Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Am A Mormon Part 2; What the Mission

In my previous blog post, I briefly explained my religion and the fact that I'll be serving a mission. So let me go into further detail.

It's a custom and a tradition for young men at the age of 18-21 to serve a mission for two years. They spend this year walking all over the cities they're assigned to, knocking on doors, asking you if they can come in and talk to you about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. They're friendly fellows, they might ask if there's anything they can do for you (they're big fans of yard work, BTW). They'll talk to you about a man named Joseph Smith, ask if they can come back and teach you more. If you listen, you'll find that there's something special about these boys. They might ask you to make changes in your life, but rest assured, you'll be much happier if you give up the smokes and alcohol, and they can help you make those changes. These guys are called "Elders."

Young women, starting at 19, can also serve a mission. However, we serve for 18 months (a year and a half). We basically do the same thing, except we're better. Maybe we're cuter. Maybe we talk better. Nobody really knows. But we definitely make better brownies and cookies. We're referred to as "Sisters."

We come in pairs, missionaries go marching on two by two. And if you pick up the phone and call 'em, they'd be ECSTATIC to answer any and all questions! We just ask that you be kind and not yell at us or violently argue with us. Debates are... not the best forums. We'd rather you ask us as many questions as you want!

During these 18-24 months, we don't have much contact with the "real world." We skype our families on Mother's Day and Christmas, and we email them once a week. We don't have facebooks (although I think the sister missionaries in New York are allowed facebooks for contacting!) we don't have our cell phones, we don't have much. We're out here to serve, you see. So we drop our education and jobs for a bit, say goodbye to our friends and families, boyfriends or girlfriends, and teach. We don't get payed-- we're given enough money to live though. We don't date or socialize while on the mission. We're just there to serve. We have a song about it too. It's called "Called to Serve," shockingly enough.

This is the life I'll be living for just a bit. Is it hard? Hardest thing I've ever done in my life so far! Will I cry? All the freaking time! Am I still excited to go? YES! I've been looking forward to serving my mission since I was 14! That's FIVE WHOLE YEARS OF WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT!!

So look for the white shirts and ties! Look for the long skirts and sensible shoes! LOOK FOR THE NAME TAGS! Flag us down in the streets! We'd love to stop and talk! What have you got to lose?

I Am A Mormon Part 1; What the Blog

Hello! My name is Hannah Gunson. I'm a Nerdfighter, a theatre geek, a surfing beach bum, writer/editor extraordinaire, pop culture scholar, world class geek, and I'm a Mormon. I don't have horns, I don't have 5 moms, I don't drink, smoke, or swear. Have I mentioned that I'm about to serve a mission for my church?

I've been called to serve in the Fort Worth, Texas mission for a period of 18 months. I'll be knocking on doors, standing on metaphorical soapboxes, and basically making sure all of my area has heard of the Restoration of the gospel. I'm sure you've heard bits and pieces of what the LDS church is about. Probably because of Mitt Romney or the wildly popular (and wildly inaccurate) musical "The Book of Mormon." Trust me on this, folks, an LDS member will know more about their religion than Lord Google. Even our small, 5 year old members can tell you what we believe in.

We believe in God, the Eternal Father, in his son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. We believe that Joseph Smith, as a 14 year old boy, had a desire to know which church to join. When he prayed to God, the Father and the Son appeared to him and told him that none of the churches on the earth were true. In time, Joseph Smith translated the history of God's people in America. This record is called the Book of Mormon. We believe that this life is a probationary period, which means that there is an afterlife and that we are all given the chance live again with Heavenly Father when we die. We believe that there's eternal life after this temporal one.

Now you have a very very very basic understanding of what we're about.

Before you start unfollowing me and begin ignoring me, I'd like to explain what's going to happen over the next 18 months. You know, other than preaching my gospel to whoever will listen.

I've asked a very near-and-dear friend of mine to post my letters home here. I'll be emailing home, home will send out these letters, detailing my mission adventures, and she'll then post said adventures here for you to read about! And at the end of 18 months, I'll come home, answer questions you might have, and resume "regular blogging."

I appreciate your patience with this. This blog has been an outlet and something of value to me. Regardless of how many hits I get, it's still a nice place to talk. My mission will be a very pivotal point in my life, considering how difficult it is yet how rewarding it can be. And it's something I'd like to share with y'all.

I encourage you to share the things you find interesting. And if you have any questions, ask your local missionaries-- they can help.