“Of course, everyone was jealous of the Taiwan missionaries in the class next door because they, supposedly, had absurdly low rates of apostate missionaries and they spoke something cooler than French.”
I knew someone called to the Midwest (Kansas/ Oklahoma?). Ooooh… But it turned out to be working mostly with Vietnamese and other immigrants. So, it’s not just the location, but the language, and the culture, and the “specialness”.
#1 Best of Best: Italy.
Museums. Incredible works of art in public. Ferrari. Cheese. 10′s all over the place. “Something cooler than French”. Beaches. Devil-worshippers. Very few eating appointments. No dinner, only lunch. Sharing a small stove with three other missionaries, so the two hour lunch seems to pass in 30 minutes. Otherwise, $3 sandwiches outside. $1 spaghetti meal after meal after meal… Bikes or public transportation/walking. No hats in the freezing winter. 60F apartments. Humid air and blazing sun so you want to wear two changes a day. 90F apartments at night. No AC, almost no heaters, sometimes no fans. Washing machines that rip your clothes to shreds. Crowded buses. Watching sweat drip down the armpit hair of a grandma that hasn’t showered for a week and land on your shoe. Women of ill reptuation lining the road by the river. Crazy people. Biggest crazy (“God the Father”) walking around in white robes and a Nike headband, carrying a candle (“the angel Gabriel”), talking to your investigator on the street. Homosexuals asking you to “come over for a drink and a song”. Dirty sexual… posters all over the small street walls. High-classed sexual posters on the billboards. A woman falling back, almost fainting, making a cross with her fingers to ward you off (vampire-style). Children running around playing tag as the sacrament is passed. Men washing their hands and showing them clean in front of the congregation before they break the bread. And sometimes, a spouse.
Not last, and not least (of course):
“The devil’s backyard.” — President Benson
(What?!! That last one was only a rumor?!?)]]>
Second, Communal Showers are no longer in the MTC, I’m told.
That’s too bad. We had a blast covering the drains in the communal shower and letting it fill with water. We’d slide back and forth while blasting Tabernacle Choir.
listen up. If you ain’t been shot at while on a bike like yours truly on your mission you ain’t got no cred
I got punched in the face while on my bike, does that give me cred?]]>
if you serve somewhere not exotic, you have to do your best to make it sound exotic. ways to do this include, NY: discuss extreme poverty and gangs, AZ/NM: talk about living places where there was no running water. Midwest: talk about people who baptize their cats. England: emphasize Guy Fawkes day.]]>
For those who are bitter about not getting in, a bit of advice – don’t try to apply for the Spanish House, Portuguese Hosue, or French House.
Everyone and their dog is nuts about those languages and RMs who speak them are a dime a dozen. And a big proportion of them want in. Bad odds.
Instead, take up one of the more obscure languages being offered in the program. Arabic was one while I was there, so was Russian, Chinese another. Anyone who spoke good Arabic probably would have been a shoo-in for getting into the program while I was there in the late 90s.
Unless the place has totally changed since I was there.]]>