23 February 2013

If they knocked on your door

Since the change in missionary age for both young men and young women that was announced in October 2012, life in Mormondom has gotten all kinds of interesting. Colleges and universities in the Mother Land, Utah, are having to rethink their admissions policies; young men and young women are having to rethink dating strategies; and mission-oriented retailers (ahem, Mr. Mac) are having to find new places to stuff all the cash that they are raking in.

It's an exciting time, but things sure have changed from when I served as a missionary in that foreign outpost known as Miami. Missionary service is a lot different today. We tracted, or knocked doors, endlessly. And I mean endlessly. Was it productive? Probably not. Did I learn something? I learned tons and found some amazing people. I worked with some amazing missionaries along the way too. Today, missionaries serve in totally different ways and are making a difference in a way we could have only hoped to have achieved. Missionaries look different too. The young men are younger and now the sisters are too. Missions are, for good reason, regimented things, and a for awhile there, appearance guidelines made the sisters appear a little polygamist wifey, which is never ever a good look.

A year after I got off my mission, it was Halloween party time at my BYU ward. Now this being BYU, Halloween costumes meant, and still mean, that the women cannot dress up like they are working the pole and that modesty and a modicum of decorum remains paramount. As a couple of buddies and I thought about what we would do for said party, a couple of things came into play...what would be most borderline offensive and since it was off-campus, how far could we take things without a run-in with the Honor Code enforcers. Given those guidelines and since we were living in a ward full of recently returned missionaries, both male and female, there was only one option - this:
Imagine if any one of these 'sisters' knocked on your door
Yep, a living satire on the sister missionaries of the time (remember, this party was 25 years ago!). The jumpers, courtesy of the local thrift emporium Deseret Industries, were pretty much required uniforms in those days. And in some cases, so was the slightly superior smirk I'm sporting (yeah, that's me on the left - 25 years and, gulp, 70 fewer pounds ago). Our fourth 'companion' is not in this picture, but let me assure you, there was a fourth. We weren't about to violate 'mission rules.' So when we made our grand entrance at the party at Bridal Veil Falls, we got the reaction we hoped for. We probably got a bigger reaction because our tags read 'Blister' instead of 'Sister.' It was, in a word, awesome and that's all I'll say about that, at least in this post.

Now if anyone of the three sweet spirits pictured above knocked on your door wanting to share a message, you would slam the door without hesitation, and rightfully so. I served with some incredible young women back then and the young women who are opting to go on missions and are being called to serve today are going to do great things. So are the young men. Whether people choose to listen to their message or not, they are serving, truly serving, and trying each day to make the world a better place. That's not a bad thing at all.

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