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Bloggernacle Summit

MCQ - September 9, 2010

Rusty was in my neck of the woods last weekend, so we got together at my place with Silus and a random John for some fine talk, fine treats, and to solve the world’s problems.  You’ll be glad to know that we’ve got it all figured out.  The answer is 42.

Rusty, John and I even took an ill-advised mountain bike ride near Timpanogos the following day with some of Rusty’s more hardcore friends, who promptly left us in the dust.  When John’s chain broke, the day reached perfection.  Ok, it really was fun, despite the mechanical issues and getting torched by Rusty’s homies, but next time, I want to choose the trail.

I thought I would share with you some of the things I learned from this get-together.  The first thing is the thing I always learn whenever I get together in real life with people I have come to know in the nacle:  I really like the people here.  They really are smart, fun, amazing, good people, and I’m glad I know them.  The second thing is that we should really get together more often.  This meeting also reinforced the idea that this place is important to me, and you are all important to me.  I wish we could have a meeting once a month where we all get together at my place, have a BBQ, a dance contest, a bike ride, a bakeoff, whatever.  Just so we get to hang out together.  But mostly I want to make sure we continue to associate here. 

Also, some news: I have a new calling.  After years upon years teaching sunday school (which I mostly loved) and elders quorum (which I always loved), I have been called to be a ward missionary.  This is a calling I’ve never had before, so I could use your advice about how to go about it.  My impression is that this used to be a stake calling, and it has recently been placed under the ward category.  I’ll be working with the full-time missionaries (sisters, in our case) and several other ward missionaries, along with our ward mission leader, who is a great guy and my previous bishop.  It sounds like fun, so let me know if you have any advice or stories to help me out. 

And thanks, as always, for hanging out with me here.


  1. Great thoughts. I’ve also loved every face-to-face meeting with someone I know from the ‘nacle. Even Steve Evans was alright after he finally finished mocking my mustache.

    Comment by Ben Pratt — September 9, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

  2. Wish I’d known you were all in the neighborhood. Hiking’s not my thing but I’d have been happy to shake hands.

    Comment by Chad Too — September 9, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

  3. Ben, I’ve never met Steve in real life and now I’m dreading it because there’s no way he can possibly live up to my expectations. I will be disappointed even if he’s ten feet tall and breathes fire.

    BTW, nice stache, dude. Or, wait, are you just eating a mouse?

    Chad! I had no idea you were around!

    Those of you that are in the SLC area, please let me know in this thread. I’ll build a list that we can consult whenever we’re having a get together. I already know about Silus and arJ, but who else is around?

    Comment by MCQ — September 9, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

  4. It became a ward calling about 8 years ago. I was in our stake mission presidency when the changed occurred, and prior to that I was ward mission leader.

    The thing I learned most during those 4 years is to not try running a programme. Members hate member missionary programmes.

    My suggestion is try to find ways to teach the members how to make meaningful friendships with non-members and how to bring up the church in casual conversation.

    Comment by Kim Siever — September 10, 2010 @ 8:26 am

  5. Everyone I’ve ever met from the Internet has been super cool and nice. LDS-blog people or otherwise.

    Wish I could go to Utah to meet up with folks sometime.

    Comment by Susan M — September 10, 2010 @ 8:55 am

  6. Sounds fun. I’ve never met anyone from the internet. What, no one wants to come to Pageant? After all my positive PR?

    Comment by ESO — September 10, 2010 @ 9:33 am

  7. ESO, you have thrown down the gauntlet. We now have to make it happen.

    Susan, you had your chance when I was in LA. You could have come to Kings of Leon with me! Next time, I’m just going to show up on your doorstep.

    Kim, Thanks for the advice. My thinking going into this is that I’m going to try to create some safe, easy ways for members and non-members in the ward to interact and get to know each other. Something other than official church functions or parties. Do you think that will work?

    Comment by MCQ — September 10, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  8. Ha! It was a November thing. I doubt it’ll reappear this November; my own facial hair doesn’t measure up to my appreciation for the idea of facial hair.

    On being Ward Mission Leader: Don’t ask for volunteers. Go read that one conference talk on making assignments, and then make assignments as appropriate to your stewardship over the ward missionary effort. Stuff like trying to pressure people into volunteering to taking a Book of Mormon they can give away that week rubs me the wrong way.

    Comment by Ben Pratt — September 10, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  9. Yeah, our YM pres. pressured all the young men to give away a BoM on their trip to jamboree this summer. Only one of them was able to do it and several offended people in the process. Nothing worse than a teenager trying to push a book on you on a flight when you’re trapped sitting next to him.

    I’m not the WML, just a missionary, but I don’t see us doing any high pressure stuff.

    Comment by MCQ — September 10, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  10. I’m now stationed in Outer Provonia teaching the next generation how to properly fluff their hair for maximum fullness in the 27-seconds they have left before the camera turns on again. And occasionally we commit journalism.

    Comment by Chad Too — September 10, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

  11. I’d be humbly grateful for an invitation to the next summit. I could meet you-all somewhere, or you could come and help me glare at all the cell phone users in the library if there’s a session on passive aggression.

    Re the Ward Mission Leader thing: As a ward member, I don’t like having missionary goals set for me by somebody else. I won’t say so, but I won’t work for that imposed goal, either. (See above re passive aggression.)

    Also, if you ever do a Sunday School class or Sacrament meeting harangue on member-missionary work, don’t spend 35 minutes outlining — or dragging out of class members — every imaginable or unimaginable excuse for not sharing the gospel, long after everybody has lost any vestige of interest, and then spend the last five minutes lecturing us on how to overcome the most trivial of those excuses.

    Sorry. I don’t know what works. I know a few things that don’t work, though.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 10, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  12. I would love to meet more than the half dozen or so residents of the Bloggernacle who I have already met. I would love to be invited, but since I’m an old lady I don’t hike or bike, etc. but I could come to the Church Library and help all of you glare at the cell phone users.

    I would also ditto everything Ardis has already said so well about member missionary efforts and guilt trips. i guess the only real difference in Ardis approach and mine, is I will “talk back”. (One of the perks of being an “old lady.”)

    Comment by Marjorie Conder — September 10, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

  13. Unfortunately, the place for these kinds of summits tends to be Utah. Although I have relatives in ID, it seems I make it out less and less.

    Comment by CJ Douglass — September 10, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  14. I’m coming to NYC weekend after next, if anyone’s going to be there. Rusty, you owe me a Shake Shack burger. As you know, I am ten feet tall and I breathe fire.

    Comment by Steve Evans — September 10, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

  15. I knew it!

    Ardis and Marjorie, you are unquestionably welcome to our next convocation. You can bring the beer.

    And thanks for the pointers. I will avoid all talks and lessons on missionary work like the plague. To me, missionary work is best when no one knows that’s what they’re doing.

    Comment by MCQ — September 10, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  16. Most of the convert members of my ward joined the church when Pres. Kimball was the prophet. I’m a bit too young to remember what happened then, but didn’t he encourage the members to spread the gospel? Every member a missionary? Praying that the door of the nations would be opened? Evidently something was being done correctly back then. Perhaps it was his blend of practicality and kindness. He was very sincere and focused on ministering to “the one.”

    In my experience, the thing that works better than anything is inviting non-members to quality activities. Neighborhood parties, missionary farewell open houses, baby blessings, ward Christmas dinners, Relief Society weekday meetings, etc.

    Comment by Researcher — September 11, 2010 @ 4:47 am

  17. I’ve enjoyed every IRL meetup I’ve been to. The mismatch between how we imagine people based solely off text and how they actually look, sound, and act often surprises.

    Steve, maybe we can coerce Rusty to host something. And Shake Shack burgers are overrated (but their frozen custard is divine.)

    Comment by Ben S — September 11, 2010 @ 9:31 am

  18. Re: #7

    MCQ, I think that’s a great idea. I hope you do better than I did.

    Comment by Kim Siever — September 11, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

  19. Oh, and I agree with Ardis. I rarely follow through on goals set for me by the ward. I set my own goals and try to meet those. I know best what things I need to work on most.

    Comment by Kim Siever — September 11, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

  20. The answer is 42.

    Hitchhiker reference. Awesome.

    I’m north of Salt Lake, up in Layton. Would love to meet some ‘naclers sometime. Just sayin’.

    Comment by B.Russ — December 6, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

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