Thursday, January 22, 2009

Missionary House Rules

When the missionaries in our ward moved into our house a little over a year ago, we were encouraged by our stake leaders to give the missionaries a list of rules and expectations up front. I've always thought this was a good idea. As various elders have come and gone over the months, I've added to our initial list. I always thought I was clarifying our expectations, but all I was really doing was making the thing so long that the guys weren't reading it anymore.

Since we're getting a new missionary today, I've spent some time revising and cutting the list. Rather than try to enumerate every little thing that could possibly happen, this time I've tried to keep our rules broad, clear, and simple.

Here are a few I considered, based on our now-vast experience. But they didn't make the cut, for whatever reason:

1. Squirrels are not pets.

2. Missionaries aren't allowed to have pets anyway.

3. Whether you think it's a stupid rule or not, it's our house and if we want to make a rule, you'd better keep it. (This refers to rules we make in general, not anything about the squirrel. In fact, the squirrel never made it into our house...that we know of.)

4. Keep your clothes on. I don't like to hear missionaries scream when I go into my storage room. (Note for the uninitiated: our missionaries have to go through our storage room to get to and from their bathroom.)

5. If you think you need to build a fire outside, you should consider going out tracting or doing a service project or something. Without the matches.

5.5. Yes, we realize that you have to build a fire outside if you're going to ice-glaze the interior of your igloo.

5.75. Which you built outside.

5.9. After all, what's the point of serving a mission in Wisconsin in the middle of the winter if you're not going to build an igloo with all the snow piled outside your door?

5.95. We are sorry we didn't take a picture of your igloo before it melted last year. It was truly amazing.

5.97. I really do mean this.

6. It is helpful, when you have other missionaries stay over before zone conference, if you introduce them to us when you bring them upstairs to make breakfast, and we stumble into the kitchen half-asleep before school and see all these strangers in our kitchen.

7. "Lights out at 10:30" does not mean turn off all the lights at 10:30 and then stay awake in the dark.

8. We love you guys and admire and respect you so much for taking this time out of your lives to serve the Lord and your fellow man. We know the work is not easy or even always pleasant, and it can be tough to be away from your families and loved ones at home. And we know that guys are interested in squirrels and fires and things whether they're missionaries or not. But you are doing such a great thing, and becoming great men and great leaders in the process.

Well, maybe I should put that last one on there anyway (I say oh-so-nobly). Someone once mentioned to me that if all young people would spend two years of their life in volunteer service like the LDS missionaries do, they'd have such a different picture of the world and their place in it and their need to contribute. I have to say I agree wholeheartedly.

But hey, these guys don't stop being individuals just because they wear missionary name tags. They're all one-of-a-kind, and they're all pretty cool.


HOWARD'S said...

I don't see why those rules didn't make the cut. They all seem like reasonable rules to me. But could they have a pet squirrel if it stayed outside?

Katie Parker said...

I think pet squirrels are against mission rules. Besides, our dog would try to eat it.

HOWARD'S said...

Aww, your NO fun!

SAH Mom said...

Bahahaha! As a guest reader to your blog, I found these rules hilarious - but hit close to home.

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