The title says it all basically. I was stopped in town on the way home last night by 2 Mormon chaps who were doing missionary work, in Angoulême of all places. Now, my knowledge of Mormonism is pretty sketchy, but I certainly didn’t let that stop me having some fun with these guys. After having asked me what I believed, they proceeded to tell me about their revelation stories, both of which involved their god revealing himself in prayer to them. When I asked for evidence of this celestial dictator, they responded in the most wonderful fashion: “Look at the earth.” Sweet, no? A question followed about whether I thought evolution was the cause of life on earth (I had to double-take at this point), and they finally offered me a Book of Mormon. I am still angry with myself for not taking it – free comedy literature should never be turned down, but for some reason this didn’t occur to me until after they’d moved on. So no Book of Mormon for me – alas.
This leads me on to something vaguely serious though. The 2 guys, both of whom were my age, clearly had no way of dealing with a conversation that did not follow their script – it was like talking to small, Mormon clones of Ray Comfort supporters. They did not possess the tools to argue their case, admitting to me freely that they had no chance of convincing me of their god’s existence, and in a way I pitied them. Growing up in an environment where you are not privy to a basic level of education, scientific or otherwise, before being thrust into a secular nation such as France to preach, does not sound like a healthy way to spend one’s formative years. They were very nice people; it is merely a shame that unfounded beliefs can be hammered in so strongly and unerringly into such young minds that they become unaware of reality.
As for the actual year abroad stuff, it’s really quite rainy. Little work is being undertaken due to the vagaries of my timetable, allowing me to sleep, eat, play the odd spot of golf and see friends ad nauseam. The real stuff recommences tomorrow though, whereupon I shall do my first full week (weeks for me here are always 4 days) for nearly a month – quite frankly it’s a disgrace that I’m being paid to do so little, but I certainly shall not complain!