One of things which amazes me in ex-mo discussions is how people still use the word "serve" when describing the area in which they wasted up to two years of their lives bugging members of the public attempting to recruit them for the cult.  Use of the word "serve" is part of our mormon conditioning, implying that we served the community when in fact we were doing nothing more than making a nuisance of ourselves.  I'll never forget the time when this poor lady got out of the bath to answer the door, and was none too happy when she found out what a waste of time the knock was!

So does anybody have any idea why we still, even as ex-mos, ask each other where we served our missions, rather than where we went?

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Did / do we "serve"? I think a more correct view is that we got "served", and my back pocket, (cough clear throat) is still sore. I wish I had gone to college, ...the mission was a waste and I was the one that got .....served.

Don in Vegas
The only entity who benefited most from my "service" was the morg. Any actual service that we did was with the hope that others would see how awesome we are and want to join us. BLEH!
At the time, I believed (or hoped) it to be service. I live on the Morridor and am surrounded by TBM's, so I have to tread lightly with my colleagues. I've also used the term "filled" a mission. When we retire and leave behind this life-regulated theocracy, I may refer to it in snarkier terms. I'm open to suggestions what to call it.
Maybe it's more used as in "servant" - servant of the Lord?

I don't know. I do find myself still using the word when asking missionaries where they "served". Now I'm going to be more aware of it and word it differently. Some of that crap is so ingrained in us we don't even realize it. It makes me angry.
think the use of the word "serve" is really pretty normal. We heard it used and so we use it as well. The only thing that bugs me at times is that I see people get consumed on their missions.

Ever seen sheep, cattle, etc... get rounded up and run up a ramp to go into the factory and get shocked in the head. I use that mental image for how the LDS Church gets younger impressionable people to think that their life will be so blessed, all the wrongs will be righted, and all their toast will have the butter all melted and warm...for freakin ever. What a sales job. We are a product of our decisions. We decide who and what we are to be and the culmination of those decisions is what we call our life. No one ever, not once has ever, EVER been blessed special by an eternal being from Kolob with quintillions of wives. First off, were that true, he sure as hell would not have time! Second, it is not real. If some other group of people were to believe and espouse the same idea we would call them cracked in the head. Inverte! Same to us!

God is real, as is Christ, but the way we get played is so damned sad. "If you serve a Mission you will be so blessed", and they freakin get off their missions these guys/gals are thinking that it is your job to open doors for them, get them a job, send them to college.... And these really blessed smart guys end up being MLM Distributors selling overpriced vitamins and stinky handsoap door to door. Yup, thats a blessing, and once again, someone served them. Yup, they will be millionaires next week. When they make their list, you can know that it includes past companions and they will all get an email telling them of the blessings. Anyones back side hurting over what gets done to people by the soft spoken inspired guys in Salt Lake. Itis partially the gullibility of people as well. Don't rush to believe everything someone tells you, they may have (hopefully they are smart enough so this is true) a motive in telling you the message that you hear.

On Missions, the only thing that is served is the person having their G's going up their butt crack and up their leg. And all so Salt Lake can have greater numbers. If you get sick, you did not work hard enough, or you did something wrong and are not being...(Pavlov) blessed. Sometimes our desires to have "strangers" like us and tell us we are good is a destructive force. These guys in Salt Lake are stuck!

They have to be in a Church position for their personal fortunes as well. They gain customers, they gain sales reps, they gain money from the light that glows from their position in the LDS Church. Oh, you need to work for XYZ company because we are LDS owned and operated. That to me is the very reason I would run from it. I will not march lock step, as that are what those "Mormon Words" mean. You will work for us, you will got Sacrament meeting, EQ, RS, and others things. If you don't, well, you will not be blessed...temed.

There is no blessing that comes from Serving a Mission past organisational skills, possibly a second language that could be gotten from the public library. AND YOU KEEP YOUR LIFE!

ok, I'm getting off the stump now. Time to eat some food, play with the Rots and have a great Saturday!

Don, in Las Vegas

However, I use the words "Two year stint" more and more.
I think one thing that's interesting is how two people can see the same experience so differently. My mission was horrible. I hated it. But I just met up with one of my old companions the other day and I was talking to her about this one experience we shared (where are mission president ripped into us about how little faith we had and we needed to exercise more and that is why we weren't getting the baptisms.) We both were crying after his little visit and talking about it. I even sent him a letter telling him how inappropriate it was what he did to us. But as I was talking to my ex-companion, she could barely remember that experience. She just said oh, I vaguely recall that. But didn't say much else. Apparently she has blocked out all the bad and kept all the good including what a wonderful mission president we had...um, no, the guy was a complete a-hole along with his wife. I had so few good things that the bad ones just stand out...it was pretty much the whole time. While since she has held on to her faith, the good stuff needs to stand out, I guess. It was so fascinating to see how she had blocked out that whole episode....

I usually just say go. Did you go on a mission. I went to....I got over the serve phrase pretty darn fast.
I still use the word "served." Could I have done other things with those two years? Of course. But I don't regret it. I didn't feel pressure to go. It was my decision. I enjoyed serving a mission pretty well at the time and still don't mind looking back on it and it's been14 years since I got home. Plus, serving in a very low teaching/baptizing area (the South Dakota Rapid City Mission) I do take a small measure of comfort knowing that I did almost nothing to increase the numbers for the church and I would be amazed if any of those few I did help bring into the church were still active. Also, since teaching and baptizing were so rare, community service was about the most enjoyable part of being on a mission. It was fun volunteering time for city parks and rec, meals on wheels, thrift stores, a museum, the Ronald McDonald House, etc. This stuff was definitely "service" even if we had our tags on.
Want to something humorous? Myself, my family, an old companion and his family both returned to the Catholic Church. We were welcomed back with open arms, no guilt, and it felt good. To each their own, this works for our families.

All the time I spent biking around the Oakland / San Francisco Bay area...what a waste.

Don
I usually say that I went to Spain as a mormon missionary, lol. I was actually myself, incongnito as a freak. I was not the hardest working missionary, but in many ways I was more successful than my "faithfull" companions. Today I am ashamed of the success I had in corrupting minds. We were a group of kids who had been abused by our parents into believing a lie. It wasn't our fault that we wanted to become abusers just like them.

I still remember getting spit on in the face by someone on the street. I didn't blame him then, and today I understand.
Now when I see missionaries, I usually honk and wave, or stop them and chat them up for no more than 30 seconds.

But I completely agree, using the term "serve" for a mission is one more of the uglier cult-speak terms in Mormonism and Christianity in general.
When I was on my mission we would eat rice from the members that needed to have the bugs washed out. I guess after we took care of the bugs that the entire unfortunate situation was ok? Nope, the members gave us rice they would not feed their kids, we lived in Gang area, Mex-gangs, crips and bloods. The DL and ZL would not even come into our area. How delusional would I be if I found how lucky I was? The only reason they left us alone was that I had to teach my companion a bit of rough street reality that came from me growing up in food stamps, projects, etc... You look people right in the eye, speak soft and don't smile. Poor guy was from Blackfoot, ID. and was a great guy! Stupid, but a good guy. :)

I did a lot on my mission. However, I should have gone to collegr.

Don

They had no problem placing us in a margin of danger that they themselves would not have accepted.
I'm not sure if the question should be, "Did we "serve" on our missions?" orrrrr, Who did we serve on our missions? Obviously two years was put in serving someone or something. While the missionaries believed they were serving the Lord and their fellow man, the reality of it is they were serving the Mormon Church. Which at the time they believed to be God's true church but now realize differently. What can you do? You can't change the past. You make the best decision you can based on the info you have at the time. I'm sure the Lord (if there is one) will bless those that served their fellow man with good intent in their hearts.

On a different note, I ran acroos a good quote this morning and thought I'd include it. "In a nation that has developed to a high art advertising, the creator who refuses to advertise himself is immediately suspected of having no product worth selling."
Well in Denmark I saw more people leave the church that join.
But it served me. Beautiful girls, wild beaches, good food.
I went from Tremonton, Utah to Copenhagen, Denmark so it was a step up.
There was this girl named Kirsten Klokker-Hansen ...........

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