Monday, June 24, 2013

facetracting

Yesterday was a big day in the Mormon world, because instead of making us sit quietly and sneak glances at Twitter for three hours, they made us sit quietly and sneak glances at Twitter for four hours, because there was a big conference broadcast around the world discussing missionary work.

While 50% of my blog readership will be familiar with the details of this meeting already, and the other 50% don't care, I'll speak about it at length because I am dying to get the previous post off of the main page before my mom follows through with her perpetual threat to read my blog, and this subject has the nice side effect of featuring my religiosity prominently so she can be assured that I occasionally listen at church.

I kid. I'm not going to speak at length about it because I was not-so-stealthily checking Twitter for the extent of the meeting. However, this meeting was important because the higher-ups declared that Missionaries can now use Facebook. This is entirely inconsequential to the world at large, but because the Mormon religion1 is run by old men and there's nothing old men like more than to complain about how kids these days are soft, please, indulge me.

When I served a mission, Facebook didn't even exist. I'm pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg was still in diapers. Wikipedia hadn't been invented. Nobody I knew younger than 50 had a cell phone. Back then, you had to send letters, and you had to put stickers of the saints on the letters so that the mailmen would see that a higher power was watching them and they would actually deliver the letters. And even then there was something like an 80% success rate.

After getting to Argentina, you had to wait a month before any sort of communication would make it from the states. That's right, kids, a month. Do you even know how long that is? That's basically the amount of time it takes you to do a long division problem without a calculator. Or the approximate amount of time you will qualify for Social Security payments in the future. Either way.

And now you can use Facebook??! I can see how that's going to go. "Oh sure, President, I'm just here on Facebook doing...uhhhh...'Missionary Work'...riiiiight. Let me just close out these spiritual cat videos and I'm going to finish teaching the 'discussion' about how swimwear is of the devil."

I didn't even have a phone in most of my areas. In one city, we literally had a member across town who would take phone calls for us, hop on his moto, swing by and bang on our windows in the middle of the night if someone wanted to talk to us.2 That is basically how I found out about my grandmother's death. And you get Facebook?? HOW DO YOU EVEN THINK YOU ARE SERVING A MISSION?

So next time you stop by my house and forget my name and tell me that you're not going to tract, but are going to sit in the library clicking through cat memes waiting for me to show up with some interested investigators, well, let me just say: enjoy superpoke son.

1. They hate it when you call it that! Someone actually cringed and corrected the Sunday School teacher yesterday which was pretty awesome if you like awkwardness.
2. And believe me, he got really tired of doing that for every like on our FB statuses.

1 comment:

brittney said...

That's a good story, Grandpa.