Sunday, 16 January 2011

Things I should know by now #32 - Don't give mormon missionaries an in.

So... OK. I've started walking to and from uni, in an attempt to calm my nerves and get some excercise. Yesterday, I was tootling along quite happily, when I was approached by three men in black suits. My first thought was that I was being recruited for MI5 (naturally), but that turned out not to be the case. In a hurry to avoid conversation (I was on the way to do some work, and seriously not in the mood), I saw they were wearing badges that said 'Jesus', and, taking off my headphones, said hurriedly

"I'm already a Christian guys, baptised and confirmed - good job!"

And attempted to swerve them - it should be noted that this is not a total lie, I was confirmed when I was about 13. Unfortunately, I had not read the whole badge. They were actually Mormons - Elders from the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Oh. And well... it just sort of, snowballed from there. I would like everyone to remember that I was stressed about exams, and I hate being rude to people, and I panicked, OK?

"Awesome!" They all cried, "But we want to tell you about the Mormon message. Do you mind if we start by praying?"
I'd already told them I was a Christian. I couldn't then refuse to pray... could I? So there I was, in the street, being led in Mormon prayer, asking God to open my heart.
Mormon 1: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

Erm.... well, actually, I dont really believe in a God, at least not the Judeo-Christian one, and I don't have any particular questions for him anyway, but shit, its too late now. I lied as little as possible:
Me: I think I'd ask why its so hard to have faith at times."
Its times like this I wish I wasn't quite so good at bullshitting, I sounded so goddam genuine.
Mormon 2: Aw yeh, awesome question. Hey Elder Yin, do you know a good passage for that?
Mormon 3: I sure do Elder Peters, lets check out Benjamin 5!
I'm not exagerating, they really did speak like that. So there we were, reading from the Book of Mormon, and I was being given a potted history of the religion. Have you seen the South Park episode? Yeh, its basically that.

Joseph Smith didn't know which Church he ought to join, so he went into the woods to pray, and God told him to start his own Church. Its ok though, theres proof - Smith found some Gold Plates in the woods, inscribed with the words of God. Those gold plates had been buried by the Native Americans, hundreds of years before when Jesus appeared to them. No-one knows what happened to the gold plates...

So I'm smiling and nodding like a tool, and the next thing I know, they're inviting me to Church with them. At this point, we'd been talking for at least twenty minutes, and I'd been so positive, I didn't want to upset them, so I said I would 'pray on it'. Sounds good, right?

Mormon 1: Awesome! Would you read the Book of Mormon, so God can show you his message?
Me: (thinking, yess, I can just take the book and walk away) Oh yes, I'd be really interested!
Mormon 2: I've handed out all mine - Elder Yin?
Mormon 3: All mine are gone too - except this Chinese translation!
*Mormon laughter*
Mormon 1: Hey I know, why dont we drop one off for you?
Me: Yeh, sure, that sounds good.

This my friends, is when I made the real rookie error. I gave them my goddam real address. And why you ask? BECAUSE I DIDNT WANT TO LIE TO THEM. This is ridiculous, because I'd already lied in telling them I went to Church every week, and that I didn't have a mobile right now (half lie). There is no logic in this. But, in my panic stricken, revision riddled brain, it made sense at the time. I sensed that they were preparing to let me leave...

Mormon 2: Hey Rio, will you lead us in prayer to close?
Me: Sure. (fuck fuck fuck)

So there I am, praying out loud in the street, to a circle of suit clad mormon revision ruiners.

Bad times. I got home and gave the fellow Club Heartbreakers strict instructions, that if any men in suits were to knock for me, they were to say I was out and just take the book. I am a bad, bad, cowardly person, and I'm sorry. This plan was going fine, and I thought I had escaped, until today when I stepped into the corridor to hear Ricki saying
"Sorry, she's out!"

It was too late. I was stood, in the hallway, coffee and garibaldi in hand, they had all seen me.
Mormons: Rio!!

They gave me the Book of Mormon, and made me promise to text them to let them know if I was coming to Church on Sunday. This I will do, but I will probably say that its because I'm not ready yet.

I am a bad, bad person. Please, if you ever find yourself in this situation, just say you're not interested.  Say you're in a rush, sorry. Say you dont speak English. Do not lie, and find yourself snowballing towards an unavoidable conversion.

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