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rainbow-jello-side-smHaving moved from a gay Mecca to the Heart of the Mormon Jell-O Belt, I was bound to interact more with Mormons and hear more about them.

I went about six years without rubbing shoulders with missionaries or hearing about Mormons much. But now I hear about them all the time and see lots of missionaries.

Here’s a random sample:

Interactions With the Missionaries

  • The day I moved in, the sister missionaries stopped by the moving truck and asked if they could help. They said they had an hour until their next appointment and would love to help if they could. I said, “Sure! Grab a box.” They helped me, my brother and my Dad empty the moving truck for about 45 minutes. When they offered to help they didn’t know I had any connection to Mormonism. As we worked I briefly and politely explained I was an apostate member and gay. They didn’t seem bothered by either revelation. Before they left I said that I’d like to thank them by having them over for dinner. I knew they couldn’t come with me alone, even though my earlier revelation should have eliminated any danger of impropriety. So, I invited them to come on a night my kids would be here. They said the rules even prevented that. So, I never saw them again.lds-missionaries-arizona-mormon
  • One day I was closing up an open house, taking down the signs in the yard, etc when two Elders stopped their bikes to strike up a conversation. Having been a missionary, I always keep it pleasant but truthful. But on that day, not wanting an in depth discussion I stuck to just the pleasant part. It was hot so I offered them a soda which they accepted. I think I said something like, “I know what it’s like to be out tracting without a drink.” They immediately latched onto that  and one of them said, “We could tell, you just have that light and spark about you.” I grinned and said, “Thank you” without elaborating because, again, I just wanted to finish up the day and go home. They continued with the assumption that I was a current member by talking about wards and such, so I finally said, “But I’m not a member anymore.” ….crickets….crickets… “But it’s so nice to know that you both think I still have that light and spark about me anyway. I was warned that I’d lose it!”

Discussions With Clients About Mormons

  • One of my first real estate clients wanted to list their home and downsize to another part of town. They were very particular about the neighborhoods they would consider. “Over here everyone in our neighborhood is Mormon and they’re really nice but not a whole lot of fun! We want to go over there with the Catholics and Protestants who will drink at a block party!” I smiled and said nothing.
  • Other clients of mine were buying a home and we were at the inspection waiting for the contractor to finish. Our conversation turned to where we each grew up and they were both from Utah. The husband volunteered, “But I was Catholic. I joined Mormonism for her. We’re both Mormon now but we don’t make very good Mormons. I just like to have fun and joke around too much. I can’t be that serious. We’re kind of Jack Mormons now.” I smiled and said nothing.
  • While showing my clients a home, the husband began to talk about his work supplying contractors in the area. “You just need to know how to talk the talk with all these Mormons around here. I’ve been around them long enough that I can speak the language. Sometimes it bothers me that they’re so cliquish. They basically destroyed Mesa, AZ. All the Mormons on the city council made decisions to favor the church rather than to favor business. Mark my word, they’re going to do the same thing in Gilbert now that they have a majority on the city council over there. Oh my God! You’re not Mormon are you?”  I smiled and said “No, but I find what you are saying very interesting.”lds-percentage

Another Random Encounter

  • I went with my daughter on an overnight campout to the Zoo with her school class. After the night’s activities, we were all separated into 3 large group tents to set up our sleeping bags. I found it odd that I was there to be with my daughter and yet they were separating everyone into different tents based strictly on gender. My daughter didn’t know any of the other female adults and I didn’t know anyone either. After everyone was settled in I noticed a few adults staying up talking around the fire so I joined them. It soon came out that I wasn’t the only one who thought the sleeping arrangements were a little off-putting, especially for my daughter’s sake. One of the other fathers was also there with his daughter and he explained the situation to me. Apparently it’s only that particular school district which is ruled by a Mormon board that sets this segregation rule. Every other school in the valley and the zoo itself allows parents to stay in the same tents with their own children during campouts.

Aaaand…. now to finish things up with a random curious fact regarding this blog. The most common search terms that lead people to this blog continue to be  variations of the following:

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