25 May 2005

Unwanted Missionaries

I've read several discussions on a couple of different homeschooling message boards recently about what to do when missionaries come knock on your door. I've seen quite a range of reactions, but they are generally quite negative and I am surprised at some of the nasty things people will suggest saying or doing to get rid of whomever is at the door.

I firmly believe that if a person is not interested in what a missionary has to say, she should tell him and close the door. There is no obligation to listen to something you're not interested in, especially on your own doorstep.

But I don't think it's necessary to be rude. It's not necessary to argue. Simply end the conversation immediately. Those missionaries are quite probably having a hard time and you don't need to add to it. And maybe, just maybe, you could give them a glass of water or a friendly word before sending them on their way.


  1. First, My apologies for sending this late; I am not a techno crat and I am just figuring it out.

    I tagged you for a "string" in a recent post at Speak Up For Truth.

    Only for Paulie!
    Because Paulie Asked

    Paulie of The Commons at Paulie World tagged me to answer the following questions:

    Total volume of music files on my computer: sorry, again I am only hearing wah wah wah!

    The last CD I bought: My #5's CYMO 2005 Season

    Song playing now: nothing, the house is quiet except for someone singing in the shower.

    Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to
    1. Oh My Redeemer, especially when sung by Constance Jensen
    2. I Stand All Amazed
    3. The Twelveth of Never, Johnny Mathis
    4. You Are So Beautiful, Joe Cocker
    5. My Old Addiction, k.d. lang

    (but like Peggy says, this is a very hard question, too many choices, and next week this list may change)

    Five people to whom I'm passing the baton:

    (With my most humble apologies!)

    Food Chronicles
    The Golden Road to Samarqand
    and yet another Kathy

    Tag, you're it!

    go do it.

  2. On the missionary at the door:

    I like to put myself in their shoes, no matter the religion. I also think about how my children are recieved as they walk from house to house.

    I usually will invite them in, most religions refuse to come in prefering to converse while on the nuetral ground of the porch. So I introduce myself and state that I am LDS and would enjoy hearing their comments for five minutes. We usually have a good time with each other and I remind myself I may be their first introduction to LDS people.

    At the end of the conversation there is normally an invitation to accept reading materials or pamphlets of info, I accept willingly and tell them I will read their information if they will accept and read mine. At that point I hand them a "pass along" card with a free video option about the Saviour.

    Without exception, so far, they accept - some reluctently. Perhaps they will keep the bargain, read the card and send away for a video or other free info. I always keep my end and read their literature. Most of the time I can learn a little more about what they believe and it only killed about ten minutes total.

    All in all I prefer the missionaries of any church over the guys who clean your rug with orange oil and then drink the stuff to seal the deal. uggh!

  3. I've debated whether I should listen to missionaries. Should I not take up their time, or do I chat with them for a bit because it's intersting to talk to new people? It hasn't come up much though because I've almost never had any kind of missionary come knock on my door.

    Still, I think you can be polite but firm.

    Here's mine, s'mee:

    Total volume of music files on my computer: Not much

    The last CD I bought: I could tell you the last book...

    Song playing now: Nothing

    Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to
    me: Geography Songs; anything Rachmoninoff; Nearer, My God to Thee; there are lots more good ones. I like ethnic music.

    I do like music. I just am not very picky and I don't spend money on it. My husband and children are choosier.

  4. A poliblogger I visit recently posted a thread on dealing with missionaries. Michele was quite surprised at LDS missionaries when they politely left her stoop when told she was not interested in converting. She then went on to say that she was quite impressed with the "politeness" of the contact. She was also impressed at their cuteness. And then she floored me with this comment: Because they were so polite, they'd be the first she'd call if she were in the market for a new church.

    Sometimes missionaries can be quite intrusive. I am glad that the church trains ours to simply thank them for their time and move along. The Lord is looking for willing participants.

  5. We love talking to the missionaries - they are such young men with high aspirations. Here, they are doing difficult work in an area already teaming with LDS.

    I love seeing them with new companions. They are both awkward at first, but over the six weeks (or more) it's neat to see them settle in and adjust to the different personalities. Each one has such high goals for life (wait till they find out life is ordinary!). They all seem anxious to marry, and love to chat about life beyond the mission. It's fun seeing missionaries return to the area for visits - how different they look!

    I also get a kick watching the high school girls in the neighborhood have a new crush every six weeks:)

    The AZ heat wipes out our missionaries - and those personal mister/water holders aren't quite as satifying as a tall glass of ice water or juice. I love to mother them and stock them up with granola, cleaning supplies, whatever. I keep chairs on our patio for them to hang out while we chat.

    One rewarding part is that those young men also have mothers and fathers. It's nice to befriend some of them! I'd love to be a ward mission leader some day!

  6. chronicler, I am also glad that our missionaries are trained to be polite. I just worry that missionaries of all faiths get lumped together, or that when someone has a bad experience with one, they think negatively of all missionaries.

    Diane, we love to have the missionaries over too. We haven't been able to have them over as often as we'd like in every town we've lived in, but New Jersey was the best. We were the only active family in our area so the missionaries stopped by two or three times a week. It was great.