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Posted by: MnRN ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 11:39PM

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/07/11/mormon-missionaries-walk-the-walk-in-detroit-lakes

Since there are few LDS in Minnesota, this is written from the viewpoint of an interesting cultural phenomenon. It seems pretty rosy at the beginning, but read through to the stats at the end.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 01:18AM

It's an initiation tour for young Mormon men. A lot of missionaries don't like what they see and quit the religion. The lifestyle sounds dreadful to me. I spent a weekend with missionaries when I was twelve, and I never wanted to experience that again.

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Posted by: Leaving ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 03:10AM

One of them is named Joseph Smith. Poor guy.

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Posted by: thegame2017 ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 07:40AM

"She was just under the table," he said. "We could see her. We got the message that she wasn't interested."

No shit Sherlock

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 08:59AM

They're running into a lot of "Minnesota nice." No answer, or not a good time for a visit. Is it me, or does knocking just over 20 doors seem like not a very productive day? They must do a lot of walking.

I have to wonder why these apartment buildings don't have locked entries. I personally would find it creepy to have strangers knocking on doors in an apartment building.

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Posted by: sbg ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 09:11AM

Detroit Lakes is a small town in western MN. It has a lot of summer homes where people are only there on weekends and vacations. The year round population is just over 9,000. Not a lot of doors to knock on.

Apartment buildings in that part of the state just don't need the security that one in the cities would.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 09:18AM

Well, I'm going to argue that if you have random solicitors entering your building and knocking on your door, maybe you *do* need the security.

I lived in an apartment building for ten years in my present locale. We had a locked entry so the only solicitors who got in probably came in just after a building resident. I was *never* happy to have them knocking on my door (which was thankfully rare,) and never once opened up the door to them.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 09:27AM

"According to University of Minnesota anthropology professor David Lipset, that might be the whole point.

The years young Mormons spend in the mission field, he said, have a lot in common with initiation rites going back through thousands of years of culture and history: They're separated from their families. They follow strict rules. They do difficult work, and the ordeal embeds them in the church forever."

Dr. Lipset gets it.

It's not about converts. Those are a side benefit (if they get any).
It's about trying to "embed them in the church forever."

It often works.
Sometimes it doesn't.
I'm glad it didn't for me :)

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 09:36AM

The Mormon church might even figure in the young people they lose after the mission. The RMs that stay in the church however, are locked in for life.

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Posted by: abby ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 09:58AM

If they truly cared about recruiting new members, you'd think they'd come up with a better plan. One in 3,000 people join. Then how long do they stay? Not long at all.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 04:15PM

If nothing else you would think the Mormon church would come up with a better marketing plan where baptisms are low.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 05:58PM

I don't think a marketing plan will make any difference.

Nobody wants to buy. No matter how much lipstick you put on the pig :)

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 10:36PM

A better marketing plan? Like you only pay 5% tithing for your first five years and it goes down to 2% tithing for your first five years if you can get someone else to join?

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 13, 2018 01:53AM

LOL! I was thinking more along the lines of church actually being a fun place to go.

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Posted by: Particles of Faith ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 11:10PM

Same mission I went to. Detroit Lakes is gorgeous in the summer. We had an Elder Joseph Smith, too. Some things never change.

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Posted by: BoniMoroni ( )
Date: July 13, 2018 05:05AM

FARGO territory.

Lots of Lutherans and Catholics with a nice sprinkling of Mennonites in the mix.

Mormons are an oddity.

Wonder if the kids spend time at the Public Library so they can get an hour of computer use "off the books" of the mission?

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Posted by: pishky ( )
Date: July 13, 2018 02:45PM

Interesting article. I live in a suburb of the "other" Minnesota, the urban Minnesota of the Twin Cities. However, I grew up in rural Wisconsin next door, so I understand the environment those missionaries are in.

Definitely Lutheran, Baptist, and Catholic country; even in the Twin Cities, Mormons are poorly understood and are regarded as generally "nice" but quirky oddballs, who may or may not be polygamists as far as the local's understanding. When and if people find out about garments, handshakes, rituals, and the promised land in western Missouri, any cursory interest is gone.

I sometimes feel a little sorry for these kids, people may be Minnesota nice, but very resistant to any change, especially regarding religion. I have a gay friend from rural Minnesota, and his folks were not so much concerned about his coming out, but rather that he changed his religion from Presbyterian to Episcopalian!

We have had once or twice missionaries knock on our door, and in a moment of weakness invited a couple to have dinner with us once. Funny how we never got a return visit once they found out I was a hopefully normal, happy, exmo that knew more about the church than they did.

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