by Erica Renee Smith
To fully grasp the hilariousness of this you need to know a little bit about me. I grew up in a family that was half LDS. My dad grew up Mormon and had four kids, my half-siblings, with his first wife. So they all grew up LDS. But when he married my mom he left the church, therefore I didn't grow up in the church. However, I had many first hand experiences of going to a Mormon church. I even went to girls’ camp! But it didn't stick; it didn't feel right for me. My mom also tried to get me into a non-denominational Christian church but I just wasn't interested in that either.
So, about a month ago while we were in rehearsals for VOYEUR, I was walking my dog and got ambushed by a couple of missionaries. They were very nice and just so excited to talk to me, so when they asked if they could come over and share the gospel with me I couldn't help but say yes. Mostly I was just curious and wanted the research for the show (ha!).
But when they showed up it was two completely different missionaries than the ones I had spoken to! I thought that was strange but I guess that's how they do it? The first meeting was fine; they were very nice and welcoming. They did bring up baptism but they weren't as pushy as others have been towards me in the past. They asked me a bunch of questions about my life and religious background and I had no problem telling them. Then we knelt in a circle and I felt pressured to say a prayer.
I agreed to meet with them a second time, again mostly for research, and that's where things got to be too much for me. They asked if I would commit to getting baptized at the end of May! I was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I don't even know if I want this in my life. They kept asking if I was praying and when I said no they made me feel guilty. WTF?
The next day when they asked when we could meet I said, “I'm sorry but I've thought about it a lot and I don't think this is right for me. I appreciate all your love and kindness.” And they had the nerve to say, "I'm sorry about that Erica, but do you think you've done everything you can to welcome this blessing in your life?”
I didn't respond. That pissed me off. It felt so condescending and it really changed my view on missionaries. I don't think they realize how they come off to other people. With all that said, I will not, nor ever join the Mormon church but I am grateful for the experience. Only now I know what’s behind some of those fake smiles.