if you’re mormon, you know about the changes that happened this week to missionaries. if you’re not mormon, here’s the new rules in a nutshell. if you’re a boy, you can go on a mission at 18. if you’re a girl, you can head on out at 19. this is big in mormon culture! i spent a lot of time thinking about the rule changes this weekend. (nope, not going, if you were wondering.) would i have wanted to go at 19? would i have been ready? probably no to both. a mission isn’t for everyone, especially yours truly. however, when the opportunity to explain my beliefs literally walked right up to me yesterday, i couldn’t shake it. read on for the full story, or quit reading now, because i am now going to explain in yawn-inducing detail about an experience that could be well summarized by the title.
so yesterday i was sitting in the plaza. mostly just daydreaming, but also trying to read el libro de mormon…. you know, the spanish book of mormon. anyway, i was trying to make heads or tails of 2nd nephi when an older guy, probably about 60 passed me.
“are you reading the bible” he asked. it would have been so easy to say yes. i thought about it for a split second. i figured it would lead him to say, “that’s nice” and keep walking, letting us both get on with our days and our lives. however, as i opened my mouth, i suddenly thought about all those 18 year old missionaries who would be running around in the next couple of months, and i figured if they could do it, so could i.
“actually, i’m reading the book of mormon,” i said, knowing i’d opened up a whoooooole can of worms. i expected some kind of anti-mormon super catholic backlash, but the guy just kinda looked at me, all puzzled. i realized then that he had probably never heard of this book before. so then i got nervous and figured i’d better talk it up, or his only impression of mormons would be pretty lackluster. i explained that the book i was reading was simply another book about the life of christ and contained revelations by prophets in the americas at the time of christ- that god had loved all his children, even the ones in america, so christ appeared to them after his death and resurrection..(and i know if you’re reading this and mormon, you’re probably like ALYSSA GET ON WITH IT. so i will.)
he was kind of puzzled by it all, heck, he talked really low and quick and with hardly any inflection, so i had a hard time understanding exactly what he was getting at, but we had a good conversation about the love of god and living a christlike life. he was telling me about his neighbor with drug addictions, there was some bit about a basketball team…. anyway, after him talking at me for 20 minutes and some head nodding on my part, he all of a sudden invited me to catholic children’s mass, where his friend was a guitarist in a band… and i thought, YOLO so why not?
we went to mass. they did a lot of standing and sitting and chanting and i saw the little boy priest pick a couple wedgies. i don’t know if you’re supposed to take pictures in the middle of mass, but i needed evidence to prove i was there. so here is my leg, and here is my friend’s leg.
after mass we walked a little bit (and i tried to end the convo quickly so that he wouldn’t know where i lived or ask for my phone number… i mean, nice guy, but i’ve got my european caution on at all times) anyway, i thanked him for taking me to mass, and i said he could come to my church anytime he liked. he said he’d come next week, so i got his phone number (and lied and said i didn’t have my phone and didn’t know my own number) and said i would give it to the missionaries so if he had any questions, he could ask them. he said it was nice to meet me, that he would see me at church this week, and that was the end of it.
so i don’t really know what the point of this post is, besides to say that sometimes sharing your beliefs can lead to you going to mass and hanging out with a complete stranger (but a nice one) for two hours. it wasn’t hard, and it wasn’t scary. and i think i just needed to type it all out so i can remember that for myself.
in other news, these asian roommates of mine… i tell ya what. but that is a post for another day.