to learn about the real world in the workforce - instead, they are paying to be emotionally abused by an institution they have been taught loves them.

A perk I have noticed is that the younger missionaries are MUCH more passive than their older counterparts used to be. The church tracked me down a couple months ago, which led to a set of missionaries at my door. I'll give them a pass on the fact that they forgot my apartment number and went through the entire building asking for me. When they finally got to my door, they asked for me. "Nope, no one here by that name here" I replied. "Shoot...alright, thanks for your time..." they responded, and that was the end of it. Back when I was in the church (only 10 years ago), the missionaries would have asked me where I was (lolololo), asked if they could share a spiritual message, went home and got my address, then returned the next day. While this new mindset might not be as good for the church's statistics, it might leave some people with a better taste in their mouths in the long run. It always pissed me off so bad to have some condescending 20 year old tell me "Well we get moved around a lot, so I can't promise that missionaries won't be back here next month..." when I asked to be put on a no-contact list.

The missionary effort is absolutely a disaster right now, but I honestly don't think it's fair to place the blame entirely on the missionaries serving. Everyone knows about Mormonism by now - the internet has made it incredibly easy for anyone who hasn't heard to learn. The world is becoming more secular - despite what the priesthood and MTC lessons may tell them, people aren't sitting in their homes praying that some messengers of truth will come share the gospel with them. The number of people who identify as atheist or agnostic is on the rise, and people who DO believe are quite happy in their religious communities. The world is also becoming more private. I can't think of anyone who enjoys having strangers drop by to try to sell them religion.

My town just established a city-wide "No-Knock" registry. While it excludes religious representatives from its protections, the city actually had to hire a new part-time employee to help process all the registries. No one wants to be bothered, which is bad news for door-to-door missionaries.

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Posted by: gettinreal ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 10:50AM

On the theme of nobody is interested in religion...
Second, at the MSP airport if you connect between the 2 terminals you have to take a light rail train. There is a parking garage with an enclosed walkway that takes you from the train station to the terminal. In that walkway are frequently two individuals with a table set up displaying books and pamphlets. The theme is "What does the bible REALLY teach?". I am not sure who the are affiliated with, but I have never seen anyone talking to them (I frequently visit MSP). They look bored out of their minds.
So it seems it's not just mormons....

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 11:29AM

For sure. I was in a large Asian grocery store and a very white lady was passing out Bible thumping--believe or burn pamphlets. She was an enthusiastic 40 something year old so I certainly didn't feel sorry for her. I just "love" being handed a full color pamphlet telling me I'm going to hell.

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Posted by: sbg ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 12:41PM

I will need to look for this the next time I fly out of MSP. Have never noticed them.

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Posted by: gettinreal ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 03:10PM

They are on the Terminal 2 (old Humphrey Terminal) side, on the second level after you come up the escalators from the light rail.

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Posted by: sbg ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 03:55PM

Thanks, that is where I usually enter terminal 2. Or as an old Minnesotan would call it the Humphrey Terminal.

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Posted by: yorkie ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 08:05AM

gettinreal Wrote:
> On the theme of nobody is interested in
> religion...
> First, EXCELLENT!!
> Second, at the MSP airport if you connect between
> the 2 terminals you have to take a light rail
> train. There is a parking garage with an enclosed
> walkway that takes you from the train station to
> the terminal. In that walkway are frequently two
> individuals with a table set up displaying books
> and pamphlets. The theme is "What does the bible
> REALLY teach?". I am not sure who the are
> affiliated with, but I have never seen anyone
> talking to them (I frequently visit MSP). They
> look bored out of their minds.
> So it seems it's not just mormons....

They sound like JW's to me, I've seen their stands here in the UK with that message.

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Posted by: Trails end ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 11:13AM

Great news...poor buggers...imma go way out on a limb and guess the chorus of fossils still believe there's a strong demand for encyclopedias...poor little mishies are just collateral damage for fogey ism ...had three here couple months ago...just like lost puppies...thrilled when I bought em was fun to tease them about jimmying the speedo for more tourists miles on the church car...seemed just biding their time...and hoping she was worth the drudgery when it was least they weren't getting beat up by street thugs...but minus thirty for a couple weeks takes the starch right outta yer long johns

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Posted by: C2NR ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 12:18PM

I agree with what has been said. My TBM mother agrees that just because they CAN go on a mission at 18, not everyone should go at 18. There can be a lot of maturing between 18 and 19. There is a huge range of maturity at that age. Some of them have spent most of their free time with a game console and are just not mature enough to go. Bishops need to counsel some of boys to wait and do what they can to not have these boys shamed if they wait.

Also. the mileage limits are way too low, at least for some areas. Missionaries in southeast California cover large geographic areas, and it is very hot in the summer. They end up riding their bikes the second half of the month, and it might be 115 degrees. My mother gets asked by them frequently to drive them to Las Vegas (the mission headquarters) or to towns 1-2 hours away for district, zone and mission meetings. The church gives them requirements and then doesn't provide the resources they need to do those things. Apparently malls are more important.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 02:18AM

I think part of their 'reasoning' is to keep mission vehicles under warranty, that's how it was explained to me.

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Posted by: goldrose ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 12:35PM

My mother, who never complains about anything LDS church related, seemed to be really frustrated with their missionaries, who always report that they don't get feed enough from members. Apparently some missionaries made request in the past what they would like to eat - and then were disappointed when they didn't get it, or didn't say anything about their dietary restrictions until they basically showed up for dinner. I'm not surprised that it made some people annoyed. They seem very demanding. My mother said that the monthly allowance isn't so low, they just don't know how to save money.

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Posted by: sparty ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 01:17PM

At the end of my time in the Morg, the church tried instituting a rule that missionaries couldn't eat at a member's home unless an investigator OR an inactive member was there. The idea was that it would put pressure on the missionaries to "sing for their supper," but also that it would put pressure on members to be able to keep the missionaries from starving to death. Most members of my ward thought the rule was a bit ridiculous, so they would sign up to feed the missionaries, then say that their non-mo friend/inactive member they had "invited" "couldn't make it." I get frustrated sometimes how blindly Mormons follow their leadership, but it was at least refreshing to see that a significant population in my former ward was willing to bend the rules a bit.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 12:35AM

Is there some "Reserve Fund" available for medical or other emergencies?

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 12:36PM

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Posted by: Visitors Welcome ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 12:59PM

... namely that they learn to do without a smartphone for most hours of the day.

I didn't buy one until 2013 or so and in 2017 I already had to force myself to put it down and pick up my books or my bicycle.

But other than that, yeah, it's "make-work".

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Posted by: Badassadam1 ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 03:04PM

They are very lost with zero social skills, i feel bad when i talk to them because they are socially worse than i am and that is pretty bad.

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Posted by: emmahailyes ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 01:24AM

I live in a Midwest stake. Three total ding-a-lings I means missionaries came by over thaksgiving. They did a lot of eyerolls and giggling.I see them on the computers at the public library every time I'm there which is often. They have never recognized me as their targeted inactive. Moreover it seems that looking for teachable people would spoil there day of online activities.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 07:31AM

I feel sorry for these guys. They need something to cheer them up. Should I buy them a couple of hookers?

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 09:34AM

The only reason that I hold them accountable is because many of them return home as "heroes" and further perpetuate "the lie." They go home and lie about spiritual wonders, proselytizing success and the overall positive missionary experience.

"President Manly loves [us] missionaries so much that he took us fly fishing on Goat River twice. He is such righteous dude and such an inspired leader. Now my testimony is BEYOND epic."

If they would be honest and tell their parents that it was a waste of time and money, then word would get around that there are better ways for young men and women to serve the Lord. It has to start with mormon families making the decision to not send their children.

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Posted by: axeldc ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 08:52AM

I replied, "Then why did the LDS growth rate fall to below 1%?"

They are sending out recent HS grads with no college, no experience away from home, and very immature. Lowering the age to 18 was a big mistake IMO and robbed missionaries of valuable education and maturity.

I was much better prepared to go after a year at BYU then right out of HS. I couldn't imagine going at 18 and probably would have gone to another college instead of mission or BYU.

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Posted by: Hedning ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 04:09PM

I was driving through my neighborhood to the grocery store in suburban beach town Southern California, as I stopped at quiet corner in my neighborhood I noticed two missionaries standing on the curb staring into space. I drove off and then I thought something looked really wrong I backed up and rolled down my window, are you guys OK, are you lost? "No Sir" the younger one had been crying. These guys looked like middle school kids. OK I said and drove off. My wife suggested I should have taken them out for ice cream. I was wondering if they had been having a real good old fight when I showed up. Both of their shirt tails were pulled out. My first companion was a real d__khead, I wondered if maybe they had reached their limit with each other right there on that corner.

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Posted by: MeM ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 07:05PM

These comments help answer a question I had back when I was attending. For the previous couple of years, instead of giving mission report, the bishopric would assign the newly returned missionary to speak on a conference talk from the Ensign.(oh joy)
Maybe it's because the poor kid really had nothing to say.

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Posted by: Jobim ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 10:51PM

I live in southern Brazil. I do a fair amount of driving on a daily basis, and I can definitely tell that missionaries have almost vanished from our streets. I used to see them wandering around fairly often 10 years ago. I saw a couple of mishies last week, and it dawned on me that I hadn't seen any AT ALL for over a year, maybe more.

I didn't know they were sending them away straight out of HS. I'll definitely offer to take them for some ice cream if I bump into them... poor guys, so young away from home, and in the middle of our scorching summer to boot.

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 02:03AM

People are not interested in [their] religion.

... To teach and peach...

Can't TEACH people that already know it all. More than the missionaries - as Mormon - may ever know

LDS missions are destinations rather than paths. But definition, LDS "missionaries" are INACTIVE.

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