I know I said I would do a feel good post about what I like about Mormonism as my next post but that is requiring some work and I really wanted to post about something that came to mind this week.
I was reading over at the Koda Think Tank, Koda wrote a post about some goings on around the time that he went on his mission. He wrote about feeling guilty and about nearly getting sent home. It reminded me of Rockstars mission.
Rockstar nearly got sent home when he was about 2 months off completing the 2 year mission. He had been sent to New Zealand (not an important part of the story just fyi). His favourite all time companion (lovingly referred to as MB - marijuana boy by his wife, Angry Baker, because he calms her down eh!) had recently finished his 2 years and returned to the USA. Rockstars productivity had begun to slide a little and he and his comp (companion, missionaries are paired up usually for a few months at a time and reside in bachelor style flats, ew stinky!) had been neglecting to check in with superiors and report on their whereabouts and statistics. They had also indulged in the viewing of a few movies at member families homes.
They (I think it was about 4 of them) got called on for a meeting with the Mission President who had to make a special trip to meet with them. It was clear to all 4 young elders (haha, 'young elders'.... an oxymormon?! ) that they were probably going to be sent home.
This is where I get to my point.
Rockstar started thinking about what he would do if he were sent home early. Now for those uninitiated in the ways of the Mormons, being sent home early from mission is certainly up there as one of the most shameful things that could happen to you. Rockstar decided that when the plane landed in Sydney that he would just disappear. He wouldn't catch the connecting flight to Perth, he would drop off the radar and go from there.
He didn't know when or if he would contact his family or myself. We had written to each other pretty much every week (we each now have a shoebox full of letters, oh so romantic) but he felt so icky about being sent home early from mission that he didn't know whether he could bare to face any of us.
The story ends well. The boys were not sent home early. Rockstar finished his mission and returned with honour. Romance resumed and so on, yadda yadda.
Hmm. So what I am interested in here is the aspect of control on mission. There are so many rules! Geez! most of these kids are 19-21 years old. From what I've seen of missionaries - I sat across the family dinner table from many elders in my childhood. I have fed many elders (and sisters, not so many of them but they're great) in my home. I would use two words to describe them. Kind and energetic.
Since the mission is expected of every young man it bugs me no end that the rules are so strict and in many cases so ridiculous. I will beg Rockstar to post about some of his experiences.
I am looking forward to moving house so that when eventually we get a pair of missionaries randomly knocking on our door (currently I think our house may be a no-go zone for missionaries, scary apostates reside here) I plan on letting them know we're exmo' but inviting them for dinner, conversations etc. I am so grateful to all of the splendid New Zealanders who looked after Rockstar on his mission and I would like to continue to offer support to any elders/sisters who are game enough to spend time in our home.
Lighten up Mission Presidents!