We all know that elders make fun of sister missionaries while in the mission (Guatemala). I did it. The AP’s did it (Rob…). My companions did it. I even knew some sisters that did it. And this phenomenon was not isolated to my mission. Every mission, all over the world elders celebrate this tradition with fervor and enthusiasm.
Looking back on it, I don’t really know what we were making fun of.
Proportionally, they didn’t baptize any less than the elders. They didn’t break any more rules than the elders (quite the contrary). They didn’t give any more headaches to the leadership than the elders. There weren’t any more crazy sisters than there were crazy elders. For the most part, I think it was just a bunch of 19 year old boys finding reasons to make fun of girls.
I see two reasons we did this:
1) Sisters didn’t have to be there (of course neither did we, but that’s a post for a different day). If someone decides to make that kind of a sacrifice you’d hope they would be much more prepared. This, of course, ignores the fact that we were all growing there, all at different levels.
2) Because sisters didn’t have to be there they were always labeled as someone who couldn’t get married. Looking back at this I find it hilarious (and offensive): a 21-year old not married has no other choice but to serve the Lord (a 21-year old as an old maid is another post for another day).
The funny thing was that I had an example of a (nearly)-perfect sister missionary in my own sister (who was serving at the same time as I in neighboring Honduras). Whenever I was making fun of the most recent freak of a sister, in the back of my mind I knew they were the exception, not the rule.
But of course, to admit that would dampen my fun. And I avoided fun-dampening at all costs.