(circa 2008)

I know what you meant when you said shit, Elder F.  I know.  You don’t want to be here anymore, right?  You want to go home right?  I know you go home in two months, but you don’t want to go home to the parade and showers right?  You want to go home quietly, you want to take that bus in the night.  Listen, you know Elder H, the baseball player, he was telling me about his Greenie you know.  He told me that his greenie was cool but that he doesn’t get it, and I just sat there quietly and asked “Get what?”  And he said “you know.”  And I asked “what.”  I was such a pussy, I lied to his face.  We just ended it right there.  We keep writing those letters home and stuff you know and trying to baptize.  We tell them it’s good that so and so is going back to church.  I hear my brother’s going back to church.  Two years ago my mom caught him naked in the hallway and she asked him what he was doing there, holding his junk and he couldn’t find a goddamn reason why she was interrogating him, and now he’s off drugs and everyone’s singing praises and I’m like this authority figure out here, doing the real work, converting people and in my letters, I just nod my head and smile and tell them to thank God . And Elder H, the baseball player, he just kind of dropped it.  You know Elder Harold right, Runaway Harold, they called him?  He got sent home, he was so crazy.  I know why you said Shit. Elder F.  I know why you said shit.  It’s why I cried into my pillow when I was out only a couple of months and I convinced myself it was because I was having trouble learning the discussions.  I know what Elder H, the baseball player was saying when he told me that his greenie doesn’t get it and I know why Harold tried to run away and I know you know too.

    Cuz they don’t tell us anything, do they?  Especially us, the Stateside ones, We didn’t get into BYU and we aren’t learning a foreign language and we didn’t exactly go into the MTC the day we turned 19, did we?  The mission is even more perfect for us, isn’t it?  Gives us something to do, something to accomplish for once in our damned lives, right?  We aren’t condescending to some third-world nation.  They send us right here, might as well send us to the next town over and they don’t tell us a goddamn thing other than they wish they could go again, they say it’ll be the hardest time of our lives but also the best, right?  You ever figure that one out?  They speak of the glory of waking up at 6:30 every morning and studying and teaching and getting doors slammed in our face.  But they didn’t tell us everything did they?  They didn’t tell us that the same rules apply here as on the outside, that salesman baptize and the poor, stuttering imbeciles, well, they try so hard.

    You know what the baseball player was saying right?  His greenie doesn’t get that it’s bullshit!  It’s all bullshit!  There’s no fucking God and there are no answered prayers.  Lets go home.  L can come, We’ll take J, and of course the baseball player.  We’ll all live together, hell, we’re all from California. We’ll start a crazy business like we talk about.  We’ll be stockbrokers.   


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