Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Fun in the Mission Field

Fun in the Mission Field

By: Ellen - May 27, 2009

My new friends, Iris and Phil, live in a very pretty subdivision, one side of which backs into a steep hill. They have the slope landscaped and up at the top they have some patio furniture and a grill. They look down over some really beautiful, hilly green farms.

Recently a neighbor of theirs had a barbecue to which Iris’s family was invited. A woman at the party had had one too many and finally blurted out to Iris, “But what do you people DO up there?”

Now if it had been me, of course I would have said, “We sacrifice virgins” or “We saute newts’ toenails” or something. But Iris, being Iris, simply said, “We cook hamburgers and hot dogs.”

Crazy Mormons.



  1. “We practice plural marriage.” wink, wink

    Comment by High on a Mountain top — May 28, 2009 @ 5:12 am

  2. Great title, given the recent thread about “the mission field” over at Nine Moons.

    Irony, or just happenstance?

    Comment by Mark B. — May 28, 2009 @ 7:31 am

  3. I don’t know whether Ellen was being ironic or was even aware of the Nine Moons post … but my decision to keep that title was absolutely deliberate.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 28, 2009 @ 7:42 am

  4. i haven’t been around long enough to have absorbed any connotation applied to the term. i did see the nine moons post, and it appears there are many.

    in the context of this (entirely true) story, i meant anyplace where people are unfamiliar enough with LDS religion or culture to have these types of wack misconceptions (pun intended re: comment #1).

    Comment by ellen — May 28, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  5. I’m sorry, Ellen. I should have made sure you recognized the possible connotations of “mission field” and not risk setting you up for criticism from those who dislike the term. Your use was fair given the context, and the anecdote doesn’t in any way denigrate Latter-day Saints who live in your area, so it would be petty of anybody to find fault with its use.

    Still, it wasn’t fair of me not to warn you of the potential mine field. I promise not to do that to you again.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 28, 2009 @ 10:23 am

  6. I’ve used the “sacrifice virgins” line before, but that sauteed newts’ toenails is a new one for my repertory. This was a fun post, Ellen. Thanks.

    Comment by Hunter — May 28, 2009 @ 10:27 am

  7. More mission field fun/puns:

    As noted in the recent Pew survey, there are a lot more women in the church than men. Given that we have a 1:1 ratio of married women to married men, the entire disparity is seen among the single adults. And I think it’s true in most churches too, more single women than single men.

    I’ve often found myself along with other males in the minority among mostly women at LDS Single Adults events. Sometimes, the only male in a group of females.

    Sometimes this happens while dining out, as part of the activity or afterwards. And I wonder if the wait staff will ever ask about the disparity of males/females, or why I’m the only male among a group of women.

    I suppose I could go into the longer explanation that we’re a church singles group, and like most churches there are usually more single women than single men, it’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormons. Would you like a free Book of Mormon?

    But, I’ve decided that if I’m ever asked by a wiatress why I’m the only guy dining with 2 or women, I’m going to look up, smile broadly, and just say “We’re Mormons.”

    Comment by Bookslinger — May 28, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  8. Bookslinger, enjoy that disparity. :-)

    Comment by Steve C. — May 28, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

  9. One time at our Single Adult Family Home Evening, that always started out with a pot-luck dinner, I was the only guy among seven sisters, and they had all brought food.

    Comment by Bookslinger — May 28, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

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