Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Another One Of My Many Mormon Mission Experiences In Argentina!! This Particular Time, I Could Have Died, In The Name Of Baptism Numbers!!

Well, I've shared several of my mission stories but I felt that I really needed to share this one since it could have cost me my life. When I think about it, the places we were late at night, walking home at 1 or 2 in the morning, etc, it's amazing that more Mormon Missionaries aren't harmed. We were told to stay out as long as it took to get the numbers and charlas(discussions). In Argentina, they take the siesta everyday starting from some time between 12 and 2 and going until at least 5, depending on where you are in the country. It's not the safest thing in the world for two "rich" American missionaries,as they perceived us to be, walking home at 1 in the morning in a country full of poverty.

I think about it now and man was I naive to the dangers that existed and it's obvious to me that my leaders, specifically the Mormon Mission President, didn't give a damn about my safety or any missionaries safety for that matter. As long as we got his numbers for him, I'm guessing that a Missionary losing his life would have been justified. All I can do now is be thankful that I'm alive and shake my head in disgust at how our lives were literally put at risk for baptism numbers and stats.

Anyway, we were told to make up those hours that we had lost during the siesta. In reality, we were supposed to work the siesta too and wake people up in the middle of their afternoon nap but we never did it. Nobody really did but then we felt that we needed to stay out late, as we were told to, to make up for that lost time. Anyway, this experience that I'm about to share was just another example of the pressure that we all felt, especially the Zone Leaders and what it could ultimately lead to. I'm just glad that I'm still hear to share the story.

Here's my story:

Lets see, we had gone to bed probably around 10:30, I was a very strict by the rules kind of missionary, especially when I was with a rebel missionary, which I was. Anyway, we had gone to bed, were sound asleep and about 1:00 am we heard one of our windows shatter in the bathroom.

Now I have to explain where we lived. We lived on top of the Church. It was a two story building and we lived on the roof basically. There was an outside spiral staircase that went from the second story to the roof. Anyway, we of course had no telephone or anything as is the case with a lot of missionaries in South America, especially back then. Also, you couldn't get to us unless you went through the Church and it was locked with a skeleton key.

So we heard the window shatter and it woke us both up. We were still kind of out of it and wondered what the hell was going on. So my companion went outside first and I followed and we walked to the front of the roof/building to look over and see where the rock came from. Now of course, the dumb asses throwing the rocks were still throwing them, not knowing that we were awake. Well, guess who it was? It was the Freakin Zonies of course!! Yeah, zonie is mission speak for Zone leaders!!

So, anyway, we shouted "hey, were coming" so that they would stop throwing the rocks at us. They of course were laughing and thought the whole thing was hilarious for some reason. We were still half asleep!! So, my comp went down to the bottom level, unlocked the door and let them in. They of course asked about the broken window and we told them it was our bathroom window, which was our only window and they laughed hysterically. We of course had to later clean up all of the glass that was all over our bathroom floor and take cold showers in an already freezing bathroom, but now with the very cold outside air coming in too, so we didn't find it funny at all!!

So, the reason that they had to come and wake us up at 1 am was for numbers, yep damn numbers. It was near the end of the month and they needed to get one more baptism in and they needed to be there early the next day for the interview. So they had come to do a work division with us so that they could cover their area and travel to the other area for the interview.

My companion took off running with one ZL to catch a train to that was leaving in like 15 minutes and was the last train. Meanwhile, I was perfectly content to stay at our place with the other ZL. However, he didn't bring anything with him and he talked me into going to their apartment where I could get a hot shower, something I hadn't had in like 4-5 months.

I got dressed in my missionary clothes of course, still had to be a missionary, packed a few things and headed out. There was one more bus left for the night that came in like 15 minutes so we hurried out. If we missed that bus, it was like a 5 mile plus walk to the downtown and there were no taxis at that time of night. Anyway, the bus stop was right across like a field or a park that was in front of the Church. So we headed over there to the bus stop but on the way, we saw a group of guys coming toward us.

Now keep in mind, it's like almost 1:30 am and nobody else is around but these guys and us. I would say that there were at least 10-12 guys. We just kept walking straight to the bus stop but they cut us off and surrounded us. The one guy spoke very broken English and kept trying to talk to us. They knew who we were, American Mormon Missionaries. To top it off, these guys were wasted, had knives with them and weren't too friendly or happy to see us. Well, after 5-10 minutes(It seemed like an hour), they finally told us what they wanted. We were scared out of our minds as we were both wearing glasses and the one guy came over and removed both of our glasses.

What did they want? They wanted money of course from the rich Americans. Well, we had just gotten paid that day and we both had our entire months money in our wallets. My Mom had always taught me that nothing material is worth your life, so I was prepared to give them everything I had in my wallet, no questions asked, based on the situation we were in. The ZL of course was trying to test them and see how much they needed or wanted. Well, the bottom line is all they really wanted was money for beer. The ZL gave them the equivalent of like $5.00 and that was it.

They gave us back our glasses and we headed on to the bus stop, of course, shaking like a leaf and terrified. We could both barely even speak. I can't really explain this nervous feeling except to say that it was the type of feeling when you think you might actually die or get hurt very badly. It is an awful feeling and I've never felt that way before or after that experience.

I was left to reflect on why it happened, why we could have died that night and it was all for one thing, MISSION NUMBERS!! We were in bed, obeying mission rules, they weren't, but they were under so much pressure to get those damn numbers, that it could have cost us our lives. This particular ZL was a pretty good guy, we got along well, but his judgment that night was awful. I never would have done what he did when I was a ZL, never!! But that's why in my mission, I was no longer a ZL!! I would have told them to go screw themselves and that we'd just put the number toward next month.

Anyway, that's one of my many stories but it was the worst one and the scariest one by far. Also, by the way, in case your wondering, as we stood at the bus stop, shaking and trembling, barely able to talk, the last bus of the night came by like 3 minutes later. So, the bottom line is that I survived to tell the story but I never should have even been in that situation considering one minute I'm in bed asleep and the next minute my life is on the line. I guess if I would have died, the Church would have made up something good to cover their asses. I know without a doubt that the "real truth" would have never gotten out and everyone would have probably been left to believe that I was breaking the rules and therefore died.

What they wouldn't have told you was that the rule to be in by 9:30 pm didn't apply in my mission and had been waived by my Mission President. We actually had no curfew as long as we were teaching somebody but I still personally tried to stick to it whenever possible. Then, everyone would have heard the line that I died doing what I loved, serving the Lord, what better way to go. Damn cult!!

Here are a few of my other stories from my mission for those that haven't read them yet. These aren't life threatening, just mind bending and sickening and also one funny one regarding my President:

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At Friday, December 01, 2006 7:43:00 PM, Blogger sterling said...

everyones mission is hard in Doctrine and covenants it says :but if you bring but one soul unto me how great shall be your joy in the kingdom of my father.

At Monday, June 18, 2007 4:35:00 AM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Yeah Sterling, where's the scripture about what a joy it would be to be stabbed to death at 1:30 in the morning for baptism numbers? Was your life threatened on your mission if you served one?
Were you ever surrounded by a bunch of drunk guys with knives?

Missions are more than hard, they are pure bullshit and the missionary abuse that takes place, both for the young men and women as well as the older couples, is appalling. Oh yeah, and we pay for the privilege of being told we are shit and not baptizing enough.

It's pretty amazing that 50,000+ missionaries, every 2 years, fork out around $200,000,000 to this damn Mormon cult and gee...I wonder if they even use $100,000,000 of that money as they literally starve the missionaries. Now they are making them all bunk together, stay with members, etc, because they can't afford that each set of missionaries has their own place....what a crock of shit!!

By the way, where are all of these missions that cost more than $400 a month?

Oh yeah, and how great shall be your joy when you join cults like Heaven's gate and catch a ride on the Mothership UFO that is hiding behind a comet and how great is your joy as your burn to death at Waco and how great is your joy as you drink poison punch with Jim Jones. Same old bullshit, different cult!!

Wake up Sterling!!


At Saturday, November 03, 2007 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Why? said...

I've been on a mission and I believe you misrepresent what it means to be a mormon missionary. It says in the missionary handbook that for your safety that you're not supposed to be out after dark. The missionary rules are to protect Missionaries who choose to disobey are doing so at their own risk. They were put in place by wise leaders and they are clearly spelled out. I disagree with your assessment of the situation. I doubt a mission president would have told you to disobey the rules.

At Wednesday, November 28, 2007 2:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with what was last posted. If you were out at 1:30 am, that was not at the request of the mission president. I don't know a single person who has served as mission president that has told his missionaries to disobey the rules. I have been on a mission where two missionaries were shot. The missionary that survived returned and finished his mission because he knew it was true, just as I do. It saddens me to see someone degrade something that they tried to teach others.

There are missions that cost more than $400, and there are those that cost less. In my mission, rent alone was $1,200 a month for one apartment I lived in. And there was over twenty apartments in my mission. Granted they all didn't cost $1,200, but that's a large sum. That doesn't even come close to the amount that the church pays in car accidents, and injuries to missionaries.
I for one, know that you do not actually believe this church is a cult. Because, if you actually sincerely taught it as a missionary, there is no way. The only reason would be because you distanced yourself or were 'offended' by someone, and of course that means the whole church must be bad.
Maybe you should actually pay attention to the talks at General Conference you so adamantly watch and critic.

At Saturday, March 08, 2008 1:04:00 PM, Blogger travis bascom said...
it appears you lost your testimony or never had it. I always find it interesting that those that tell others that the mormon church is not gods church never seem to tell us which church is. I hope that someday you will come back to your savior.

At Tuesday, May 20, 2008 6:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Samuel,

This is the first time I'd actually READ this story, and after this note I'll read the other links. SICK STUFF!!

Notice how the TBM's try to blame YOU and deny your own remembered experiences?! If it doesn't fit with their "faith promoting" agenda then you must somehow be lying about your Zone Leader getting you late, and YOU were DISOBEYING the rules so if you had been stabbed, it would have been YOUR FAULT. Did you read that one guy? Some guy gets SHOT and his companion dies, and he FINISHES his mission? I mean, these are truly BRAINWASHED people, led to believe harm, violence or even possible death are their own FAULT!


I'm so glad that you're okay, and weren't harmed, and are alive to help spread the word about the cult today. So sorry to hear about all the misfortunes you had to endure! Horrid.

I still feel physically SICK to the stomach when I think about sister missionaries being murdered and gang-raped ... for what? For this lying, deceiving cult!! Like those two sister missionaries in Africa, that had to endure being gang-raped all for a church that ISN'T EVEN TRUE! ALL FOR NOTHING! And to add salt to the wound - they paid for themselves to go there, and sacrificed two years almost! And then the one sister goes back to the mission???

This truly is a heartless, brainwashing, sick, twisted cult.

Please keep spreading the word.

Take care, enjoying the blog as always!

At Saturday, March 07, 2009 10:20:00 PM, Blogger Francisca said...

Dear Samuel,

I am from Spain and I feel thankful for people like you that took the time to learn my native language and teach me about the gospel.

It is unfortunate what happened to you in Argentina. I wonder if there is anything good from going to Argentina. Can you use your Spanish skills now that you are back?

Samuel, my lovely daughter is going to go on a mission. She will turn 21 in July. I am glad I read your blog because this has sparked good discussions with my daughter. One of the things we have talked about is the importance of following the mission rules; like anyother rule (trafic rules, etc) are to protect us from harm. I am so glad your mother taught such good principles to you that in Argentina her teachings saved your life. I can chose to drive on the left side of the road and when something bad happens I can also blame others for the poor choice I made knowing what the rule was. I may feel pressure because I need to make it to work on time and there maybe a lot of trafic going the same direction I am going. Pressure doesn't justify poor choices. You knew the mission rules. I hope as a missionary my daughter stands up to her zone leaders or even her mission president if they ever challenge her not to follow the mission rules.

Samuel sometimes bad things happen to good people. Abenadi was a wonderful missionary, he was burned. Why did God let that happened? We all have free agency and God respect that. Everybody will have to respond for the things we do here on Earth. Everbody, child molesters included.

I have been married for 23 years and I have learned that if the only thing you look for are negatives that will be the only thing you will find. If you take time to look for positives, you will also find them. You will find whatever you are looking for.

I have great respect for you and your family. I like that you acknoledge missionaries and their families in time of crises.

Keep doing that! The only thing I wish you would discontinue doing is using the degrating kind of language you use. As a foreigner, my English is quite limited. It is interesting to me to see how native Americans cannot find the necessary vocabulary words to express their anger and frustrations in their own language and fall into a repetitive English with words such as "ass" or "bullshit" which doesn't have to do anything with what you are trying to communicate or does not enhance the effectiviness of your message. Mierda de toro y trasero de burro seem like words that are out of topic.

At Wednesday, September 16, 2009 7:40:00 PM, Blogger Tour De Force said...

I don't know why you have to talk down to a faith you once believed. I will be leaving to serve a mission in Vancouver, Canada in just over a month. I stumbled across your blog in looking for missionary stories to include in my farewell talk. This isn't the only anti-mormon/anti-missionary site i've found. I just want to ask you if you could possibly label this in a way that people like me, who aren't looking to find anti-mormon stories and opinions. I know you label it this way so that church member that are holding to the rod tightly may begin to doubt. I am appalled that you'd do such a think.

At Friday, December 17, 2010 7:03:00 PM, Blogger Smith Family said...

My mission was very hard. But because I endured, I believe I am a much better father, husband, professional and member. I believe those that have had miserable experiences and now complain or walk away from the church are...well, losers. They were on their missions and they are now. I served as an AP and currently have two sons serving. I would be so disappointed, not with any hardship they may endure, but if they did not endure it well.


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