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. 😉
that was a pretty funny post.
I’m surprised you’ve never encountered Jehovah’s Witnesses either. Or have you?
As far as I know, some teas do indeed contain caffeine which could explain why they might have turned it down. In addition to not drinking alcohol, Mormons also strictly do not eat meat on Sundays. At BYU, I’m pretty sure there are also no co-ed dorms.
1. No, we’ve never encountered Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or maybe we’ve forgotten. Or maybe we’ve given them the cold shoulder. 🙁
One of the kids who came today mentioned a connection with BYU.
We’ll ask them about the (no) co-ed dorms 😉 when they return in a few weeks to check on our reading of The Book of Mormon.
2. You write: Mormons also strictly do not eat meat on Sundays
Is it just the First Sunday of the month? Pl see this.
Sundays, Fridays, it’s all the same. Just depriving yourself of yummy Filet Mignon for no reason.
Not eating is a sin that even Christ would most likely frown upon were he here today.
SI : Oh, before they left the kids left with us a copy of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ and told us theyâ€™d be back in a few weeks to see how much of the book weâ€™d read.
Nice homework for us, eh?
Very Nice ….checking to see that you have done your homework …
Not started yet. Will work on the homework from today.
I might be drifting away from the topic.. I recently came across this ‘sooper’ funny video in youtube where Bappi Lahiri(yes you got him, Disco King of 80s) accuses A R Rahman for copying his tune… Check it out…
I ran into non stop mad laughter after watching this video..
Ha ha ha.
Watch this first: One Way Ticket.
Then watch this: Hari Om Hari.
Will work on the homework from today
Are you serious??
Yes, we plan to start on it.
Dunno when we’ll finish it though. Maybe, by the time the next batch of Mormons come.
Thus the lord said unto SI bloggers, “Behold , my children, Thou shalt be granted with thy wish..May you have more number of slammers for all thy posts on India, LTTE, Kamal films, and what not..”
From your lips to Shani Maharaj’s ears. 😉
I gave a shoutout to your blog and this post over at my Mormon News blog (see http://themormonsarecoming.blogspot.com/2009/06/preaching-gospel-bollywood-style.html).
Maybe it will help increase your readership.
By the way, Mormons can eat meat any day they please.
Hey, you’ve made a big blunder in the very first sentence of your post.
The Mormon kids dropped by at our place in the U.S., not in India.
Whoops. Fixed it, thanks.
The Mormon blessing is working! Another Mormon has visited your blog.
I assume the Mormon elders gave you a Book of Mormon in English. It is also available in Bengali, Hindi, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. For a free copy of any of those call 888-537-2200.
You have a Tamil movie category, so are you guys Tamil? It would seem a logical assumption, but the word “assume” is sometimes spelled “ass-u-me.”
Warning: if you call 888-537-2200 for a free Book of Mormon (in any language, there are 106 printed languages, plus Braille and Sign Language), they (the people in Utah, not your local Mormon guys) will later call you up to three times to follow up to see if you read it, and what you thought, and if you want to know more.
But, if you want to buy a Tamil (or any other language) Book of Mormon on the sly, in secret, you can order it at http://www.ldscatalog.com. That is through a completely different department, and your name/number/phone/address won’t be given out.
You can also subscribe to the Tamil edition of the Mormon magazine, Liahona, here. 4 issues/year, for only $4/year. It will NOT automatically renew! So you’re safe there.
If you don’t want to give the Mormons your credit card number, you can mail in an order with a money-order to:
1999 West 1700 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
There’s no shipping, so $3 will cover the entire cost of a hard-cover Tamil Book of Mormon.
1. Tamil Book of Mormon?
That must be the eighth wonder of the world.
Did anyone says all the nuts are to be found only in India.
No, sir, No.
We must have exported some to Utah.
2. Yes, the kids gave us the English copy.
Did anyone says all the nuts are to be found only in India.
No, sir, No.
We must have exported some to Utah.
1. This nut is in Indiana, not Utah. Oh, if you meant the translator of the Tamil BoM, he/she/they might still be in India, God bless them.
2. I am not even from India.
3. Are the people of India resentful, or do they think it humorous that the Europeans who discovered/settled the North American continent named the aboriginals “Indians” thinking they were you guys?
1. You write: I am not even from India.
Yes, we knew that. When we talked about exporting some of our people, we meant it in a lighter/sarcastic vein
2. You write: Are the people of India resentful, or do they think it humorous that the Europeans who discovered/settled the North American continent named the aboriginals “Indians” thinking they were you guys?
Out of the roughly 1.2 billion people in India, about 400 million to 450 million are probably illiterate, hungry and poor with no concept of nation or state let alone North America or mistaken naming of the natives here as Indians. They don’t know and they don’t care. All they’re worried about is their next meal.
As for the remaining 700 million, they are too busy in the following ways: trying to bribe each other; attacking/killing each other on the grounds of religion, caste, language; stealing well-paying American programming,call-center and other jobs; watching asinine Bollywood, Kollywood, Tollywood, Sandalwood, Malluwood and other movies; trying to get visas to come to the U.S. on H1/L1/Family Visas et al.
So, you see Indians are either utterly ignorant or too busy to pay any attention to the mis-categorization of natives in North America as Indians.
You are obviously not well acquainted with our former countrymen. They are sui generis.
Jesus/Allah/Brigham Young/Krishna/Some Other Idiot broke the mold after creating Indians.
Make a trip to India to understand what we are saying.
“As for the remaining 700 million, they are too busy in the following ways: trying to bribe each other; attacking/killing each other on the grounds of religion, caste, language; stealing well-paying American programming,call-center and other jobs; watching asinine Bollywood, Kollywood, Tollywood, Sandalwood, Malluwood and other movies; trying to get visas to come to the U.S. on H1/L1/Family Visas et al.”
So the asinine antics portrayed in Bollywood movies are pretty much based on real life?
I’ve only seen 3: Hera Pheri, Phir Hera Pheri, and one other. I had thought they slapstick comedy, silly stuff like Three Stooges. Do you mean that kind of stuff really happens?
1. You write: So the asinine antics portrayed in Bollywood movies are pretty much based on real life?
Yes, Fart oops Art imitates Life and vice versa in Incredible India.
2. Hera Pheri was not bad. The sequel Phir Hera Pheri was trash.
BTW, did you know that Bollywood movies release in mainstream American theatres like Regal and Loews?
If you are the masochistic kind, you can join Netflix and rent Hindi and Tamil movies. Netflix has tons of Indian movies.
Indians are the only ones that are ignorant of American history.
ironically the first video I picked up for Jay Walking was making fun of mormons.
Here’s a nut from Utah. Give the Book of Mormon a shot. I think you’ll like it.
God, you guys make the Book of Mormon seem like Jenna Jameson’s autobiography (now, don’t ask who Jenna is).
I loved reading your post, and the comments! So, here’s one more visitor in direct answer to that missionary’s prayers. 🙂
I find the Indian culture fascinating. I enjoyed reading the book “Born Confused” by Tanuja Desai Hidier. Just recently, I have been doing research on Hinduism for an upcoming blog post. Consequently, I have discovered Bollywood Musicals via YouTube. Very fun!
The Book of Mormon is a great treasure. Studying it has blessed my life and the lives of my family in so many wonderful ways. You are very lucky to have a copy in your home. I hope you will take that Elder’s challenge for the “homework assignment”! For more details on the background of the book and facts about the church beliefs, check out: Mormon.org
Wishing your SI BLOG all the best. I will visit again – MoSop
1. Thanks for your good wishes.
From your lips to the Holy Father’s ears. 😉
2. You write above: I have been doing research on Hinduism for an upcoming blog post
Trying to understand Hinduism, are you?
Reminds us of what Churchill said about the Soviet Union in the late 1930s – A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
Hi, I’m another member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter – Day Saints.
I wish you the best!!, I’m sure you will success with your Blog.
Regards from Peru!
Did you know that a Kollywood crew from our former country India was in Peru a few months back filming a movie called Enthiran?
That is a really cool article! You guys are cool.
PS. Mormons do eat meat. It is advised not to over consume meat, just like other substances in the world! I’m from Brazil and I am a mormon and I could not survive without a nice Brazilian barbecue. I love steak, but like I said, the most important thing is moderation.
PS II. Indian food is also amazing. I love Rose Ice Cream!
1. Ever since we watched Blame it on Rio many summers ago, we have had only one thing on our minds. 😉
2. You write: I love Rose Ice Cream!
Try Kulfi (a type of Indian Ice Cream) if there are some Indian restaurants in your part of Brazil.
Well, you have another Mormon reader, via Bookslinger’s blog. I’m so glad to hear of your positive experience with the missionaries. My stepbrother is currently serving a mission in Washington, D.C. He’s had similar encounters with people from all over the world, but few have been as kind and hospitable. I highly doubt the missionaries were just being polite about your food.
I’m interested in Indian food. Do you have any suggestions for an open minded novice?
Indian food is an amazing adventure. You can easily get lost in that delicious labyrinth.
The best way to get an initial feel for Indian food is to visit a good Indian restaurant and try the weekend buffet. That should expose you to a wide variety of Indian food.
If you live in the U.S., it really shouldn’t be a problem to locate a good Indian restaurant in your city.
But keep in mind that the dominant food in the Indian restaurants in the U.S. is North Indian cuisine. South Indian restaurants are still rare in the U.S.
The only thing on your mind? Michelle Johnson? She was beauuuuuutiful.
Another mormon from India logged onto your site because of the two mormon missionaries mentioned above. Thanks for being kind to them. 🙂 Since we are keeping our word, you must keep yours. 🙂
Assuming you are not Indian, how do you find India?
Normally I detest reading blogs about my religion – I am a Latter-day Saint (Mormon) – as they are often disrespectful.
Yours I actually enjoyed. The two young men you met were being quite sincere when they stated they are paying their own way, usually through a combination of savings, parental help, and small voluntary unsolicited donations from friends and other church members. Coffee, tea and alcohol are against our health code, called the Word of Wisdom. We do not have a prohibition about meat at any time, so I am not sure where a fellow commentator got his or her information about that. Seventh Day Adventists do not eat meat, and Catholics are not supposed to eat meat on Fridays, but our health code does not state that. It *does*, however, state that animals are for our use and should be eaten sparingly in times of winter, cold or famine.
There are a small number of Latter-day Saints who are vegetarian – myself included – who do not eat meat because we feel that since we have abundance we do not need to feast on flesh, but most of us LDS vegetarians do eat milk products and eggs sparingly. We fast on the first Sunday of each month, taking no food or drink from supper on Saturday until supper on Sunday, and donate the money that would have been used for those two missed meals to ‘Fast Offerings’, which are generally used to feed others. Hopefully this helps clarify some things for you and your readers. Blessings, Pam
Thank you. 🙂
When/if the two Mormon kids drop by again (they said they’d be in the area for another 6-8 months), we’ll show them the above post and the various comments.
Boy, won’t they be surprised!
Is her last name Anderson?
Now, she’s gonna curse you to eternal damnation. 😉
Only narakam (hell) for you in the after-life.
Hey, interesting blog! I really liked it!
Thank you so much for looking after the missionaries. I was a missionary in Germany and really appreciated being looked after by wonderful, kind people like yourself. Going away from your family for two years was hard but made easier knowing there were good people willing to listen to you and give you a chance!
Just regarding a few of the comments:
The gora doesn’t have a clue what he/she is talking about! I’m LDS and I enjoy my sunday roasts.. I wish people who were ill-informed wouldn’t talk so much rubbish and spread silly rumours!
And as for not eating meat on the first sunday of the month – that is incorrect. We do fast (go without any food and drink) once a month though. It normally lasts for about 24 hours or three meals.
We plan to take up weekly fasting soon. Of late, we’re hogging far too much…surely not good for us.
Yeah, I’m yet another Mormon who first encountered this blog because of this post–although my grandpa’s Punjabi, so I’m interested in what you have to say about Desi stuff.
In case the reader who asked about food is checking back: North Indian restaurants, which serve mostly Punjabi food, are great, but don’t miss out on dosa when you get the chance. I’m afraid between my Hyderabadi aunt and a Columbus, OH restaurant called Dosa Corner, my little sister has been won over by the charms of southern cooking (which is only fair, since I won my cousin over from rice to roti several years ago, sparking the friendly family food competition between North and South).
We agree with you on the Dosa Corner in Columbus, Ohio. Great place.
We had Masala Dosa there a couple of years back. Here’s a picture of the Dosa Corner restaurant – http://www.ohioindia.us/columbus-indian-restaurants.html
The guy behind the counter at the back also sells some pre-packed stuff like Sambar Powder, Chutney Podi, Rasam Powder et al.
speaking of iskcon,did you guys know a.c bhaktivedanta swamiji was poisoned by his desciples? they gave him mercury(deadly poison) in his milk and held him hostage in his room in vrindaban until he signer over the property rights to them,of course you cant coerce a pure devotee,so they had to usurp his mission after he left his body.
p.s the main culprit died in a car crash in 2002 but the other conspirators are still around
No, we were unaware of the ‘unnatural’ aspects surrounding his death. We thought the old man died a ‘natural’ death.
Many years back (when we were still living in India), we had a Christian friend from Kerala who suddenly developed a passion for Iskcon. Was interesting to watch the fat fathead go through that process. 😉
if you visit new vrindaban you might see why some people join,i visited it back in 2009,they have a nice restaurant “govinda’s” that serves both indian and american veg. food.also their palace of gold is nothing short of impressive,iskcon is about the only hindu sect in kerala that allows white people (or any non indians for that matter) inside their mundirs
The pictures at New Vrindavan certainly look interesting.
Wow, they even serve Masala Dosa, Tomato Uttappam and Idli at their Govinda Restaurant.
Will visit one of these days…just a 7-hr drive.
Here’s a nice picture of Radha-Krishna from a Hindu temple in Los Angeles, CA. Enjoy.
As you likely know by now, we think all religions are plain nonsense.