Saturday, October 28, 2006

missionary opportunity

I was talking to a TBM relative (who had no idea about my stance on the church). She asked me what it was like to live “in the mission field.” “What’s the church like out there?” I told her about the local ward, which I haven’t attended in 18 months. It’s diverse, poor, small. Lots of people on the ward list, less than half actually attend. “Struggling.” It takes two cities to make one ward.

“Yes,” she said, “there are a lot of missionary opportunities, aren’t there?”

“Hmm,” I answered non-committedly.

“But even here in Utah,” she continued. “Where we live, out next door neighbors have never been to church as long as we’ve lived there. And the neighbors on the other side, they used to go but just suddenly stopped going. Just like that.”

“Huh.”

“So there are lots of missionary opportunities, even here in Utah. We just show them a good example.”

I wanted to gag, and to tell her that they probably just want to be left alone about the church. But I didn’t, because I didn’t want to “out” myself. I can’t be myself and speak my mind in front of my own family.

3 comments:

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Wouldn't it be nice to actually tell people who act like this that people would probably prefer being left alone, so why not just leave them alone?

montchan said...

This is one thing that I must say I really appreciate about the members here. I asked to be left alone, and they did just that.

Last year while going to work, I would take the same bus as a lady from church that lives on the same route. We sat next to each other and chatted every day, and she never mentioned the church.

Finally, one day I couldn't resist, and asked her why she never tried to bring me back, and she answered "I thought you didn't want to be bothered?"

I really learned to respect the members in my town from that point on. We see each other while shopping, at the library, at the clinic, and they smile, say "hello" and that is all.

from the ashes said...

SML-I would really have liked to tell her. I probably should have. But I was surrounded by extended family, none of whom knew my "situation." I was chicken. And I didn't want to ruin the occasion for them.

montchan- You seem to be in a lucky situation. Actually, members here haven't bothered me either. But they also don't talk to me--at all.