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Visit From The Missionaries


Daniel2

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Three Elders and the ward mission leader came to our home last week. They've been trying to catch my husband and I at home... a few days prior, they stopped and talked to my step-daughter. She had told them that we aren't members of the church any longer, that her dad and I both served missions, and we aren't really interested in having the missionary discussions. The Elders made two extra trips to our home anyway.

Finally, they caught me at home (my husband was on a business trip). When I opened the door, they were as nice as missionaries always are, and used all the same BRTing techniques that I was taught and mastered in my youth (my, what a lovely home you have!... oh, what cute dogs! Are those mini colllies?!... etc).

After introductions, shaking hands all around, and a few preliminary pleasantries, they asked who I was, if I'd lived in the neighborhood long, if I was familiar with the church, etc. Of course I was... this was followed by how... and to their delight, I explained I was born and raised in the church, was very familiar with it, have a very lds family, served a mission, graduated from BYU, etc.

They then asked if they could come in and share a message. I explained that I appreciated their efforts and valued my own mission, but that I was no longer a member and was content with m spiritual path, as is. They asked why? I explained I resigned after my wife and I divorced. After some talk about my marriage and kids, they again expressed a desire come in and share a message.

I thanked them again, and said that we had a great relationship with all our lds neighbors and families, but that the church didn't have a much to offer us anymore. They asked why... I explained that my husband and I got married last December, and since the church doesn't accept our family, there wasn't much point.

There was only a slight awkward pause, and the smiling Elder went on to talk about how great the church is, assuring me they'd love to have us. The conversation wandered for a bit about my own mission, and they asked where my husband had served... they then circled back and asked if they could schedule a time when they could come share a message with BOTH my husband and I.

Again, I politely declined. I said my hub and I knew where to find the church and attended when we felt like it, as we had on Christmas and enjoyed the program and singing. This prompted questions about whether we liked singing and choirs... we discussed how DH and I attend and enjoy the MoTab christmas concert each year (especially the muppets last year). They invited us to their monthly sing along gathering with their mission president, where we could hear a special message...

At this point, I really reiterated that as a gay couple, the church just doesn't have much to offer us. It would expect us to renounce our family and divorce, and doesn't value the capacity to love and relationship we have with one another. Because we value and love one another and believe our marriage is as worthy as any found in the church, but the Church rejects that idea, we hol no desire to return.

I wished them well, and bid them a good evening.

Five times the young man asked. After closing the door, I wondered why. I marveled how anyone would presume that the church would have anything to offer a couple such as ours. But I remembered my attitude, vim and vigor I had on my mission... the firm public conviction (and secretly unfulfilled longing) that the church was THE only path to happiness.

23 years has given me a lot of perpective, since my callow days as a missionary. It is a memory and experience I will always be grateful for... almost as much as I value and am grateful for the experiences and life lessons I have learned since then.

Bless those young men, that their lives ultimately lead them to find as much joy as I have found.

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BRT = Build(ing) Relationship of Trust.  That's my best guess, at least.  I find it an interesting insight that it was assumed that the missionaries were just using the Missionary Guide instead of actually acting on their own cognizance, personality, and preferred behavior.

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BRT = Build(ing) Relationship of Trust. That's my best guess, at least. I find it an interesting insight that it was assumed that the missionaries were just using the Missionary Guide instead of actually acting on their own cognizance, personality, and preferred behavior.

Perhaps it comes from Daniel's personality. I know my DH probably needed BRT training. Still does. It's not a man thing or judgement, he is just very introverted.

I, on the other hand, have no problem with this. These kind of questions just come out of me naturally all the time. DH once remarked, "you know more about that cashier in a couple of minutes than I know about my coworker who I have worked with for 10 years."

I do think, though some have missionary "zeal" and some have love for people and many have a combination of the two.

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BRT = Build(ing) Relationship of Trust.  That's my best guess, at least.  I find it an interesting insight that it was assumed that the missionaries were just using the Missionary Guide instead of actually acting on their own cognizance, personality, and preferred behavior.

 

In normal everyday interactions doing those things is called having good manners and being engaging.   When missionaries do it it's because they have nefarious motives.   ;)

Edited by bluebell
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In normal everyday interactions doing those things is called having good manners and being engaging.   When missionaries do it it's because they have nefarious motives.   ;)

But of course, I only BRT because it was a way for me to get in and convert them to an evil cult. It was a means to an end.

 

On a serious note, BRT happens naturally when you actually care about the people you are talking to.

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In normal everyday interactions doing those things is called having good manners and being engaging. When missionaries do it it's because they have nefarious motives. ;)

To clarify: I wasn't implying anything negative when I said the missionary BRT'd. BRT'ing wasn't nefarious when I did it on my mission, it wasn't nefarious when this young Elder did it with me, and it's not nefarious when I do it in virtually any sales or customer service conversation in my occupation every day. BRT'ing is simply missionary lingo for finding common ground and building rapport. I'm not sure how my use of the term was taken to imply I meant anything negative by it. On the contrary: I shared it in the Social Hall because it wasn't meant to be provocative.

Edited by Daniel2
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To clarify: I wasn't implying anything negative when I said the missionary BRT'd. BRT'ing wasn't nefarious when I did it on my mission, it wasn't nefarious when this young Elder did it with me, and it's not nefarious when I do it in virtually any sales or customer service conversation in my occupation every day. BRT'ing is simply missionary lingo for finding common ground and building rapport. I'm not sure how my use of the term was taken to imply I meant anything negative by it. On the contrary: I shared it in the Social Hall because it wasn't meant to be provocative.

 

I didn't think you were being snarky about it (that's why i used the winkie face), but it did come across to me like you were annoyed by it so i was just being silly in response.  Sorry if i read the tone wrong.  :)

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But of course, I only BRT because it was a way for me to get in and convert them to an evil cult. It was a means to an end.

On a serious note, BRT happens naturally when you actually care about the people you are talking to.

Sometimes. There are people, like my husband, who care, but still aren't able to BRT well. It is a product of love, but also requires a little skill.

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