I'm continuing with my discussion on Nothing to Lose by Lee Child, if only because I rambled too much in the last post, and also because I thought it would be fun to talk church stuff on Sunday. Seriously, that's why I waited. I could write this post today as a way to not feel guilty for blogging on the Sabbath.
Okay. Where was I? Oh, yes...There was a reference to Mormon missionaries in the middle of page 146 that I found humorous, and it also brought back a memory from my missionary days. Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but this little blog lady served a mission. My destination? The Nevada Las Vegas Mission. I'll be the first to admit that I was choking back the tears when I read my little letter from the First Presidency of our church. As you can only imagine, Nevada wasn't first on my list of destinations for a mission. I distinctly remember putting Ireland as my requested mission location. Perhaps they didn't read it. Whatever the case, Nevada was my location and Nevada is where I went.
By the time you get to page 146 of Nothing to Lose, Reacher has been back and forth from Despair to Hope and back again, come across a dead body in the desert, met Officer Vaughan, disabled all the deputized law enforcement in Despair, and is now searching out Judge Gardner because he's under the delusion that he should be sworn in as a deputy. Delusional or not, Reacher is knocking on the Gardner's door past nine o'clock at night when Lee Child adds this thought to the mix. "Reacher knew he was no kind of an ideal nighttime visitor. Nine times out of ten only Mormon missionaries were less welcome than him." **laughing**.....**still laughing**
Honestly, I have no idea if that is true or not. I imagine some missionaries serve in areas where they are unwelcome, but I'm happy to report that I only encountered one such incident during my eighteen month mission. As stated above I was serving in Nevada. At the time of my most unfortunate encounter, I was serving as a companion to the Sister Assistant to the President. It sounds like a cool title to have, but it required me to go on 24 hour exchanges five nights a week with other sister missionaries and evaluate their skills. It wasn't the best time of my mission, but someone had to do it!
I was with some sister missionary tracting (tracting is where we knock on doors looking for investigators-people that want to learn more about the church) in some neighborhood in Las Vegas. (don't you just love my details? This is why I could never write my own novel.) We were half way through the neighborhood when a garage door went up at the home we were about to approach. I say "about" because the owner came out of his garage carrying a shotgun and met us at the end of the drive way. Well, not being stupid, we walked by him without making eye contact. Once we went by, he disappeared inside his garage only returning to greet us on the way back to our vehicle. Naturally, the sister I was with wanted to cross the street in order to return to our car. I, on the other hand, had other plans.
At this point I was just annoyed with the guy. I mean, seriously, what is he going to do? He can't just shoot a Mormon missionary in the middle of some city street. Well, I suppose he could, but it would be such a silly thing to do. Besides, I was skilled in the art of building relationships of trust by finding common ground. The guy had no idea who he was dealing with. After approaching the end of his driveway, I stopped and turned directly to face him. Looking him in the eye I said, "that's a really nice weapon you have. Is that made out of walnut?" He responded by tilting his head and blinking. So, I continued with, "It's been years since I've shot one of these. In my childhood I used to hunt squirrels in the back woods of Shreveport, Louisiana with my cousins." At this point...he belonged to me. The guy busted up laughing and invited us in to meet his wife.
So, I guess it's possible that nine times out of ten we Mormon missionaries would be less welcome than Reacher. But, for me, nine times out of ten the vacuum salesman will be less welcome than my favorite man Jack. In fact, I would gladly pick Reacher up off the side of the road if I ever found him wandering the sad lonely streets of Magna, Utah. My husband probably wouldn't let me take him home with me, but...a girl can always dream.