Somehow tonight I ended up just hanging out with a bunch of our neighbors. My roommate Sofia has become pretty good friends with one of our neighbors, Krystal. They were sitting on the front porch chatting and another neighbor, Angela, came up. I’ve been friends with her for a while, and her crazy little dog tagged along, so I decided to join them. Two people moved into the next building over not long ago, and one of them, Dustin, came by. Eventually his roommate, the extremely adorable Michelle joined us. We were having basic get-to-know-you chats when we saw two guys approaching…

Sure enough, they were Mormon missionaries. They were nice and friendly, but it quickly became apparent that this was five-against-two. My roommate, Krystal, and Michelle (who has a gay best friend) started giving them a lot of crap about their stance on homosexuality. Then I jumped on board and started dissecting their philosophy (ie, the stuff they don’t usually mention when they come to your door). I asked all about becoming a god and getting your own planet and whatnot, and they insisted these beliefs (which they correctly did not deny were part of LDS doctrine) came not from The Book Of Mormon or The Pearl Of Great Price, but from the Bible itself.

I’m pretty sure this was just an attempt to make these ideas seem less crazy, now that they had been brought out into the open and they couldn’t just gloss over things and make the LDS church sound more like mainstream Christian denominations. Instead, they had to show us how mainstream Christianity was just as crazy, but that non-Mormons had been misinterpreting it. They showed me plenty of Bible verses and talked a lot about what mainstream churches believe, but I was able to counter everything they said, based on the fact that I spent around twelve years studying the Bible, theology, and the beliefs of various denominations.

When they could see that I knew more about their beliefs than most people they talk to, they had no choice but to back down and try to sell me on a pamphlet that would explain everything. I told the guy who offered me the pamphlet that I wasn’t going to read it, that I have probably already read the material that it cited, and that I would rather it go to someone who might be interested and sitting on the fence. I didn’t want that one person to miss out on this pamphlet because he ran out of them, meanwhile mine sat on a shelf and collected dust. He assured me that he has never run out, so I told him I would take it and put it in the free bin at Downtown Books and News, and perhaps someone else will find it more helpful. This seemed to him to be a good compromise.

We had a few more debates about human nature, the concept of sin, the existence of God, and the validity of the Bible, and then they decided their work was done. I started playing Michelle’s guitar and then one of our other neighbors, Ty, came out with his guitar. I grabbed my derbuka and we had a short little jam session until it started raining and we all dispersed. Overall it was a pretty fun evening. It’s not every day a group of people living in an apartment complex in the city hang out around a front porch and shoot the shit. And it’s definitely not every day five people gang up on some Mormons and have a good laugh at their expense.

In a completely unrelated note, my stuff is ready at the frame shop. My bank account isn’t exactly happy about that, but oh well. Two-and-a-half weeks until my show! w00t!!! And yeah, I guess that’s about it for now.