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Posted by: cheezus ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 02:09PM

being pimped out by the church...
https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/pc2kw1/i_hope_this_was_just_two_very_foolish_sisters_and/

One comment was about the missionaries not really understanding what service is. This 'service' offering is for a chance to talk to people one on one where the potential client will have a harder time saying no to being proselytized. And this is stupid risky for humans identifying as women to do this.

Anyway, this got me thinking about a time on the mission that I look back on an am really proud of myself. It was after dinner one winter evening and we were tracting. Usually people would not answer doors or communicate much more than wave us away, slam the door or say to us "I'm not very interesting." That was a French Canadian way of saying they are not interested. Always cracked me up to hear what could be a confession to being a boring person. Back to the story, guy answered the door and was thoughtful enough to tell us he was not interested nicely and mentioned he was recovering from some rare non-contageous malady. My timing and sincerity must have been just right because he stopped and changed his objection and let us in. He had us take a seat in the living room and began the chit-chat and small talk getting to know you stuff. He told us more about how long he was sick, how he has been almost a shut in for a while. Sort of lonely, etc, etc... Looking around the living room there were interesting pieces of art. I asked him about it, and it those were his drawings. They were interesting in that how the lines were made there was a 3D illusion built into the drawing. He told us about how he came up with the idea of these types of drawings and anything I could think to ask about. He was very polit with us and he started asking about us, what we were doing in that country, what we thought about the cultural differences, He kept trying to ask us about our church, and I just didn't bite on that offer. I would mention as little as possible and I turned the conversation back to him and trying to help him feel that some humans were interested in his well being. My companion even started in on the 1st discussion and I derailed him several times, and went back to talking about our host's life and seeing what he could share about his life's experience. I expected we would do more than chat for a while, when I asked if there was anything we could do to help him, but it was a nice visit. When we left, my companion was a little pissed at me for avoiding the church talk with him. I told the comp that sometimes you just need to listen to other people. I felt like I was following 'The Spirit" by listening to what this gentleman had to say and never regret that encounter at all. That comp and I remain in touch and has also left the church. We've spoken about that encounter and he looks back and appreciates the humanity of just listening to this guy's stories and experiences. Had I pushed the agenda that night I'm sure I would still be kicking about hijacking his evening and making his cost of "service" a potential lifetime of emotional manipulation and guilt.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 02:12PM

A very nice story.

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Posted by: Mordor, not logged in ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 02:59PM

Two things about this -

1. Why is their spiel written in English? They'd probably be received more favorably if they made the effort to communicate in Czech, you know, the locals' native language. That's what the MTC is for, to learn the language. Any Czechs reading their post already know enough English to not need lessons.

2. When were you in Quebec? I was 1980-82.

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Posted by: cheezus ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 06:26PM

92-94.

I wondered that too. Maybe the missionaries are blessing Czech folks with situations to practice their English OR the young missionaries are well intention-ed idiots.

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Posted by: Not logged in this time ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 09:27PM

I was there 80-82 as well. I stayed pretty much in Montreal/Quebec City areas. In Montreal...North Shore, South Shore, Mount Royal, West side of the city. One spot in Quebec City. One spot in eastern Ontario. Do you remember the renegade sister from Australia? Wild times.

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Posted by: cheezus ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 10:40PM

I thought I wsa in some nice areas... Downtown Quebec City was the best. I loved that area. I got to go back to a convention about 10 years afterward and stay at the Frontenac paid for by work. I was also in some outlying areas like Pembroke Cornwall and Levis. This story took place near Henri Bourassa Blvd and St. Michel. I loved going into downtown Montreal for P-Days. Me and another missionary went into the Notre Dame Cathederal and too off our name tags before we went in. We were admiring the art, architecture and cultural differences with the Catholics. Then this guy came up to us and started chatting. We did not let on that we were Mormon missionaries. The elder I was with was great at making stuff up as he went. He said we were on a Southern Baptist young adult trip from Georgia. He didn't want to make the Catholics feel like we were scoping out the competition or something. I didn't get why he would lie about who we were. Come to find out the guy we were chatting with was the organist at the cathedral. The stairwell was roped off that let to the cathedral organ, but he went past it and told us to do the same, up the stairs and we were overlooking the pews. People were praying and whatnot below and he sits at the keyboard and starts pounding out some mad classical music. It was loud up there and even the people below were noticing how loud and unruly the guy was as he played an impromptu concert for some goofball Mormons who didn't own up to being Mormon. Even then I felt like that must have been what Peter felt like when he denied the Christ. I didn't ever feel bad about it. That was a cool experience. I even took a picture of being up there and being entertained by a world class musician.

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Posted by: Mordor, not logged in ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 11:07PM

Sister M? I remember her well, in fact she stayed at our house in L.A. for a few days while waiting for another CMMer to drive down from his home, pick her up and give her a tour of Utah. He was from Logan and was my MTC DL.

My areas in order (hard to believe I still remember all this, but I do)

Starting in Sept 1980:
St. Jerome (3m) - comps from England & Edmonton
Val d'Or (1) - comp from SLC
Dorval (4) - Spokane; Calgary; New Jersey
NDG/Westmount (5) - Saskatoon; Sacramento; Oklahoma
Cornwall (3) - Northern Calif. (Fremont I think)
Farnham/Cowansville (1) - Dallas
South Shore (Brossard) (2) - Bellingham WA
Ottawa (2) - St. Louis
went home 1m early (June 1982) since missions reduced to 18 mo & I was sitting at 23m

We almost certainly crossed paths. My main claim to fame was writing a parody of "Ye Elders of Israel" that was circulated around the mission w/out my knowledge. But I have a funny/cool story about that if you remember that far back.

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Posted by: cheezus ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 11:36AM

How was Val D'Or? Were you the branch president there? I flew through there years later when I worked in Rouyn Noranda for a few weeks. Remote as all get out!


Where did you reside in Cornwall? It was funny even in the 90's there were some old folks that would name drop "Tommy" as in Monson. That always cracked me up. There was some guy there who spoke Gaelic and wore a Kilt to church a time or two. Wonder if you knew a younger version of him -- 60's? I think he was 70-75.

I met Ryan Gosling in Cornwall. And hung out with his dad and uncle pretty often just after the divorce. Tom was pretty angry about that, but he kept it classy. He taught some inflammatory elders quorum lessons where he was deep in the weeds. We liked it because he was talking deep doctrines. I think I even recorded one of the lessons. We stayed with a member family in an apartment attached to their house.

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Posted by: Mordor, not logged in ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 02:43PM

Val-d'Or was brutal. I was there Dec 80 to Jan 81. I didn't actually see much of it, since we were forced to stay indoors for our own safety.

https://www.exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1270692,1271225#msg-1271225

We weren't in the BP. The weekly branch attendance was maybe 10, including us. The extreme isolation would have been a bonus in the summer (no ZLs to get on our case) but during the winter, too dangerous.

An elderly sister in Amos gave me a hand-knitted wool tuque for the cold weather. I have it to this day, one of the few things worth keeping.

Cornwall was a blast, easily the best part of the mission. Not because of the area, but because of the trio of sisters across the border in Potsdam, NY. It was part of our district, so we could visit without getting in trouble. They were a lot of fun – laid-back, great sense of humor, liked to flirt and engage in risqué talk… what more could you want? All of us (my comp, me, and the sisters) were from California. They had a sweet living setup too, a two-story house; for three months I felt almost normal. We even had what was essentially a group date our last evening together before we were transferred out.

We spent a ton of time with them in Potsdam, so TBH I don't remember a lot about Cornwall itself. I do recall that for some reason our place had a radio, so of course we took advantage of that.

The APs once called us. They were doing a mission tour and asked if we could pick up some American Dr. Pepper for them. I didn't ask why they couldn't do it themselves, since it gave us a legit reason to leave our area and cross the border again. We bought them a sixer, and they appreciated it. Swear to god this is true.

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Posted by: Humberto ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 03:21PM

I recall feeling guilty whenever a discussion would "devolve" from the approved agenda. Now I wish there had been more such experiences.

Once we had stayed way later than the rules allowed at a dinner and subsequent party. Our ZL happened to try to call us while we were out, but should have been in...

When he finally got ahold of us, of course he was livid. I got off the phone and laid into my companion, who was a very nice Guatamalan dude who valued people over silly things like curfews. I blamed him for an evening gone awry.

Looking back, the inordinate guilt the church imparts is horrible... I should have hung up the phone, rolled my eyes, and had a good laugh...and then appreciated the fact that we had fun time that evening.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 07:46PM

Those young women sound very naive.

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 04:49PM

I love Prague. Helps that I'm 100% Czech. Both sets of grandparents came over after WWI and landed at Ellis Island. Their kids (my parents) met and married in NY. I've been to Prague 8 times. I love it (and their beer).Prague is probably the least religious major city in Europe, and that's saying a lot. Good thing most Czechs are a giving people, they're not likely to take advantage of Sisters painting and cleaning. That seems like indentured servitude. "The" church needs to stop this shit before some girls (and guys) get hurt.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2021 05:01PM by stillanon.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 07:16PM

Prague is, in my view, the prettiest city in Europe other than perhaps Istanbul. And so very sophisticated.

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Posted by: heartbroken ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 07:40PM

I agree.

I didn't know much about Prague until I read an article about it in the newspaper many years ago. It was described as "macabre." I love macabre. I decided I had to go there and went on my own. I was visiting a friend in Germany and took a night train from Munich to Prague. It was my first time in a sleeper compartment, a great way to travel.

Prague was even more wonderful than I imagined it would be. I loved everything about it. It is definitely on the top of my list of my favorite places to visit in Europe. Hopefully someday I'll return...

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 07:52PM

Budapest is great, too. I'd recommending seeing Vienna, Prague and Budapest on a single trip since you can see how naturally they fit together as part of the old empire and how artificial the division imposed by Versailles and then the Iron Curtain.

Prague is the jewel in the crown of a remarkable region.

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Posted by: heartbroken ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 09:03PM

I haven't been to Budapest. I'd like to go there. I'd also like to travel through Poland.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 09:08PM

Parts of Poland fit into the same cultural and economic unit, so too Yugoslavia and Romania. It's a fascinating part of the world.

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 08:58PM

Another plus; On the tourist loop from the Charles bridge to the palace, churches and plazas, they have all these little kiosks selling drinks. $2.00 for a bottled water, $1.25 for a coke and. .70 cents for a local Bohemian beer. I got the beers. Told my wife we were saving money. At 9 am.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 09:14PM

The Charles Bridge is wonderful, particularly those statues with the castle in the background on a misty evening. And Wenceslas Square with its clocktower, a remnant less of a "macabre" Czech culture than of medieval Christianity in general.

That was the heart of Europe, much more so than Britain and even France.

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 09:29PM

The astronomical clock tower is so cool. Plus, there was another one (forget the name) that you can climb to the top. I love the tenacity. One church was started in 700. Went through fires, disease and war. Finished in 1300. 600 years to build a church?

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 09:35PM

Less hopeful but nonetheless unforgettable is the Jewish Cemetery, which stands as an indictment of what Europe did to an ancient culture and people: tombstones squeezed in next to each other tightly because of the land restrictions, stretching back many, many centuries.

Have you seen it?

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 10:49PM

Yes. Isn't across from the Castle? Prague was spared the bombs from Germany in WWII. The architecture goes through so many periods. Not an architecture student, but I really love the spires on the churches and castles. Looks Medieval.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 27, 2021 11:27PM

Well, yes. The Castle looks down across the river to the Old Town, and the cemetery is located there.

I'm a fan of the Jewish Memorial in Berlin as well. All those blocks of stone convey a sense of history, of permanence, as well as an intimation of graves. There are often children climbing on those blocks and playing hide and seek among them. Some might think that irreverent, but I have to believe a lot of the deceased would be happy to be part of a park and the celebration of life.

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