5 Hardcore Realities of My Time as a Mormon Missionary

#2. We've Got More Snitches Than a Mob Movie

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The church practically mandates snitching. You get this "how to behave like a Mormon" rulebook, unironically called the White Bible. Among other things, you're not allowed to use a computer if a companion can't see the screen, and you're never supposed to be out of their earshot. The logic is that you can't break the rules if you're never, ever alone -- which of course ignores the possibility of both people breaking the rules together like a Mormon Bonnie and Clyde, or the possibility that a man can literally explode from lack of masturbation. And if you think someone might be breaking the rules, you'd better tell the mission president. This is usually someone retired, wealthy, white, and -- surprise! -- male.

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Two types of rich old dude. Diversity!

Sometimes we'd take an extra hour for lunch and leave the apartment a little late in the morning. Of course our zone leader snitched, and they split us up because they thought we were having too much fun. That's some Footloose shit right there: "If you're not working, you're wasting God's time." But that type of thing is very common. Ratting out your peers is how you earn points with the mission president. If you can find Head Whitey and say, "That guy was checking Facebook ... alone. I would never do such a thing!" then maybe you'll get to be the next district leader, or, dare you dream, a zone leader? Gasp, maybe it'll be Star Light Zone!


And so it came to pass that Sonic acted like an entitled dick.

#1. Saving Souls Is a Cynical Numbers Game

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We log everyone who shows interest -- or even talks with us -- and follow up on a regular basis. That's because the whole "converting souls" thing is very much a competition. The higher ups in the church are obsessed with numbers. They want people baptized, inactive members brought back to the fold, etc. A lot of iffy baptisms happen, just so we can make a soul quota like a bunch of celestial used-car salesmen.

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"This one actually comes with its own planet, eventually."

We regularly got lists of people our bishop wanted us to see. One guy was living in a halfway house -- he was pretty much mentally disabled and clearly knew nothing about the church. These guys baptized him anyway, just to get that number. The first question people ask when you get home isn't "Did you get banana-dicked?" It's "How many baptisms did you get?" Like that's your score. The church is full of myths of people who got hundreds and thousands of baptisms -- they're the Michael Jordans of organized religion. Five total baptisms is considered average. But on my mission, if you got one or two legit baptisms, you were doing well.

And don't think this is just me being down on the whole "converting" thing because I'm a bitter, twisted shell of a man, too short to get the head-dunking leverage you need to be a professional baptizer. I'm extremely happy with my bitter, twisted shell, and the census data puts the foreign retention rate for converts at just 25 percent. So five average converts with 25 percent retention means one or two "legit" conversions. And that's how you calculate your Mormon RBI.

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The Hall of Fame induction party is, well, exactly as tame as you'd expect.

Robert Evans helps people share their interesting experiences with the Internet. If you'd like to tell him your story, send an email here.

For more insane rules, check out 29 Baffling Rules of Life in Video Game Universes.

Related Reading: Cracked recently talked to a man who was shot for his atheism in Bangladesh. We also talked to a woman raised in a fundamentalist Christian cult and a bunch of Ukrainian revolutionaries. If you've got a story for Cracked, don't hesitate send an email.

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