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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Missionaries (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Missionaries
katharina
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Wow, the italics in that sentence are really soemthing. [Eek!]
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katharina
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I agree that rivka is fabulous.

Edit: oh, Olivet's post is gone.

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kmbboots
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I really wasn't thinking about or responding to you at all when I posted, katharina. No reason at all for you to take it personally.
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katharina
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I wasn't taking it personally. I thought the sideswipe was at Rakeesh.
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Megan
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I just took it as a way of working a speaking style into the post rather than as a specific swipe against someone.

People seem to be very eager to take offense in a lot of threads these days. I think we either need a group hug, or as Scott suggested, taquitos!

Group taquitos!

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Olivet
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I deleted my earlier comment because I feared speaking for someone else's intent, but I also agree that rivka is the bomb.
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kmbboots
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It was in response to this:

quote:
From someone who values respecting other human beings (at least, your own version of that idea-and really, all any of us have is our own version) as the highest thing, or at least higher than proesltizing, isn't it in fact a criticism/condemnation, kmbboots?
but not a "side swipe", just an inflection.
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katharina
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Hm... pointing that one person is wise in contrast to someone else is definitely not flattering to the someone else. That's a sideswipe.
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kmbboots
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Saying that one person is wise doesn't necessarily insult anyone else. I was just pointing out why I used Rivka as an example of wisdom. Since it bothers you, though, I will remove the italics.
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katharina
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Aw, thanks. [Smile] That's very sweet of you. [Smile]
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kmbboots
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You're welcome.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
You are wise enough to know that people can disagree about even something important without it being a condemnation.
Alright, fair enough. Replace 'condemnation' with 'criticism', then. I had a lengthy post composed after this, but I realized I should ask: would your objections be the same or similar, kmbboots, if the words were switched as I asked?
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kmbboots
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I wouldn't even go so far as "criticism" in this case. I think we all have to find our own relationship to the Divine. What is right for me is not necessarily right for someone else. I don't think that LDS would be better or happier or have a better relationship with God, if they became Catholic - even though I strongly disagree with a lot of their doctrine.

I don't think a lot of the Jewish Laws regarding food, clothing, when you can flip a lightswitch etc. make any sense at all. But I can understand that for some people, they do. I would not be critical of them following those laws.

That someone places a higher priority on proselytizing than on respect for someone (not that these are necessarily in conflict) makes perfect sense from their point of view. If they think that a person's salvation depends on it, of course it makes sense.

I suppose that as their intrusion becomes more onerous, I would become more critical.

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Rakeesh
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kmbboots,

quote:
...even though I strongly disagree with a lot of their doctrine.
And that's different from 'criticism' in what sense, exactly? I think perhaps you're placing some negative connotations on 'criticism' that for me aren't there. You disagree strongly with a lot of LDS doctrine, thus you find fault with it...thus you're critical of it.

quote:
You are wise enough to know that people can disagree about even something important without it being a condemnation.
Another way of saying this is: I (that is, you, kmbboots) believe position X is unwise. Rivka is wise enough to disagree with position X. Now, bearing in mind that I'm replacing 'condemnation' with 'critical/criticism', this statement is obviously a criticism of me-in that I am deficient in wisdom when compared to rivka.

However, because I view criticism differently (I think) than you, I don't think it was a sideswipe. You think something I believe is unwise. I believe you are being honest, well-meaning, and fair in that criticism, so I'm not insulted, angry, or even mildly irritated. I don't mind criticism, giving or receiving, so long as it fills those conditions-although to be honest, sometimes I have to remind myself not to mind [Wink] . Please keep that in mind when I point out that what I quoted just now clearly was a criticism of me, kmbboots.

quote:
Saying that one person is wise doesn't necessarily insult anyone else.
I agree.

quote:
I don't think a lot of the Jewish Laws regarding food, clothing, when you can flip a lightswitch etc. make any sense at all. But I can understand that for some people, they do. I would not be critical of them following those laws.
There's a world of difference between being critical of a law, and being critical of the people who believe it's the law, living by it. This was never at issue, at least not with me.

quote:
That someone places a higher priority on proselytizing than on respect for someone (not that these are necessarily in conflict) makes perfect sense from their point of view. If they think that a person's salvation depends on it, of course it makes sense.
No one is disputing that in such a situation (not that I grant the situation), it makes sense for the missionaries to proseltize. For them, naturally it does.

quote:
I suppose that as their intrusion becomes more onerous, I would become more critical.
Meaning you were critical in the first place, which is what I was trying to get at.
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kmbboots
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I think that, because of the juxtaposition of criticism and condemnation in your earlier post, I wasn't reading "criticism" as "critical analysis", but as censure. I try not to censure people in matters of faith unless their behavior is egregious. Annoying people by evangelizing is not egregious for me to censure, even if my personal theology disagrees with it.

In other words. Judging by what I know of LDS doctrine, they are perfectly right to place a higher priority on proselytizing. Saying so should not be considered an insult even though I don't have the same priorities.

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Well, if you're close-minded enough to have certainties about what people you've never met might say about their faith and its impact on you, then I can understand your reasoning.

When I say 'close-minded' it's of course a bit of a criticism, but it's not meant to be snarky. I just thought I'd point that out. I do believe it's a bit close-minded to make up your mind about the words of someone you've never met, before you meet them.

Would you say that the missionaries are close-minded because they are certain that their belief is right? Do you think that when I tell the missionaries that I don't think their beliefs represent reality, they actually give careful consideration to what I'm saying?

I'm only as strong in my faith as they are, if you want to put it that way.

---

quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
That means that between 5 and 10 percent of the population marry the person they date in high school. I think it's very arrogant to tell them it isn't real.

I don't believe I ever said that no teenagers have real love, and I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't put words in my mouth, and then insult me based on what I didn't say.

I did say that they don't have the perspective on love and life that comes with age. I do believe that teenagers are experiencing a lot of things, like love, for the first time, and they don't have the same perspective and experience as someone older.

---

As a general question to those discussing this particular side topic with me, how often do you feel like someone 10-15 years younger than you has a lot of life experiences to teach you?

I'm not talking about specific knowledge. I freely accept that everyone knows things you don't know, and that you can learn from anyone. Honestly though, how many teenagers can give you good advice about how to live your life, when they've only just started living their own lives? They haven't made many of the mistakes, learned many of the lessons, or seen or done so many things that older people have.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not insulting young adults. I'm not saying that they're stupid or incapable of teaching, or that they aren't sincere in their efforts. I am saying that they do not have much life experience, and that they have a limited worldview, necessarily so because of their age and at least in America, their relatively sheltered lives.

I can also say that I've been religious, and I've asked questions about the nature of God and faith and engaged in religious debates for longer than a lot of missionaries have been alive. There's a good chance they don't have anything particularly new to add to the discussion.

To turn things around, Jesus was wise at 18, but by 33 he knew all there was to know about God. Even the son of God figured out a whole lot in 15 years. I bet the 33 year old Jesus would realize that the 18 year old Jesus didn't know as much as he thought he did. [Wink]

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Rakeesh
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Kmbboots,

quote:
I think that, because of the juxtaposition of criticism and condemnation in your earlier post, I wasn't reading "criticism" as "critical analysis", but as censure.
Granted. So, are you or aren't you critical of door-to-door random proseltizing? This excludes cases of posthumous baptism where the parties express wishes not to be, cases where there is a sign warning away missionaries, or repeated badgering of people once they've said 'no'.

If you are, in what way exactly does this indicate Mormons in general place a higher value on proseltizing than on respecting human beings?

quote:
Saying so should not be considered an insult even though I don't have the same priorities.
I've never said you were either meaning to insult, or actually insulting, by saying so.

---------

MightyCow,

quote:
Would you say that the missionaries are close-minded because they are certain that their belief is right? Do you think that when I tell the missionaries that I don't think their beliefs represent reality, they actually give careful consideration to what I'm saying?
Well yes, of course I'm saying they're close-minded(I can never remember if it's 'closed-minded' or 'close-minded)...that is, if they refuse to even listen carefully to a contradictory point of view they haven't actually heard before.

Which is different from what you said. You said you would refuse to listen carefully, just because they were young missionaries. Emphasis on the young. You stated you would be firmly unreceptive to potentially new arguments coming from them, because they were young and claimed to have an understanding of 'the universe'.

quote:
As a general question to those discussing this particular side topic with me, how often do you feel like someone 10-15 years younger than you has a lot of life experiences to teach you?
Well, that's a nearly impossible question for me to answer, because since I'm 26, I would be talking about 'life experiences' with an 11-16 year old. I can't recall the last time I did that in an in-depth way with someone of that age...probably because I have no children myself, no younger cousins I see very often, nor any nieces or nephews.

But you're speaking generalities-which I at least wasn't arguing. I was talking about what happens when faced with two specific people.

quote:
I am saying that they do not have much life experience, and that they have a limited worldview, necessarily so because of their age and at least in America, their relatively sheltered lives.
To paraphrase Robert Heinlein, I fail to understand why a thirty-year-old moron must be wiser than a fifteen-year-old genius. (To avoid potential confusion: I'm not calling you a genius/moron, or suggesting I'm a genius/moron)He was actually speaking in Starship Troopers I believe about minimum voting ages, but it's still relevant to what you're discussing. In general, teenagers have less life experience with me. Still not talking about generalities. In particular, though, there are many teenagers-even pre-teens-who have 'life-experience' that would freeze my blood or make me look like a bumbling idiot.

J4

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MightyCow
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Maybe I am not expressing my main points clearly. I'll try another approach.

I've already had all sorts of religious and non-religious experiences, and I've made up my mind about what is real and what I believe. No amount of Flat-Earth believers, no matter how intelligent or sincere, will ever make me believe that the earth is not round, just as no amount of missionaries will make me believe that their message is true. No matter how well intentioned they are, they would simply be wasting both my time and theirs.

Further, I've discussed religion with literally hundreds, possibly thousands of different people, ranging from Phd Theologians to 80 year old priests and all manner of religious leader and lay person.

I think the chances that a pair of teenagers will have more spiritual insight than the combined knowledge and experiences of all the other people I've already had these discussions with very remote. In fact, I've had people witness to me, where I've known their own stories and facts better than they do.

I don't think I know everything, or even most things, but I do know that I've made up my mind about religion, and I will bet dollars to donuts that any pair of 18 year olds will not have an argument that will persuade me otherwise.

If the Dalai Lama or the Pope wants to talk with me, I would be happy and honored to hear what they have to say. They have years of experience and wisdom, and even if they can't convince me, I bet they have a lot to say that I haven't though about.

I've had plenty of religious discussions with teenagers, and I've yet to be surprised by what they've had to say, no matter how impassioned or spiritually enlightened they've felt that it was.

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theamazeeaz
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I'm bumping this old thread because I found it really useful tonight. I was approached by two Christian missionaries in the student center while enjoying a nice Vorkosigan book. Anyway, I have poor social skills and let them talk for over an hour because I knew of know polite way to ask them to go away. I am really poor at getting out of stale conversations, and the pair were disappointed when I refused my email, and to take a book at the end of a long conversation.

I remembered some missionary discussion on Hatrack and found this thread.

Anyway, thanks to CT and many of the people from page 1 (the conversation went off a bit after there), for giving me several points of view, making me feel a bit better about myself.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I was approached by two Christian missionaries in the student center while enjoying a nice Vorkosigan book.
Which Vorkosigan book?
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theamazeeaz
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Memory. I've been whizzing through the series over the past two weeks.
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Shigosei
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Porter is such a Vorkosigan evangelist [Wink]
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mr_porteiro_head
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Just a tiny bit. :blush:

I think that Memory is my favorite.

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sarcasticmuppet
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Is that the one after mirror dance, or before?
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theamazeeaz
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It's right after. I haven't actually read Mirror Dance yet, because I was able to get my hands on Memory first. One of the things that I love about the Vorkosigan books is that you can know more or less what happens (thanks to the timelines in the hardcover books), and still feel like you are riding the story roller coaster.
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TomDavidson
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Four Mormon missionaries -- nametags, red hair, lanky, the usual look -- were in attendance at my uncle's funeral on Monday. We couldn't figure out why, but it turns out that he'd been baptized Mormon the week before.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Four Mormon missionaries -- nametags, red hair, lanky, the usual look -- were in attendance at my uncle's funeral on Monday. We couldn't figure out why, but it turns out that he'd been baptized Mormon the week before.

All four had red hair? Did your uncle die suddenly Tom, if you don't mind my asking?
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katharina
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What? I don't get the significance of all four having red hair.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
What? I don't get the significance of all four having red hair.

Besides it being alittle unusual? Red hair isn't all that common.
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TomDavidson
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*nod* Yes, he died suddenly.
And for some reason, a ridiculous number of the Mormons I know have red hair. In fact, I know considerably more Mormons with red/auburn hair and freckles than I do Mormons who're blond. It's part of my mental image of Mormonism.

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Sachiko
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Utah is the most English state in the nation. I think like 40% of Utahns claim Anglo descent, more than any other state.

That could partially explain the red hair. Partially. The red hair in *my* seven generation LDS family comes from the Japanese side, so, you never know.

Also, mild inbreeding in early Mormon colonies.

Maybe red is just the handiest color for hiding horns.

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dean
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I don't think I've met more than two or three red-headed Mormons. Just about all I've met have been blond.
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Puffy Treat
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On my own mission, the companions who hailed from Utah had red hair.
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T:man
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Two Jehova's Witnesses came by my house, I closed the door on them and left out the back.

Was that way too mean.

(I wasn't just running, I needed to go see a movie)

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scholarette
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I have actually found the Jehova's Witnesses to be very good about leaving quickly. But I do have a toddler and a dachshund that get extremely excited over doorbells. So, when I answer the door, it is pretty clear that I am not listening to a word they are saying. And over the dog barking, they couldn't hear me if I said anything.
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Earendil18
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I think it's important to be as honest as possible.

For the record, I'm not as frothing at the mouth anymore. [Big Grin]

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BlackBlade
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See I just haven't seen the above average instances of red hair in Utah. Blond is definitely more available in the valley, and I do mean natural blond. There were only two red headed missionaries in my mission that I can recall, both were from Utah. But seeing four red headed guys all together and in suits is a mildly humorous image.

I imagine the strong influx of English, Scottish, and Irish converts in the 1800s probably accounts for most if not all of the red hair.

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TomDavidson
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In all honesty, seeing a pair of Mormon missionaries at any time, anywhere, is a mildly humorous image. They always look so young, so awkwardly overdressed, and so adorably vulnerable, like they're dressed up for their first job interview.
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katharina
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Hobbes has red hair.

Hobbes is also a convert, so so much for the English Utahns = red-haired Mormons theory.

I'd say about 15% of the women in my institute class have red hair, but it is almost universally fake, including mine.

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
In all honesty, seeing a pair of Mormon missionaries at any time, anywhere, is a mildly humorous image. They always look so young, so awkwardly overdressed, and so adorably vulnerable, like they're dressed up for their first job interview.

I remember four of us charging up a hill on our bikes in the middle of Arras, France. A young girl grabbed her friend by the shoulders and turned her around to see us. We must have been quite a spectacle, four American boys in white shirts and ties, helmets and pants clips, riding as flat out hard as we could and shouting smack at each other.
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theamazeeaz
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The missionaries that approached me were Evangelicals. They didn't specifically say, but I webstalked 'em later based on the meeting place they told me to go. Some subset of Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship. What disturbed me the most was that there are separate groups for Asians and Blacks.
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mr_porteiro_head
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We had some Jehova's Witnesses come by our place, but they only wanted to talk to Spanish-speaking folk. Once they discovered that we don't speak Spanish and that we don't know anybody in the neighborhood that does, they didn't want to talk to us.
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Farmgirl
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Ha - porter. Because I've had exactly the same encounter with two Mormon missionaries (sent only to talk to the Spanish-speaking folks of a neighborhood I was in one day) [Smile]
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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by Farmgirl:
Ha - porter. Because I've had exactly the same encounter with two Mormon missionaries (sent only to talk to the Spanish-speaking folks of a neighborhood I was in one day) [Smile]

When I was teaching in Italy, I'd teach anyone who could stand to listen to me.
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solo
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Originally posted by Farmgirl:
Ha - porter. Because I've had exactly the same encounter with two Mormon missionaries (sent only to talk to the Spanish-speaking folks of a neighborhood I was in one day) [Smile]

When I was teaching in Italy, I'd teach anyone who could stand to listen to me.
What do you have against people in wheelchairs? Amputees?

Man, you really are as heartless as I keep hearing.

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