Yesterday evening, we were accosted by Mormon missionaries while on a family walk. This is the third time this month the Mormons have swooped down on us while we were out walking. This year they seem particularly aggressive. The first two times, we tried walking faster to make it clear we were busy with our walk, but both times the missionaries ran to catch up and kept talking to us. I said we weren’t interested in talking, but they refused to go away. So rather than being even ruder than they were, I stopped our walk and engaged them in conversation. Their church must have omitted the course on basic courtesy.
Luck was with me yesterday, though, for I recognized the missionary group leader and told him we’d already talked, and after a moment he recognized me too. The last time we met, I had listened to his arguments and explained to him why each of them were either logically unsound or not applicable to me, and since that didn’t seem to faze him and he kept repeating them, I told him that his god and the flying spaghetti monster (Blessed be His noodly appendage) had equal probability of existence. The flying spaghetti monster comment threw him for a loop and he and his partner then walked away (thankfully letting us continue on our walk). But now he was back. After recognizing me, he asked if I knew any potential victims/converts – his words went something like "Do you know of anyone lonely, new here, who is looking for meaning in their lives … that we could talk to?". He and his partner then noticed our next-door neighbors out pushing their kids in a stroller and made a beeline for them.
The lead missionary’s comment about looking for people who are lonely or new to the area cracks me up. Is he a missionary or a serial killer? These guys are starting to annoy Barb and I, but the real problem with these overzealous Mormons is that they, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, use these tactics on people who are very vulnerable. I remember my grandmother, who lived alone for many years, saying that she was very afraid of these people because they would perceive your weakness and force their way into your home and your life. Having personally experienced the tactics of both groups, I can say with certainty that these groups (the Jehovah’s Witnesses in particular) are like a pestilence that, once given an opening and allowed to take root, is difficult to eradicate.