Carter Howell and Seth Munger are a lot like you and me. They’re “just 19- and 20-year-old guys.” They’re “not different than other people.” And yet some people look at them like they’re “from a different planet.”
All because they’re Mormon missionaries:
The day begins at 6:30 a.m. and follows a schedule that includes time for prayer — both solitary and with others — and planning for the day. There is time for meals — an hour for lunch, another hour for dinner — and then more door knocking in the evening. Their curfew is 9:30 p.m. Lights out at 10:30.
Curfew may imply that somebody is watching. Not so. These young men know and embrace the rules — and follow them.
And they pay for the privilege.
That doesn’t sound that different from other people! I generally wake up around 6:30am, spend an hour on lunch, and spend another hour on dinner! I can’t always stay up much past 10:30, either. And I’ve been known to pay for “privileges,” although I’ve never used that exact euphemism. I never knew I had so much in common with the Mormons!
“Some people look at us like we’re from a different planet,” Munger said. Before becoming a missionary, he said, “I was a person, too.”
That’s when Howell said: “Tell people not to be mean to us.”
Sorry, Carter and Seth, you just lost me. When someone comes to my house and wants to lecture me about the planet Kolob, meanness is the most appropriate response. When someone rings my doorbell to convince me that a 19th-century treasure hunter was some sort of “prophet,” I’m likely to release the hounds. When someone comes onto my property to insist on the supernatural infallibility of a dogma that magically changes whenever the political winds change, I call them a “Moroni,” even if it hurts their feelings.