If you have spent long years in the U.S., you are bound to have encountered young Mormon kids.
They are the impeccably dressed young boys with the Bible in their hands, who come knocking on your door to spread the word of Christ, i.e the version of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Christians but Different
Mormons are different from the other Christians we have met in the U.S. – they seem more committed to their faith, seem more family oriented and also seem more indoctrinated or brainwashed in Christianity (like for instance, the ISKCON folks devoted to Krsna).
A short while ago, two neatly dressed young Mormon boys wearing white shirts, dark-shade trousers, ties and shoes dropped by our place.
The two boys who came by told us they were college students, who had taken a two-year-break to spread the Mormon version of Christianity.
They claimed to be doing all of this missionary work on their own dime. If true, interesting, because it shows a higher degree of committment to religion than is usual in the U.S.
One of the kids was from Seattle (a 21-year-old student of biology) and the other from Idaho (a 20-year-old student of computer engineering and linguistics, whose grandparents lived in Bangalore 30-years back).
We made no secret of the fact that we were 99% atheistic and 1% agnostic. The kids were cool about it though they couldn’t resist reading a few passages from the Bible in their hands on two or three occasions. But they did it in a nice unobtrusive way after seeking our permission.
We told them we did’t agree with the concept of any God given the rampant injustice and pain in the world. They didn’t argue back but listened patiently and asked a few indirect questions on our lack of faith.
Idli, Chutney & Rasmalai
What struck us about the kids was their maturity and composure, not the average adrenalin-rush, high-on-testosterone youngsters you tend to see these days.
But we wouldn’t go so far as to say the boys were exemplars of good behavior because when we first met them on the street a few days ago they promised to come by in a little while but never showed up. Perhaps, they’d found someone more willing to be swayed by the spiritual conversation than hardened athiests like us (yes, moments after we first met them we confessed to our general disbelief in any Lord).
The kids were not that familiar with India and one of them was not even aware of the eight-Oscars winner Slumdog Millionaire (it seems the boys don’t watch movies when they are out on missionary work). The Idaho kid was, however, familiar with Bollywood and asked us about the songs in the movies. It seems he’d watched Bollywood programs on TV.
We fed the Mormon kids Idli, Coconut Chutney, Rasmalai, Chum Chum, fried Moong Dal, Plaintain Chips and Gatiya snacks. Without any fuss, they lapped up the Idlis + Chutney with their hands like we did.
Both the kids said they liked the food. We are not sure if they were just being polite but they did not waste anything.
We offered them Masala Tea but they declined stating they were allergic to tea leaves.
That seemed a bit odd to us. Does tea contain caffeine or any other unsavory substance.
Earlier, they said a polite No to Heineken Beer too.
Apparently, these boys are teetotalers.
They, however, gladly accepted our offer of Stash brand Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea (contains no tea leaves).
Before the kids left, they thanked us and asked us if they could say a short prayer.
We readily agreed and to our pleasant surprise the boys prayed to Christ for the success of the SI blog and asked the Lord to grant us more readers.
Cool, na. Someone praying for the success of our blog.
Left us with a nice feeling. 🙂
Oh, before they left the kids left with us a copy of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ and told us they’d be back in a few weeks to see how much of the book we’d read.
Nice homework for us, eh?
So, if we do less posts than usual in the near future or take too much time to respond to your comments, you can always blame the Mormons. 😉