I have been raised by a mormon family. When I was 21, since I was not married yet, it seemed normal to me to go on a mission. In this religion girls of 21 years and older and boys of 19 and up, if they want they can go in a mission for 2 or 1 and half years respectively for men and ladies. They go where they will be sent to preach the mormon doctrine. After their mission accomplished they can go back to their normal life, work and getting married. So this is what I did.
It has been already 16 months that I was a missionary, and this was an activity that I really liked a lot for the good days, much less for the bad ones. That Saturday started as a bad day. We had to meet somebody with my colleague, but the lady we had to meet apparently has forgotten us. Great! Now we had two free hours in front of us that had to be filled with work.
I hated going door to door on Saturday morning. People are in their homes and sleep. You could think that’s better since at least they are home, but they don’t like to be deranged and less to be awaken up on a Saturday morning. And when you wake somebody up you never know how he will open the door. I would just say that there are people that have no complex whatsoever, but this is another story.
It was then with the same attitude of a cat that had to jump in a swimming pool that we started doing our door to door. To put some thrilling or inspiration call it as you wish, we went a little around to “feel” the good building, where was the person ready to listen to our message. A building with some nice wall art painting was our choice. Everything was as usual: normal. A look through the peep hole, sometimes an unpleasant word but the doors didn’t open. If we had the chance not to be clearly seen trough the peep hole, maybe the door would have opened but unlikely not enough time to allow my American colleague to say the only French sentence she knew.
Finally what I was afraid of happened: we woke somebody up. A man scarily full of tattoos on his forties opened the door. He listened to us or at least gave the impression to, and I wasn’t sure he was completely awake. He invited us to come in. Unfortunately as missionaries we have strict rules to be respected, so we had to refuse his invitation (missionary girls cannot go in a man alone house) so I proposed him to be visited by our men homologues that we call elders. He gave us his telephone number and we kept on our “soul” search in that building. We were two floors down when I saw this man again going down the stair (great, I don’t like this situation, that I feel awkward, why he doesn’t take the elevator as everybody else?) and I said to him something like: you don’t sleep anymore? He answered me that now that we awoke him up he was not able to get to sleep any more. (Perfect, I hope we didn’t get him mad. Anyway I would never see him again since now the elders will take care of him).
The same evening I left the tattooed man telephone number to the elders. Few days later they told me that number was not a correct one. This is nothing strange. After 16 months of a mission I have received enough wrong numbers to fill a phone book. Why they do this? It is not kind; why not simply say they are not interested? Simply I didn’t think about this man any more.
A month and half later, one of my colleague came to see me and asked if was me that had found a tattooed man doing door to door. I learnt that he alone found the trace of the missionaries and that he was coming regularly to our meetings. What??? The almost awake tattooed man was coming to our Sunday’s meetings? I couldn’t believe, since you have the same chance to see a man like that sitting on a church bench that a nun in a bar of exotic dancers you know the kind. The tattooed Max was there, sitting on the bench with two missionaries at his side and attentively listening to the meetings. He was assisting to the English meetings, me at the French ones, so we didn’t see each other. That was not a bad thing, at least he was coming on Sunday, and finally the day we have met him was not such a bad day for door to door.