lds · memories · mormon

The First Missionary – Part One

“A man who is full of the love of God is not content with blessing his family only, but thinks about all of the people in the world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”  ~ Joseph Smith

That title kind of sounds like a Bruce Willis movie, doesn’t it? I assure you it’s not. I’ve spoken about our local full-time Missionaries a few times. Now I want to tell you about the first one I met, Elder W. His first name is the same as a California city, so I’m gonna call him Hollywood from now on.

Prologue

First I feel the need to share what I think about a relationship between a guy like me and a full-time Missionary must be like. I’ve been thinking about this and what I’ve come up with is a bit unorthodox – but probably closer to the truth then many people might realize. The type of relationship that I think is the closest is that of a Grandparent and their Grandchild. I’m sure every Grandparent loves their Grandchildren equally, but…there is always a favorite. I know this first hand because I’m known as #1 Grandson to my Grammy (and I’m sure others have felt the same way.) Also, a Grandparent thoroughly enjoys their time with a Grandchild…BUT…they are always relived to see them go. This is how I see myself and our Elders. Make sense?

The First Meeting

When Bruddah and family first moved back to the area he ended up getting a job that required him to work nights. Because of this I would hang out at his house and watch over the family. This is when the Missionaries started coming over. One particular day I was over there, hanging out, when there came a knocking on the door. Everyone was too scared to answer so they asked me to. I just happened to be wearing a t-shirt with “God hates Religion” splashed across the front. I opened the door and before me stood three or four gentlemen, dressed nicely. Only one of them talked…Hollywood. He asked if I was Bruddah and I said no. He asked when would be a good time to come back. I told him and he started to write it down in his little booklet. As he was writing he glanced up and saw my shirt. He acknowledged it and said “Nice shirt. We were talking about that earlier.” I was a bit embarrassed because I had forgotten it was on. They left and I didn’t see Hollywood for a few more weeks.

The Second Meeting

I lived just across the street and catty corner from Bruddah. I could look out my window and see if anyone was home. One particular day I was hanging out in my apartment when I decided to check out Facebook. Bruddah’s step-daughter had posted something like “Oh My Gosh…why did my Step-Dad let the hot Mormon Missionaries in?” I was thinking the same thing so I decided to check it out. This is what I saw…well, kind of.

Hollywood a couple of years before his Mission. Who else could make crutches look this good?
Hollywood a couple of years before his Mission. Who else could make crutches look this good?

I walked right in and sat down on the opposite couch as them. Bruddah came in and introduced us, and I lit up a cigarette. (I probably smoked 5-6 in the 20 to 30 minutes I was over there.) They asked a few questions, one being “are you spiritual?” I answered no and they moved on to other things. They asked a few questions about movies and music and then I was on my way…to the bar. I got up and started to say goodbye. Hollywood shook my hand and said “Hey, if you need any help, with any thing…like lifting stuff, just let us know. We’re young and strong. AND…we won’t even try to convert ya.”  Famous last words. This was mid to late July, 2011.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ Matthew 28: 19-20

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