You should have asked them to mow your lawn; they would have happily done it. Then you might think to yourself, "Gee, what kind of wackos would do something like that?" You might also ask about their crazy religion and let them come in for a drink. Then we've got you!

The Bible actually says something about going door-to-door in it. Something along the lines of crying repentence unto every house, etc. Supposedly the Jehovah's Witness's take this extremely to heart and systematically hit every house they can, over and over again.

If a Mormon missionary is going door-to-door it means they have nothing better else to do. Their goal is to convert people to what they believe is the true faith. If all else fails they resort to this method. The Church has found that this method isn't very effective actually, even though it does occasionally yield a catch. Our missionaries try to focus on more effective methods like working with families in the Church to convert their friends/relatives, responding to requests for information or materials, etc. They will often also simply walk around a neighborhood talking to people working in the yards, or sitting on the porch instead of knocking on doors.

It's very important to note that, at least with Mormons, the goal of door-to-door proselyting is not to convert someone at the doorstep, or just to drop off some materials. The goal is to set up an appointment to have a personal discussion with them. The missionaries visit a person several times over the course of weeks with the goal of baptizing them. They also help them to find friends at Church, and answer any questions they have. They should (but don't always) continue to visit the person after baptism as well. I don't see how this would be a wrong thing to do. Mormons feel that they have the truth and that they have a responsibility to share that truth with the world. They don't (or, at least, shouldn't) take that to the extremes of forcing their views on other, or shunning people with different views.

A mission isn't necesarilly "required". It's not like you won't get into heaven if you don't go or something. The Church does encourage every male member (within some age range, 18-24?) to go on a 2-year mission though. It's very easy to show that a mission is almost always a positive event for a person. Beyond the religious benefits many missionaries learn foreign languages, develop much better communication skills, and are almost always put into leadership roles. Any employer who knows anything about a Mormon mission would count it as a bonus.

Wow, is this ever a ramble. I guess at some point I'll put together a coherent description of the Mormom mission.

The only run in I've had with door-to-door Mormons was while I was living in an off campus house in Lynchburg, Virginia. It was winter and the snow on our front lawn was more ice than anything, in the stages of melting. I walked out on the front porch and saw a Mormon pair of boys setting out on my next door neighbor's steps.

Knowing they were likely coming to my house next, I broke out a can of black spray paint and decorated the snow patches with grafitti: anarchy symbols, SATAN LIVES HERE, among others. I was heading out the door anyway, so I hopped into my car.

As I was backing out of the driveway on the far side of my house, there they were on my front lawn. The house was now empty and they were actually smiling at the stuff I'd painted for their benefit.

Good to know they have a sense of humor.

I will be the first to say that being pulled out of a warm bath on a Friday night after a hard day at work by people you really don't want to talk to isn't the most pleasant thing. But there are some things you can do to make things a bit easier with the 'Elders'.

One: If you really don't want them there, put up a 'No Soliciting' sign -- they are required by law (and manners) to not bother you. This will also keep Jehovah's Witness, Hari Krishnas and other Faith Peddlers away. Along with the Fuller Brush Man.

Two: If you do answer the door, don't be an ass about it. Let them say their piece then politely tell them that you're not interested -- they're used to this and, believe it or not, they won't think any less of you. Slamming the door in their faces or screaming obscenities is not the way towards enlightenment.

Above all, never forget that, even though they look like walking billboards for the Men's Warehouse Clothing Store, they are simply decent people and if you treat them well, they'll treat you the same way regardless of whether you want to listen to them spout or not. Purchase does not increase the odds of winning.

I discovered, quite by accident one morning, the best way of deterring the door-to-door preachers from visiting.

After a particularly long week at work, I finally got to have my sleep-in on the Saturday morning. Much to my chagrin, there was a knock on the door at about 8:30 that morning, raising me from a blissful sleep, and dreams of chasing rabbits.

Nobody ever visited me in those days, unless I knew them personally, or they were there to read the meter.

I finally got up after what seemed like about 3 hours of loud knocking on the door (they probably only knocked once, but in a dozey state, things seem magnified somehow). Still in my sleeping attire (i.e. sans-clothing of any kind) I hid my nakedness behind the door and opened it. Assuming I knew who it was, I just said "Come in." and then walked off, not caring who saw my lilly-white butt.

There was a giggle, and a stammered " don't know us but..." (I don't know if they said "but" or "butt"). I spun around, now fully aware of what I had done, and revealed myself in my full birthday-suited glory. There were two young woman and a small boy standing on my doorstep trying to avert their eyes, but failing.

I quickly raced back to the door and hid behind it and poked my head around to talk to them. They were still stammering, and trying to remember what they were doing there. I calmly told them that this was not a very good time, and that I wasn't too interested.

I went back to bed and had a blissful few hours more sleep. When I woke I recalled what had happened in my sleepy state, and laughed for the rest of the day recalling the look on their faces.

Needless to say, I didn't see them for the remainder of the time I lived at that address.

A mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka Mormons) is voluntary, and requires that paper work be filled out and personal interviews made before applicants are accepted to represent the Church.

Single male missionaries must be at least nineteen, and single female missionaries must be at least twenty-one. The men serve for 24 months, although this period can be extended for a few months and vice versa; The women serve for 18 months. Before missionaries embark to their assigned mission they spend at least three weeks in the MTC(Missionary Training Center) generally the one located in Provo, Utah on Brigham Young University campus. While at the MTC and in the field, each missionary has a roommate, or companion, whom they spend most of their time with. These are periodically switched every 2-6 months.

If the missionary has been called to a foreign language-speaking mission he or she generally stays in the MTC for a longer period of time to learn the language in an intensive study program. Besides studying language, culture and manners, the missionaries learn more about their religion as they study the scripture almost completely unique to their religion, The Book of Mormon.

The missionaries learn six sets of "Discussions" which teach the main principles of the gospel including their faith in God, the Eternal Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost; faith in the latter-day prophet Joseph Smith, baptism and eternal family relationships. These discussions are memorized to maintain the pure doctrine and are simple to understand. The discussions are based on personal prayer. The person investigating the religion is challenged to pray and personally reflect on what the missionaries present.

If the investigator decides to listen and participate in all six discussions, then he or she will eventually be challenged to baptism.

The missionaries, however, do not only teach discussions. They are required to do community service, and some missionaries work solely at Mormon temples, and do not ever go door-to-door. (I have just learned there are missions solely for service--without proselyting or temple work.) This is common for adult LDS couples and single adult women who serve missions. I don't know what age requirement there is there, but they generally serve for a period of 18 months, although it is very easy to reapply for a longer term.

Missionaries are required to dress in the business attire of the country they serve in, wear name tags, and be addressed by their last name with "Elder" or "Sister" as a prefix. Single missionaries pay about four hundred dollars a month to serve. They are primarily teachers and tools of service for the communities they serve in. In many countries they teach English, such as Japan. A mission is not required but is heavily encouraged as it forces members of The Church of Jesus Christ to study their religion, focus on serving others, and be independent.

The Mormon building in Blacksburg, Virginia (I believe it's called an "Institute of Religion" or something similar; it looks like an average neighborhood house) is located across Washington Street from two dorms on the Virginia Tech campus. I used to live in one of these dorms, Barringer Hall, which actually cornered on Washington and Kent Street, both of which form a border of campus at that point.

My window faced out onto Kent Street, and every so often during good weather, I'd look out and see two Mormon missionaries, just pacing up and down Kent and occasionally up Washington, always staying on the sidewalk, and turning around as soon as the other side of the street became part of the Tech campus. After puzzling over this for a little while, I figured it out. They weren't allowed to come on campus, because that would be a violation of VT's anti-soliciting policies (or close to a violation -- I wouldn't expect them to file a lawsuit against VT over that policy on freedom of religion grounds, that would likely be counterproductive, and they don't seem like that kind of people anyway). But the sidewalk by the street wasn't technically campus, so they could walk up and down it all they wanted.

It was kinda depressing watching them just do this for a while, as students did their damnedest to avoid them on their way whereever the students were going. And then I went out and did the same thing myself, on my way over to the Wesley Foundation. It was one of those times that made me analyze my own behavior and personality.

Living in Utah, I have had many run-ins with Mormon Missionaries. My personal favorite were the two Elders who came to my door about three times over the course of two weeks, always at the same time (about 8:00 AM). I am almost always asleep or in the shower at this time of the morning so at about visit number 3 I was starting to get more than a little pissed off. On visit number four I decided that enough was enough. I answered the door in my bath-robe wearing two and a half days growth on my face. Just to top it all off I stopped by the kitchen and grabbed a can a stale beer that had been out from the previous night (I did this for effect, I don't drink) and a dish towel. Then before I opened the door I grabbed the BB Gun from the hall closet that resembles a .30-6. Now, with beer, towel and gun in hand I open the door to two very surpriesed looking Missionaries. I procead to put the beer on the table by the door and polish the barrel of the gun.

"Well, Whadayawant?" I snarled.
"umm.. uh...."
"Then get the hell off my lawn!"

I never saw them again.

I had many many run-ins with door-to-door Mormons in the summer I spent in Pocatello, Idaho as a door-to-door book salesman.

We'd walk the same streets, ring the same doorbells, and have the same doors slammed in our faces. I ran into a number of d-t-d Mormons, as I worked different areas. I would talk to them and we'd exchange information ("Hey, don't go to 255. They have a really nasty dog and an senile old man.", for example). We'd even do our sales pitches to each other; they didn't buy my books and I wasn't any more interested in becoming Mormon, but we got to practice our lines.

As a suburban Jewish New Yorker, I had come to despise door-to-door religious types. But really, they're just like anyone else, trying to do their job well, following given directions. I still don't let religious types inside as I have no interest, but I'm not rude like in the past. They're only trying to do their jobs.

Let me say a few things as a former salesman (albeit a rather poor one), that might or might not be relevant to d-t-d Mormons.

  • I was told to go TO houses which had "no soliticing" signs, because the people inside are likely "more susceptible to salesmen, and thus put the sign up so they don't have the urge to buy anything" (seriously). And if someone got nasty and said "don't you see the sign, asshole?", our reply was to be "oh, I didn't see it".
  • As far as timing, we were told to keep going back to places until we got someone. So if you ignore the doorbell at 3 PM, you might hear it again at 9 PM, when the salesman/religion-type is retracking their ground. It's easier to just answer and say "not interested", then to ignore.
  • Related to that, my work day started at 8 AM. Were people asleep? Sure. They'd be woken, but usually were too groggy to be pissed. I'd say "oh did I wake, you? I'm terribly sorry. I'll be back in your neighborhood this afternoon and I'll just stop by then." The sleepy, confused homeowner would often mumble and go back to sleep. I'd come back later, and some would feel guilty about me coming back all that way (although I was just going through the area again anyway, trying to see anyone I missed), and invite me in. In other words, waking people up sometimes led to a while some people might be pissed, that's why salespeople (at least me) work so early.
  • Final sales thing, also relevant to the kind, generous souls who feel badly and invite in salespeople, but would never buy anything. Don't do it. A salesperson would rather be told no after two minutes at the door than spend 30 minutes in someone's house. Time is money.

So anyways, be nice to door-to-door Mormons and other d-t-d types, unless they're obnoxious. They're people afterall.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.