Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday, July 14th, 2006:
Mormons in Helsingborg

What I think:

The other day, I had arranged a little business meeting at
the Charles Dickens pub, during which we discussed many important issues. The business at hand: drinking beer. Oh, and we also discussed something about mortgages or something.

The value of my flat has gone up considerably over the past year or so, and I'm thinking about doing a bit of financial consolidation to un-dig my current grave; the grave having been partly dug by my beer-drinking business. I liked the irony of choosing my local pub as a meeting place for this discussion.

While we were sitting outside, I noticed a couple of Mormons walking back and forth, trying to strike up conversations with people. I like Mormons. In fact, I was baptised Mormon (later to have an Anglican Confirmation and come pretty close to having a Bar Mitzvah - I'm not joking). Mormons dress like those guys you find in hotel lobbies who are there to help you carry your bags to your room. They seem like very friendly and helpful chaps.

But I thought that Mormonism was strictly a North American thing. Oh, how wrong I was. Look at their website. It appears that they have (am I still allowed to say "we have"?) churches all over the world - even Russia!

In any case, while I was sitting there, outside a pub in the south of Helsingborg, discussing the prospects and possibilities of beer number four, these well-groomed young gentlemen accosted a dreadlocked Rasta guy and had a five-minute discussion with him.

What were they talking about? I wish I could have heard their conversation. Could these Mormons have been trying to enlist him as one of their own? Could they picture him wearing a bell hop outfit? Could they see him with the standard-issue haircut? What do you think they were discussing?

"Ganja? Errm...yeah, I think I met him once."

Mormons seem like very nice, well-mannered, and friendly people, but they do not belong on the streets of Helsingborg, especially when important business meetings are taking place. It's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.


Blogger m said...

or you can do as I do, invite them over and offer them a beer.

As you know, I used to be one of them too.

2:21 pm  
Blogger Mark Base said...

Good tip, Elder sister...Will keep that in mind for next time!

2:25 pm  
Blogger Cooth said...

I had a couple of young Mormon lads at my door a couple of months ago. I thought about inviting them in for a three-some, but I was enjoying the tv I was watching.

2:48 pm  
Blogger Mark Base said...

Threesome, eh? Perhaps I'll wear my bell hop gear more often...

3:00 pm  
Blogger Cynthia said...

They do seem like nice people, but...I normally let my dog greet them at the door. It does the trick.
BTW, your open mic show wasn't too're being hard on yourself!

3:16 pm  
Blogger Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...

Once, a group representing the Jehovah Wittinesses came to the door. After listening to their sales bit, I asked if they believed in extraterrestrial life. They, of course, said they did not.

I said "Well, that's where you have it all wrong, and I am living proof. Good day."

They stood on my doorstep for another 10 minutes before shoving off to the next house.

4:06 pm  
Blogger m said...

The kids that actually go on Mormon missions (frequently they are forced to do it) have VERY miserable lives. They hate every minute of it and want to go home, but they can't.

So whenever those boys show up at our door, I invite them in for dinner, make sure they eat enough (which on a mission they frequently don't do, becaue they have no money), I want to them to rest and relax, and feel normal for an hour or so.

They are going through living hell during those 2 years, and if a bit of kindness is going to make it easier, even if only for hour, I will do it.

5:03 pm  
Blogger Mark Base said...

Thanks for showing us that perspective.

It's something that we don't realise (well I didn't, anyway).

5:47 pm  
Blogger m said...

here is my entry about feeding the missionaries up here.
feeding the hungry
And just last week I wrote about 2 missionary sisters raped and shot in South Africa.

10:51 pm  
Blogger girl said...

You're right, they do seem very polite!

3:05 am  
Blogger Maritza said...

They are very sweet, those Mormons. Here in my Latin hood, we have a very beautifully designed Mormon school/church/residence. The Mormons are just kids that are required to do one year's missionary work before heading off to finish college or get married. I usually tell them, "Not interested kid. Tell me where you're from, what kind of music you like, etc." and just enjoy the conversation while secretly trying to subvert their narrow little midwestern minds.

I'm perverse ilke that.

4:02 am  
Blogger Tug said...

I don't have a clue what they would be saying, but I'd like to be a fly on the wall - could be fun!! Maybe they'll take the best of both of their religions/lifestyles & start something new!!

4:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday, Upstate New York and the Salt Lake Basin, Today 12 Million+.. Tomorrow THE WORLD!!! Muhahahahhahhahahhaahhaaa :~D

10:58 am  
Blogger Ann said...

The Mormon missionaries in this neck of the woods are pretty decent, if one tells them politely not interested, they will not come back. The Jehovah Witnesses are a totally different story.

First we have controlled entrance in our apartment building, our front balcony overlooks the front door/gate so we can see who is trying to gain access. In less than a week, on four occassions the Jehovah Witnesses tried to stop by. The first three times I ignored their attempts to ring our bell, the fourth time was rather annoyed and told them look, I don't speak Italian, and am not interested. I can understand a good chunk of Italian, but will usually say otherwise just to get them out of my hair. They didn't stop by again, for about a week. Then haven't heard from them again.

2:48 pm  
Blogger Da Duck said...

in my younger days I used to answer the door saying things like "do you know what happens when you leave the circle? The dark lord is not pleased..." and watch them run.

Now I just say "jag talar inte svenska" and they go away.

7:16 pm  
Blogger Maritza said...

Blogmad Mormon doorbell ringing hit!

11:46 pm  
Blogger Kim said...

Thanks for being my first ever commenter! :)

I gotta say, that's one pretty mixed up religious background you have yourself there! Very interesting... although I know very little of the Mormon faith.

12:42 am  
Blogger Mark Base said...

You've now been linked. Keep it up.

4:53 am  
Blogger Maritza said...

Extreme Mormons!

3:50 pm  
Blogger Jay said...

I like anyone who will stop in the street and have a conversation with complete strangers.

6:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I learned that these young "Elders" were only permitted to call home twice a year, I started greeting them at the door with my cordless phone and inviting them to make the call "on me." I would then add that "Joseph Smith will never know and your mother will thank me for it." Surprisingly, not a single missionary has ever taken me up on the offer, but it always gets them off the front porch.

11:44 am  
Blogger Jaymie said...

There is this stupid commercial that comes on TV here sometimes. These two chicks are sitting having coffee and the one says to the other how wonderful her life is now that she's reading the book of Mormon. I want to throw something at the frickin TV. Baaaaaaaaaaarf!

4:30 pm  
Blogger High Priestess Kang said...

Simpy point to the affixed mezuzah on your doorpost, smile and watch their jaws drop.

I must admit, the Mormon faith fascinates me though. It seems so mysterious.

Would I be an apostate?

5:20 pm  
Blogger K. Restoule said...

Mormons aren't a bad bunch.

It's not like they're constantly knocking on your door, or asking you to see a 'movie' trapping you for a few hours, or showing up at peoples funerals with signs that say "God Hates Fags".

Mormons are pretty decent and I can respect them for their beliefs, as opposed to jehovah's witness, The Church of Scientology, or a Hate Group that masquerades as a religious group.

5:27 pm  
Blogger kT said...

Cooth what was the movie we watched about the Mormons? It was good.

5:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they do not belong on the streets of Helsingborg, especially when important business meetings are taking place. It's time that the Swedish government did something about it

You were joking, right?

4:00 am  
Blogger Al B Here said...

Mormons are an interesting bunch, for sure. I'll never pass judgement on the "right" or "wrong" way to live one's life, but I will say that I admire their conviction. I know I certainly couldn't go actively recruiting like they do...

Thanks for the visit to my blog, Mark. I'll be sure to come back and read more of you entries.

5:57 am  
Blogger EJL said...

There is this show called "Big Love" here, and it is about Mormons living the principle of Multiple wives....such a great show. I think you would like it.

6:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*hugs* hello Mark just dropping but to tell you I creepy internet heart you xxx

12:02 am  
Blogger MsDemmie said...

I have some experience of the Mormons - in fact I technically "defrocked" a mormon elder (my second husband) - he was excommunicagted/expelled bacause of it. However as soon as married in a register office they were back on the door wanting him back! They even followed us when we moved to try and reclaim him.

Most of the "walkers" are earnest youngsters who genuinely believe they have a calling and believe in saving the fallen and rescuing all of us from the sins of drinking and smoking and pre marital sex!

5:08 pm  
Blogger Toronto1 said...

This reminds me of an episode of "Big Love."
When the walkers come to visit Nicki and find out she is a involved in
a polygamist marriage.
I don't know if any of you have watched this HBO show but there is never a dull moment.

7:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I encountered Mormons a couple of times when I was living in Japan. Their (your?) reach is a lot farther than most people realise. My solution was to crouch down and ignore them until they went away. I really need assertiveness training.

10:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scandanavia has been a mission-field for the LDS aka Mormons from the first days. Around here many have Danish names, ie Jensen, and othe Scandinavian - sounding names ie Valgardson (Norge?) Carlson (Sverge, I guess). Good luck with them. I've met only one who was disappointed in the experience . He wanted to go to Brasil or Asia, instead he got southern Alberta, home to the largest % of Mormons in Canada! It was like never leaving home! He was also the only one who questioned why a 19 year old should be out tryig to influence people to accept a new religion. We agreed the mission is likely as much about convincing the missionary as the "natives".

1:37 am  
Blogger Curiosa said...

Oh, you'll find Elder Smith and Elder Williams in all parts of the world. I grew up in Mormon country (about three hours from the bastion of Salt Lake City) and my friend Matt from high school got sent to Italy...his mission work fared even worse than those who get sent to heathen Scandinavia, I think. (And the pope would probably confirm that.)

2:03 pm  

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