It's clear to me FM was not lying then. He probably had roommate or roommates that were there longer and just passed on how they don't eat dinner, and maybe gave him a piece of bread to hold him over, sounds reasonable that he'd get the idea it was a rule.
It's not necessarily about whether or not he was lying about the rule of no dinner....but the context that he set it up: Ie. missionaries were starving or losing weight from it. I also didn't have set dinners....because our mission combined our dinner and lunch hour into a big 2 hr block. For our lunch. I am one of those people who needs food consistently to feel ok. And I was perfectly ok. In fact sometimes I preferred not to have dinner appointments just so that we could work more....they could be time consuming.
Overall, I made my initial critique to your site here
. And a lot of those concerns remain. Other notes:
There is no way to fully "prep" someone for a mission. It's just not feasible. I'm one of those cautious people who asked everybody and their dog about a mission, read the white handbook pre-mission, etc....and it was still a surprise...I still felt like I was entering into another world when I left. For most it wasn't a shocker though. Asking anyone pre-mish, the answer was the same: It was great, I loved it, and it was a ton of hard work. As long as they're not like one of my companions who thought it was supposed to be kinda like an extended EFY trip, I think they'll be just fine for a bit of surprise. Your site is excessively negative and frankly to me states more about your current position and probably how you were as a missionary than anything else.
Your 10 things have things that are true, certainly: You're mostly not alone, not everyone goes for the right reasons, carnal desires don't magically go away. Those I'd basically completely agree with.
Things I wouldn't: Some do wait (or are at least available when you get back), it's rare...but it happens. I really don't remember a whole lot of "faith promoting rumors"...I never heard of your example. Why would I need them anyways when I saw and heard plenty of real miracles and faith-promoting events??? Though there's a chance you'll have a gay companion, the statistical probability doesn't lend itself for that. 1 in 10 might are likely to experiment but on only 2-5% (depending the stats used) actually identify with said orientation. A person can have at most 12-16 companions (assuming they never had 2 transfers together with any of their companions). Most likely, you'll have far less. Statistically that's just not enough people for it to be probable. Possible, yes, but not probable. I agree they need more sensitivity in language, dialogue, and thought. But having them wonder which of their companions is gay is probably not going to help. Bible bashing isn't effective, but honestly some of your site is set up in such a manner that you're encouraging some sort of fighting on the mish. And though not everyone goes for the right reasons, there is no reason why they cannot finish for the right ones. Missions change you, your purpose changes,...or at least it should. Oh and I most certainly do remember it being one of the best times of my life on my mission. There were points that were excruciating, but they also gave me the greatest growth and some of my most profound spiritual experiences. By the second half, I remember being at complete and total peace for the first time in my life. That feeling is indescribable. I felt whole and not alone and I loved and thrived on the gospel. I was so amazingly happy. It was definitely the best 18 months of my life up to that point. And though not every day was some "spiritual high," "Truly spiritual experiences" were not far and few in-between at all.
This would not be my top 10 things you'd need to know at all. Not if I wanted greater and stronger missionaries.
One last thing. I'm half black and I'm not uber racially sensitive...but your "black mormons" page is insulting! It's beyond ridiculous. I frankly don't know where to start...the only two I don't have too much problems with are the first two points. The interracial marriage as sin, blacks go to the CK, and why were black born black, are without any cultural/historical context, have no relevant or present perspective, and looks like it was cherry picked from some anti-mormon website. To all of the questions - all of them - the easier answer would have simply been: they were just about as racist as anyone else in their time period. And: these beliefs did not survive their era; they are entirely false and contradicted by current revelation and scripture. The history 70-150 years in the past are given excessive prominence, while the actual state of things are left with whimpy descriptions that make the current policies seem more speculative than the more likely folk doctrine thought 100 years past. I feel that page would do more to harm race relations and understanding in the church than it would do good. Want proof: You've got some random racist troll in your comments section just below.
Very last comment: If someone wants to understand the mormons who've gone less active that they are now currently teaching, there's not much of a need to look at John Dehlin. Frankly, the ones who've left for reasoning similar to Dehlin aren't very likely to sit down with missionaries that they most likely perceive as naive and a poor source for alleviating their problems. Frankly, Dehlin himself probably would have been too proud to sit down and talk with the missionaries....it's too low on the totem pole. To understand the less actives you'll meet on the mission the formula is quite simply: talk to them, listen to their concerns and their problems, teach to their needs, serve and love them, then go from there.