This morning, I am starting the day off with a hearty laugh. Why? Because my friend Mike shared a cringeworthy video of two LDS sister missionaries rapping. It totally cracked me up in all its glorious dorkiness. I suppose I could upload it to the blog, but I think it’s better if you simply navigate to the page yourself and take a gander. It’s public, after all, and apparently getting spread around… (by the way, I know the link isn’t working. It worked when I put it in the post. Just look up Mike Norton on Facebook. His stuff is very public. You’ll find it and another equally cringeworthy rap video by sister missionaries.)
These two ladies are sister missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are in the England Leeds mission. I give them mad props for their youthful enthusiasm and creativity, although I ain’t gonna lie… I kind of cringe when I listen to their rhythmic rapping about Joseph Smith. But hey, they’re putting their heart and soul into it, and I’m sure they’re nice people. And they say they’re “doing it for Italy”. They’re doing THIS for Italy? Really? Why?
My husband’s daughter did a mission in Utah. In her case, it was a very good thing to do. It got her away from her crazy mother, and she learned that people can be good and not be LDS. She grew up a lot during her time away, although I will admit that at the time she was doing her mission, I didn’t have a very high opinion of her because of the way she and her sister treated Bill. Now that she’s married and on her own, she’s become a much nicer person, and it’s become clear that she was coerced.
I suppose given how much younger daughter changed, I no longer have as much animosity for Mormonism as I once had. I still think the beliefs are a bit wackadoodle and I don’t like some of the things the members do to get and keep people in the fold. But I no longer have a burning desire to bust on it anymore. Now, I’m just amused by people like the young women in that video. I am also legitimately grateful that people in the church helped Bill’s daughter when she needed help. It’s help that her parents should have given her– particularly her mother, since she forced Bill out of his daughters’ lives. But since Ex wasn’t prepared to do her duty as a mom, I’m glad some good people in the church did.
Here’s another video done by a missionary. He’s got a nice voice and plays ukulele well, but I don’t know about the lyrics. It’s a little too cheesy for me, and the music is very pop. I think the video done by musicians in Berlin’s Opera is more my speed. I legitimately teared up the first time I heard this coronavirus inspired, socially distanced, spot on impromptu performance… It’s very inspirational to me in the way dorky missionary performances are not. But I guess everyone has difference sources of inspiration.
I’m always amazed by extremely religious young people. What do they have that I didn’t when I was their age? I never enjoyed church at all and couldn’t wait to stop attending the forced gatherings every Sunday. I didn’t go to a particularly demanding church, either. I was a Presbyterian. I guess I still am a Presbyterian, although I don’t go to church anymore. I prefer to look for God outside of church and formal religions.
Yesterday, an Armenian friend shared the news that the “last” Armenian in Bangladesh had died. I didn’t know Armenia had such an influence on Bangladesh, but I did remember that I used to live in a part of Yerevan that was on the way to the city district nicknamed “Bangladesh”. I asked my friend if the part of Yerevan called Bangladesh had anything to do with the Armenian presence in the country. He said it didn’t. Apparently, “Bangladesh” in Yerevan came about as a nickname during the early 70s, when Bangladesh was getting its independence from Nepal. At that time, Armenia was part of the Soviet Union, which was, of course, a closed society. People of that time would not have had much of a chance to meet anyone from Bangladesh or anywhere else that wasn’t part of the Soviet Union or the Eastern Bloc.
I found an interesting article about Yerevan’s “Bangladesh”, having been inspired by my friend’s post about the last Armenian’s death. Within the article, which was written by Maxim Edwards, a British journalist, there is a story about how Armenians were wary of Americans who speak Armenian. Why? It’s not because of Peace Corps Volunteers, of which I was one in the 1990s. It’s because of Mormon missionaries. I kind of liked this story in Edwards’ article:
Incidentally, I was among the first “foreigners” to visit Armenia after the fall of the Soviet Union. I was in the third Peace Corps group to serve there, and I got to know a lot of people who worked at the American Embassy. I didn’t know of any Mormons there, although there was a Mormon couple in my group with me. I think Armenia did become somewhat of a hotbed of LDS activity after I left. I think it’s pretty funny what the locals had to say about the church’s invasion into the “first Christian country”. I’m sure the LDS church is a tough sell in Armenia, a place where people like their coffee, tea, booze, and cigarettes, and it’s way too hot to wear temple garments. Moreover, even though they were officially atheists during the Soviet era, Armenians are mostly very proud of their Christian heritage, although I did run into a couple of Jewish and Muslim believers, too.
Anyway… the above video is not the first one I’ve seen highlighting silliness among the LDS folk. They probably get pretty bored, especially nowadays, when they can’t be going door to door peddling their religion to the unaware. I was amused by their antics, though. Hope they had as much fun making their video as I did watching it… and laughing at it. It’s a brave thing to put stuff out there on the Internet. Believe me, I should know.