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“So You’re Going on a Mission!” Fun with Beans December 30, 2017

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Books, Humor, Responses.
Tags: , , , , ,

We’re nearing the end of this book.  (The 1968 guide for Mormon Missionaries, if you missed it.)  I’m going to be quoting at length from some sections of this chapter, because it’s just priceless.

Chapter 22, Recreation

Chapter after chapter in this book, there’s been instructions about the correct way to work your butt off.  Preach, cook, preach, clean, preach, wash, preach, write letters, preach, keep a journal, preach, and most especially DON’T EVER THINK ABOUT SEX.

Just reading about what these guys are expected to do is exhausting.  So finally we get to a chapter about how to rest and unwind.  Oh – not so fast now!

“Since no one can do missionary work intensely day after day without getting tired, most mission presidents advocate a day of relaxation, change, and variety after which a missionary is usually ready to work even harder.  Occasionally  a mission president has found it advisable to discontinue preparation day because his missionaries were abusing it by sleeping in the day prior to preparation day in anticipating it and then using the day after to recuperate, which meant a loss of three days from proselyting.  If you are assigned to a mission where one certain day per week is not designated  as preparation day, you will have to work in time during the week to bathe, shop, run errands, buy groceries and plan meals, write letters, make journal entries, clean your living quarters, get your hair cut, and take care of your clothes and car if you use one.  Recreation will be permitted at specified times.  If you go to a mission which does have a preparation day, all these things will be taken care of on that day.” (pg 193)

No wonder these guys needed to sleep in.  They don’t get weekends, and aren’t even guaranteed a single day off to take care of all that other stuff.  I’d sleep every chance I got.

So what can these guys do for fun?  She says,

“What you do for recreation will depend on your mission rules…  Missionaries should not expect to participate in any activity that is dangerous or not in keeping with the dignity of a mission such as hunting or target shooting, fishing, swimming, boating, water or snow skiing, dancing, or riding in airplanes or borrowed cars.” (pg 193)

Wait, how is swimming undignified? Ohh … I get it.  A missionary who goes swimming either has to take off their magic underwear, or go swimming in it.  Couldn’t have that.  And how is paddling a canoe in a lake or going to a wholesome folk dance class dangerous or undignified?  But both of those would be right out according to our author.

“Remember, how you treat your time on your day off shows precisely how you evaluate your entire missionary experience.  While some time might be spent catching up on sleep, listening to a radio or tape recorder, reading magazines and newspaper, strolling through parks, or window shopping, don’t ever give these activities the lion’s share of your free time.  Rather, take advantage of the wonderful things there are to see and do in all missions,  Don’t be like the elder who lived in London for a year yet never thought he had enough time to see Buckingham Palace.” (pg 194)

Yes, even though you are exhausted, be sure not to ever use your day of rest to actually do anything restful.

“Consider these two excellent suggestions for limiting your movie watching: time spent in a show can’t be used to advantage as far as making contacts – it’s quiet and dark.  On the other hand, if you spend the same two hours in a museum, you’ll be mingling with people and you could end up with several good contacts.” (still pg 194)

Because you wouldn’t want your resting day to be a day off or anything.  No, you are still supposed to be making contacts, because people who are going to a museum went there because they want to meet a teenager who will talk them into changing religions.  Right.

“In many areas missionaries are involved in branch activities.  In addition to organizing ball teams for youth activity programs, missionaries often find they are expected to help with Mutual and Primary activities, branch socials, firesides, family nights, and even birthday celebrations.”(pg 195)

And this happens in exactly what free time?  Unless this time is counted as part of their expected “proselyting time”, it seems like the mission presidents essentially own the missionaries, and can put them to whatever extra work they want.  Depending on the mission president, this could amount to essentially two years of slave labor.

“It is smart, therefore, to leave for your mission with a few fun games, mixers, stunts, novelty songs, and ice breakers tucked away in the back of your mind.” (pg 195)

And this is the reason that the next nine and a half pages of this book are full of those sorts of games.  You remember how much we loved those ice-breaker get-to-know-each-other games that would be played at the start of a year for a class or youth group?  Yeah, me neither.  Well, compared to these Mormon games, those were a blast.  Here’s a selection of a few of the suggested ones. (I’m drawing them from pages 195 through 204, and won’t cite the page for each  individually)

Fun With Beans (Equipment: beans.)

Upon arrival give everyone ten beans.  Until all guests have come and it’s time for the party to begin, a bean may be collected from anyone who says the word “Church” or some other designated word.  (If the party takes place during December, you might use the word “Christmas,” etc.) When it is time to begin the party, count up and see who has the largest number of beans and announce him as the winner.

How Old Are You? (Equipment: none.)

Players sit in a circle with “it” in the center.  He approaches a person and says “Grandpa,” “Father,” or “Son” and then begins counting to ten.  Before he reaches ten, the person pointed to must do the action asked for or change places with “It.”  If the word “Grandpa” is said to the player, he must pretend to stroke a beard; if “Father” is said he must pretend to shave; if “Son” is said he must pretend to comb his hair.

The Twitching Nose (Equipment: a coin.)

One contestant from each team lies down on the floor.  Place a coin about the size of a dime on his nose.  He must try to remove it, while lying flat on his back, by moving only his facial muscles.  As soon as he is successful, he runs back to the starting line and the next contestant takes his place on the floor.

Smiling Game (Equipment: chocolate papers.)

Put the little paper cups that boxed chocolates come in over your top teeth and then sing “You can smile.”  If you can find enough of these papers, it is hilarious to see everyone doing it.

Group Sing (Equipment: none.  Song is sung to the tune of “How Do You Do Everybody, How Do You Do?”)

First verse:

If you’re happy and you know it, say “Amen” (All: “say Amen”)   …

OK, hold it just a minute here.  How do the Mormons not already know “If You’re Happy And You Know It”?  Isn’t that song taught to every kid everywhere?  I know I was expected to sing it until I was bloody sick of it.  (Because nobody can possibly be happy if you aren’t singing all the time about how happy you are, right?) Is there anybody out there who wasn’t raised with that dumb song?

And this one:

Let’s Shake Hands (Equipment: none.)

Music begins to play and players start walking about. When the music stops, you call out the handshake which must be used.  Players then turn to the nearest person, introduce themselves, and execute the handshake which was called for:

  1. Chinese: Bow three times while shaking one’s own hand.
  2. Paul Bunyan: Place your own right thumb in your left fist and shake hands with what’s left of your right hand.  Say “Timber” as you saw back and forth with your partner.
  3. Model T Handshake: Take partner’s right hand and turn it as though you were cranking a Model T Ford.
  4. Pumphandle: Shake hands vigorously, first reaching for the ceiling and then the floor.
  5. Victory: Clasp your own hands above your head.
  6. Barber: Shake hands with right hands while using left hands to pretend you are snipping off each other’s hair.
  7. Society: Shake tips of fingers lightly, holding hands high in the air.
  8. College: Shake with right hand and slap each other’s back with left hand.

My spouse used to be a games professional.  His comment on all this was “These are not games.”

I’m really not sure how to sum this up.  There’s nine and a half pages of this stuff, and none of it is really any more fun than the ones I included.  As painful as playing “This is Oscar” was back in middle school, it was way better than what the Mormons of the 1960s thought was fun.

One more chapter left!

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1. jim- - December 30, 2017

My favorite is the Pumphandle handshake. And technically speaking no swimming for missionaries because Satan rules the deep and the water. Funny. I thought Poseidon had that one. But that is fact. As an exmo that one was the biggest safety concern for the elders. And sex of course. They messed with your mind about that one. Masturbation iOS a sin next to murder in the handbook. Missionaries have killed themselves over the guilt from that one. Funny shit here bro.

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - December 30, 2017

Satan rules the deep and the water? Then how does baptism work, wouldn’t that just be surrendering to Satan? Even with reading this book, there’s still so much Mormon stuff I completely don’t get.

Liked by 1 person

jim- - December 30, 2017

You just have to believe. Obviously you have sin in your life and don’t have the spirit. That rule is so stupid. It only applies to missionaries. That’s why I had an earlier comment on a different post on “make it up as you go” church. It’s like shaving. If they can get you to do the mundane things, they can control the big things. Mormons are huge on obedience = blessings

Liked by 2 people

2. Anderson Connors - December 31, 2017

“…you will have to work in time during the week to bathe…”

Holy stink, Batman! Your missionaries might not be too bright if you have to advise them when to bathe.

“…if you spend the same two hours in a museum, you’ll be mingling with people…”

Nooooo! Don’t effing mingle with me while I’m at a museum, LOL. Just knowing that someone wrote this makes me less likely to visit a museum.

“…these Mormon games…”

Those are the worst games ever. Especially if you’re past kindergarten age. The depths of depravity that religious people will sink to are truly amazing.

Liked by 1 person

jim- - December 31, 2017

This was 1968. It has gotten much worse. They are subtly demanding obedience from every level. The prophet speaks and they make it happen. It has caused some super blunders this past year on social issues

Liked by 2 people

Anderson Connors - December 31, 2017

I don’t have to deal with Mormons often in Central Texas; the evangelicals have cornered the market on door-knocking and tract-leaving. But whether it’s 50 years ago or today, it boggles my mind.

Liked by 2 people

Nan - December 31, 2017

We get JW’s. But they don’t stay long … like the amount of time it takes me to say, “Not interested. Have a nice day.” 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Ubi Dubium - December 31, 2017

Ugh, the JW’s! They don’t just have two years of preaching they are supposed to do, they all have quotas of evangelizing time they are supposed to fill. So I see them standing with racks of leaflets out in front of stores, bored out of their minds while everybody ignores them, just to get in their time. I’m pretty sure that one recently called in to The Atheist Experience several times, because they could probably count the time they spent butting heads with the hosts as “evangelism”.

Liked by 1 person

3. shelldigger - January 1, 2018

The only way I could have fun with beans, is to also have a slingshot. In fact, send me to church I’m having a thought 🙂

Liked by 2 people


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