Best Mormon Missionary Story Ever (yep, it’s about enemas)

This post first appeared, in slightly modified form, at the now-defunct Sons of Mosiah blog on July 2, 2004.

There comes a time in every missionary’s Mission Training Center (“MTC”) experience when he or she would prefer to be struck by lightning than spend another day cooped up in the “missionary gulag” (Or was it just me?). You spend 8 whole weeks doing “SYL”, attending class 27 hours a day, and eating the same soggy brussel sprouts over and over again. Oh, to finally get out into the real mission field! But in the meantime, you’re stuck “on campus” and you’ve got to find some way to keep yourself entertained.

I entered the MTC in late 1991, where I was assigned to a triple companionship with Elder “D” and Elder “K”. We were truly a threesome made in Heaven (or Hell). If you’ve ever doubted the inspiration behind mission companionship selection, you need only to have met the three of us to know there is a God. We got along famously, possessed nearly identical senses of sarcasm and cynicism (both in short supply in the MTC), and we had very compatible senses of humor. This was a recipe for all sorts of inappropriate fun and games.

Our trio was adept at creating new and inventive diversions to pass the time. Shaving cream fights, posing as MTC staff out front for newly-arriving missionaries, phony “debates” in public places about preposterous “doctrinal” ideas to scare other elders, you name it. But by week 6, we had become desperate for some new sources of entertainment. The rest of our district couldn’t take much more of us, what with my propensity to drone on and on about this or that controversy, Elder D’s self-inflicted mohawk (which strangely, he was never ordered to remove), and Elder K’s choreographing and performing yet another dance routine set to Mormon hymns (think “We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet” meets “Vogue”). As usual, Elder K came up with a plan to save us all from the crushing boredom.

The setting was the MTC Bookstore. The heart of the MTC in many ways, the Bookstore contained almost everything a missionary could ever need to buy. It was also, curiously, staffed by the most innocent-looking and prudish-acting BYU co-eds you could possibly imagine. One day, while walking down the pharmaceutical aisle, we made an interesting discovery: There, among the toothpaste tubes, sticks of deodorant and shampoo, sat a handful of 99-cent, Fleet-brand “enema kits.” So Elder K’s idea of fun quickly became this: to pick the most uptight-looking of the cashiers, and then attempt to purchase an enema kit from her. But of course, he couldn’t just buy it as one of several miscellaneous items he was picking up; he had to make it his sole purchase, so as to ensure that any conversation during the transaction would necessarily revolve around it. Elder K would non-chalantly make his purchase, initiate some casual banter about his enema, and inevitably create horrible awkwardness for the cashier. (If you had listened closely, you would have heard some interminable giggling from a group of elders around the corner).

After a couple of sales, this routine became tiresome, so Elder K proceeded to buy 4 or 5 kits at one time, thereby raising even more disturbing questions for the cashier, as well as for any potential onlookers. Eventually, Elder K graduated to very blunt conversations concerning his purchases: “Excuse me, Ma’am, but if these don’t work, can I come back for a refund?” “Can you please explain to me how to work this? There are instructions here on the box, but I’m not sure I understand what these drawings mean…” Meanwhile, the cackling of elders around the corner proceeded unabated. (Horribly immature, to be sure, but we were 19, so give us a break).

This was all a big barrel of laughs, of course, but at the end of the week, we had grown tired of the antics, and we now owned an impressive collection of 17 enema kits, each of which lay prominently but uselessly on the window sill in our room. One can build an enema-kit pyramid in one’s dormitory only so many times. What was a group of elders to do with 17 enemas? (I thought you’d never ask).

Yours truly came up with the idea. I took a piece of paper and a pen, and in my best penmanship, proceeded to write the following letter:

Dear Elder _____:

Due to the primitive conditions that you may experience in your mission, it may become necessary from time to time to administer an enema to yourself in the event of severe constipation or other intestinal complications. A small percentage of elders have been known to experience mild allergic reactions to the enema solution, and for this reason, it is important that you administer the enclosed enema to yourself in order to determine your own reaction to the fluid. Please make note of any uncomfortable reaction to the enema solution that you experience, and promptly report your findings to the MTC medical staff.

Sincerely,

Dr. Richard Johnson
(forged signature featured prominently here)

We took my letter to the copy center and had it shrunk down a bit, so as to make it resemble an “official” mass flyer. We then asked for 17 copies. (The copy center employee realized what we were up to, but he thought it was funny, so he obliged us). We then taped one flyer to each enema kit, and the following morning, we headed for the MTC Bookstore.

If you’re an RM, you may recall that every Wednesday, a new crop of elders arrives at the MTC. After their initial orientation and good-byes to family, they line up to pick up their “bluebags” filled with teaching and study materials along the far wall of the Bookstore. The three of us entered the Bookstore, positioned ourselves stragetically at various locations, and initiated Operation Stuff-a-Bag. As two of us served as look-outs, closely monitoring the wandering eyes of the Bookstore cashiers, the third would innocently walk up to a blue bag, open it, and quickly stuff an enema kit (with note) inside. With such a high chance of getting caught, this was no easy feat, and it took a couple hours to complete. But we stuck to our guns, and complete it we finally did.

We then fled the Bookstore, cackling with glee, and imagining the inevitable fallout.

Alas, we were never able to follow up with most of the 17 elders to see whether they’d fallen for the gag. In one case, we did follow up (since Elder K and I knew the elder from BYU), but he was a pretty bright guy and he didn’t take the bait. Nevertheless, we look back on the experience fondly and take comfort in knowing that given the number of enemas deposited, it is likely that at least a handful of elders chose to “be obedient,” only to realize later they’d been conned. And who knows … maybe some are still wondering why they, but not their fellow companions, were singled out by that enigmatic “Dr. Johnson.” If any of you dear readers out there remember being on the receiving end of this gag, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Aaron B

Comments

  1. …And I thought our spit-shining of the railings in the dorms during cleaning time was bad. Bravo, Aaron- that was amazing.

  2. Kevin Barney says:

    Hilarious! (This makes me glad I went to the old SLC mission home for only five days before heading out to the field. I don’t recall any prank-induced enemas.)

  3. Love thine enemas…

  4. Kevin Barney says:

    Oh, Kristine, NO (ene)MAS! NO (ene)MAS!

    This reminds me of that Detroit-based rapper coming of age film I saw once, starring Kim Basinger and Eminemas.

  5. Aaron: I love you.

  6. That’s funny. Did you just pull that out of your… oh, never mind.

  7. You have achieved the impossible. You have left me speechless, but laughing hysterically.

  8. No enema, but I did have to poop in a cup to go to the philippines on my mission. (We all hoped it was a prank, but alas, no…)

  9. Wasn’t there a big wide easy run at Snowbird called “Big Enema”?

    But you wouldn’t have needed Big Enema if you’d tried STH (which we always figured stood for Steeper Than Hell). It’d cure any lower intestinal blockage you ever might have had.

  10. Aaron Brown says:

    By the way, commenters are invited to compete with this story with tales of their own missionary antics, MTC or otherwise.

    Aaron B

  11. If any of you dear readers out there remember being on the receiving end of this gag, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

    Aaron, if any of your victims read this, you may find out that 16 years is not be enough time to make this funny (to them).

  12. So what did the sea anenima say to the sea urchin? “Up yours!”

    Terrible, I know!

  13. what a crappy thing to do.

  14. cantinflas says:

    My MTC district in 1999 played a pretty good prank. Our only female instructor was frequently asked about her dating life. To spite those who asked her these questions, she borrowed a [really ugly] wedding ring and pretended for a few days she had become engaged.

    In retaliation, we orchestrated quite an effort. Our 3 male instructors were in on it, writing in the shared notes about our district that they were worried about Elder K, that he was detached. Elder K then had to act detached and disinterested just during her classes for her to believe it. This poor instructor knew two guys in the district were MTC AP’s and the prank culminated in Elder K hiding in the room across the hall from our class while the AP’s intercepted her and told her the whole district was quite shaken up because Elder K went home. She put on a brave front and started class with a hymn. The hymn chosen was one nobody knew, so it sounded really pathetic like we were all on the verge of tears, then she cried, ran out and called one of the other instructors.

    While the other teacher was telling her the truth, Elder K confronted her, she hit him and was pretty mad at the whole district for a couple days.

    I wish I could take credit for the complexity of this operation, but I think my involvement ended with the suggestion we trick her into thinking someone got sent home.

  15. #10 Aaron,

    I don’t think anything that I know of can compete, that is one of the most well-thought and well-executed pranks I’ve ever seen. But since you asked, and while we’re dwelling on scatological MTC pranks, my brother in law bragged to me about how when he was in the MTC they would stage “pile-ons” in the bathroom stalls, which he thought was quite funny, but I always thought was crossing the line a bit. Apparently “pile-ons” are when several people use one toilet for a few days without flushing. Good times!

  16. Because I was in the MTC for 15 weeks waiting for a visa, MTC officials decided that our district should be allowed to work in the mail room, cafeteria and anywhere else where they might need help.

    One afternoon while working in the mail room, I found the computer that contained the information for incoming missionaries. I found the name of someone from my high school and assigned them a new companion–Ted Bundy! The entry was probably fixed before this new Elder arrived, but for one day, Ted Bundy was his new companion. :-)

  17. StillConfused says:

    Oh my john — this was hysterical!! I can remember being 17 and traveling with my foster father. We were at the checkout counter at the drug store and he turned to me and said, quite loudly, “Pattie, what about that douche you were saying you needed?” Yeah, I thought I was going to die!

  18. Matt G #15: How is that a prank, exactly, and who is it on?

    My district thought it would be funny to get a certain annoying elder to demonstrate how to perform “blue darts” in his nylon Gs, which promptly melted onto his nether regions causing extreme pain and had to be removed with tweezers. Yeah, those were the days.

  19. This story is amazing Aaron. I love it.

    I was in the MTC in ’98 and I was one of those missionaries lacking in cynicism and sarcasm (I had plenty of it before but it somehow got sucked out of me) Anyway, I was taking this drug for zits (they were bad) and they caused birth defects in babies so every freaking pill had a pregnant woman with the red circle and line through it–as in don’t get pregnant. My comps and I decided to play a joke on our elders and they went to the elders and told them that they found out I was pregnant and that I was taking an abortion drug to kill the baby so I could go on a mission. I was such an uptight obedience crazed missionary that the elders were freaked and maybe didn’t quite believe it. So later I dropped one of the pill labels in class and my comps “confronted” me and I broke down crying and said that it was true but that I only wanted to serve the Lord and didn’t that make it okay?

    They fuh-reaked out.

    Good times. It turns out lying usually makes good jokes.

  20. MCQ,

    That’s exactly what I thought once I actually got to the MTC and learned that we had to clean the bathrooms ourselves. At least in 1990 we did..hopefully they still do.

  21. After I got home from my mission, a non-member exboyfriend visited me in Provo. I thought that if only I could get him to feel the spirit as strong as I felt it while in the MTC he would surely join the Church! So we sneaked him on the MTC–dressed him up like a missionary and put a tag on him. My roomie and me put on our old tags and got a friend to be his “companion.” We spent all evening walking around the place and attending a talk by Elder Neal A. Maxwell. John never joined the church, but I still have pics of him in all the standard missionary poses–including in front of the map, pointing his finger at Paris, France.

  22. I think the only prank I managed was to penny a door (push the door while it is closed and insert pennies into the space between door and door jam).

    We did have a pair of entertaining elders in my district that enjoyed themselves. One night they invited everyone to their room to re-enact Star Wars (I was too prudish to go, heard it was fun). They also took the sound blocking ear muffs (e.g. for using leaf blowers/chainsaws), a mop bucket, and a jump rope to do “car racing.” Two elders would pull the third sitting in the mop bucket and do laps on our floor. I was amused at some of the consternation that erupted from other elders that found their antics immature.

    Their ultimate prank was bathroom service. They had made friends with the various servers in the cafeteria and every couple of days they would finagle a new piece of cafeteria serving attire (hair net, throw away plastic gloves, the paper hats, and plastic aprons). Each night after class, they’d dress up and go into our bathroom and make it full service, “We have an open stall to the right. Maybe I could interest you in a urinal.” When it came time for hand washing, they’d do it for you. The second or third night our brand new branch president (a forty something never been a branch president in the MTC and not too thrilled about it) stopped into the bathroom after visiting with the APs. The elders decided, “we’re busted already, let’s go for broke.” They did the full service routine and he just left shaking his head. I imagine a “Why me?!” thought bubble went with that head shaking.

    We also had an elder that could fart on command. They would play Haydn’s “Surprise Symphony” and he would fill in the surprise.

  23. Great story, Amri.

  24. Amri, yours is at the top of the list so far. I couldn’t have come up with that one in my dreams.

  25. Ahh, accutane. I remember it well.

    This isn’t my story, really, but in early 1999 I had a class at BYU with a girl who worked in the MTC photo lab. Apparently some elders take rather . . . compromising photographs of themselves. She enjoyed describing how some missionaries, while paying for their photos, would sheepishly ask if the photo lab technicians actually saw the photos as they were being developed–and the way those missionaries would turn beet red when she truthfully answered “yes”.

  26. That bizarre exhibitionism seems to have been rampant. Elders in my mission were sending obscene photos of themselves to decide whose anatomy was most compelling. No wonder Freud had so much intellectual traction for so long.

  27. When I arrived there my mission was known as one of the most “apostate” in the world. I have all kinds of lovely stories about pranks, etc. My trainer didn’t even own an alarm clock, for example. When I got to my first area, one of the elders who had recently left gave a key to the elders’ apartment to my companion as a parting gift. We used to sneak in there and do things like leave lipstick kisses all over their bathroom mirror or stick maxi pads all over their beds. Really mature stuff like that (My excuse is that I was the greenie so I didn’t know what else to do but go along.) Anyways, the elders got back at us in two ways. First of all, one “borrowed” my companion’s camera and took an entire roll of photos of butts–statue’s butts, butts of random people on the metro, animal butts, and finally a shot of his own butt mooning the camera. Then they stole her keys from her backpack during church and snuck out to our apartment. They took everything in the apartment (including all the furniture) and stuffed into our very small, enclosed patio. That was a lot of fun to untangle (not!). After that first area I no longer participated in prank wars.

    I also don’t understand the obsession with exhibitionism, especially among the elders. I heard about all kinds of photos, like one of a district that was only wearing strategically placed socks. Eesh.

  28. Anonymous says:

    You bastard.

    That was one of the most uncomfortable moments of my mission.

  29. I had a boring mission, apparently – or maybe I’m just older than the rest of you and my memory is gone.

  30. mondo cool says:

    If Elder MRB reads this, the bar is GOING higher.

  31. Thanks for the great laughs. When I was in the MTC some elders planned the MTC prom. I don’t remember attending the actual event but saved the invitation for my scrapbook. It read:
    MTC Prom (in very fancy lettering with some extra scrolls)
    Place: Cafeteria
    Time: 6:00 to 10:30
    Cost: Free
    Special Guests: Pres. Pinegar and Wife (then MTC President)
    Dates only. You may choose someone from your district. Companionships preferred.
    Band: Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Refreshments Served
    Dress: Formal
    (In big letters) Theme “Ye Elders of Israel”

    My companion and I received the invitation so I’m thinking that multiple copies must have been distributed.

  32. What, pray tell, are _blue darts_?

  33. Tracy, if you have the power to delete comments, you might want to erase yours before someone answers it with an explanation. *grin*

  34. Well I can’t compete with the cleverness of Aaron B’s prank but I used to enjoy lobbing jello through the cafeteria sky (in the large cafeteria that was converted from a gym) using my spoon as a catapult. The more my district laughed the more I was encouraged and I would hold the spoon in my lap and then launch with a high arc so that it landed a long distance away and the unfortunate recipient couldn’t tell where it came from. One day I attempted the same thing with whipped cream from pie and I misfired and hit a nice but volatile elder with expensive suits (at least I think they were nicer than mine) in my district. He threw his entire pie at me and then jumped accross the table and began to wrestle me to the ground. From here my memory is filled with vague pictures which I think involved a fork, chairs under the table, a missing contact and ultimately some large island elders who separated us and sent us on our way with a friendly pat before we could get in trouble.

    The other Elder and I were quickly reconciled and agreed on our respective errors in judgment but our district felt compelled to give us a long lecture about how we had let them down. And I remember distinctly that the most vocal elder on this topic was the one who could never get out of bed in the morning.

    And then there was the time I got locked out for no good reason and had to scale the walls of the dorm to the top floor to knock on the window and get my companion to let me back in but I assume that’s a fairly normal story.

  35. Having served under MRB he would probably have commented if the church weren’t true missionaries pranks would have ruined it a long time ago. At least your pranks had a certain pizazz. In my field they would make pudding for breakfast and break in new greenies by telling them there was alcohol in the pudding. Then five guys would physically grab him throw him to the floor with one shoving a spoon in his mouth as he fought them.

  36. Excellent post.

    In the MTC, my companion was also a total kindred spirit. (We never called each other Elder, always just our surnames.) He came up with the idea of starting a rumor about us doing something really wrong, but easily disprovable, and seeing how far it would get. We got it around that we were meeting our girlfriends (we had both been at BYU the semester before) at night and making out through the bars of the fence. When called in to see Pres. Pinnegar, it was easy to deny that we never went out, and in fact did not have girlfriends. It seems pointless now, but it provided some drama. We were checked on carefully by the RA after that.

    Our district also played missionary scavenger hunt. I would make a list of things one might expect to see in the MTC: a sister with braces, an elbow-holding on a handshake, an elder obviously checking out a sister … and the companionship who finished their list first won. One list included hearing the phrase ‘shadow of a doubt;’ in a fireside someone said it and one of the other elders whooped from the other side of the room because it finished their list.

    We were also obsessed with stealing a sign from the parking area in front of the MTC that said ‘General Authority Parking Only.’ With some help from my friends down in DT, we had worked out a cunning plan … and then got sick and were stuck in bed with bronchitis for two weeks.

    In the field, I had a companion who did an uncanny impression of the MP, and he would call missionaries and scare the hell out of them, especially slackers at 7am, saying they sounded sleepy, etc. He got me a few times after I transferred. Good times, good times.

  37. I realize now ‘Sister with braces’ was not from the MTC scavenger hunts. ‘Girl with braces’ was part of Exam Invigilation Bingo. My apologies.

  38. Peter LLC says:

    That sounds like an elaborate plan, but not as elaborate as the scheme to make an elder (guilty of mischevious pranks of his own) fall in love with a make-believe pen pal.

  39. My husband and I have served two senior missions. While at the MTC for training the last time, we jokingly told our table mates in the cafeteria that the food was laced with anti-depressants, and that the church did this to combat homesickness in the young missionaries. It spread around the MTC like wild fire. A few days later, a table full of young Elders told us not to eat the desserts as they were the most heavily laden with the drug Prozac. It reminded us of the game we used to play called “Heard it thru’ the Grapevine.”

  40. Tracy #32:

    You can read about that here.

    Sorry Ray.

  41. Thank you MCQ. I’m speechless.

  42. Tracy M,

    The guys all knew this about blue darts because they all learned it at Scout Camp. Probably the next best source of pranks and ignoble behavior after the MTC.

  43. Seriously, guys DO this?? This is what awaits me as my sons grow up??

  44. Tracy,

    No, not all guys do this. When I was younger my friends and I thought about it but wimped out because of the possible “repercussions”.

  45. Tracy,

    This is what awaits me as my sons grow up??

    Yes, and worse, too.

  46. Tracy,

    No, not all guys do this, but all guys, apparently, who go to the MTC, or especially scout camp, will see or be exposed to this. And many other things, unfortunately. As my wife said, she raised 5 nice boys, and then they went to Scout Camp.

  47. MattG: Pussy.

  48. Aaron Brown says:

    Amri — When I invited commenters to compete with my story, I didn’t seriously think anyone would be able to best it. But you did. Who knew?

    Aaron B

  49. I don’t have time to read all the comments, so I don’t know if anyone has made this observation yet. This seems very appropriate because it seemed to me that there were plenty of elders who were full of, well… you know, They could certainly get good use out of your addition.

  50. I had a companion who was renowned for her blue-dart abilities – it may not just be your sons you have to worry about (and, yes, she convinced our whole apartment (6 sisters) to try it out one night). We had ongoing prank-wars with the elders in our district – most of them involving frogs or other creatures hidden in tins of ‘cookies’. The street-market frog vendor questioned us about our intentions for a long time when we wanted to buy 6 frogs, but we didn’t want her to kill them and clean them for us. We probably should have taken off our tags before making that particular purchase.

  51. Three stories (2 MTC, one mission field) if I may:

    1. MTC, 1987. We had two elders in our Korean district who were good at lightening the tension. Elder L borrowed my “blues brothers”-looking sunglasses and spent a week pretending he was blind. His companion, Elder M, would lead him around. One day we were all standing by the mail room when a senior couple walked by. She was quite amazed to see a blind Elder in the MTC. She asked Elder L where he was serving and he responded, “Korea.” Senior Sister: “Are you learning Korean?” Elder L: “Yes, ma’am. I’m learning Korean Braille.” Senior Sister: “My, isn’t the Gospel wonderful that we can send a blind missionary all the way to Korea!” It was all we could do to not fall on the floor laughing. That poor sister probably wrote home the faith-promoting story about the blind elder learning Korean braille (if there is such a thing).

    2. After dinner in the cafeteria, I would pour about a quarter’s size of honey on my tray, then place a full glass of water filled with ice on top of the honey. I would also put salt in the glass to lower the temperature of the water. I would then coat the outside of the glass in butter. After a few minutes, the honey would set harder than glue. I would then place the tray through the disposal slot and onto the tray belt. Some unsuspecting work-study BYU student wearing rubber gloves would try to remove the glass, but couldn’t because it was stuck and was slick. I did this for a week, until finally, on Friday, the student stuck her head out of the slot and started yelling at all of us elders laughing at her efforts to get the glass off the tray.

    3. I was assigned to train Elder M, fresh from the MTC. Elder M thought he was coming to Korea to (a) preach the Gospel and (b) shop. However, he wouldn’t really shop because he wanted to be a careful shopper, so he mostly window shopped. It drove me nuts for him to stop at every store, walk in, look at and touch everything, and then walk out. So I and my housemates taught him a lesson. There is a form of laundry soap that comes in a big block and is used when cleaning the old fashioned way using a washboard. It looks like a block of cheddar cheese. At the time in Korea, the soap cost about $2, while that amount of cheese, if you could find it, would cost 5-10 times that amount. The other elders arranged with the local supermarket checkout girl so that when Elder M walked in the store and asked for “cheese” she would show him the laundry soap. They then came back to the apartment while we were cooking dinner and raved about the cheap cheese being sold at the local market. Elder M, ever the vigilant shopper, got excited and demanded I take him there. He walked in, asked where the cheese was, and proceeded to buy his big cheap block of the stuff. He came home, all proud and excited about the deal he got. He opened the package and began slicing it. When it flaked off, rather than sliced off, he got suspicious. When he looked over at us laughing hard at him, he took one sniff of his block of cheese and figured it out.

    This is similar to the traditional prank played on greenies in Korea: In Korean, milk is called “uyu” or “yu” and bread is called “bbang”. Bread made out of milk, then, is called “yubbang” with the “bb” aspirated. Change the pronunciation slightly and you have “yubang”, or breast milk. We would send greenies to the local markets asking the ladies for their “yubang.”

    One more: “yorobun” means “all of you” as in “hyongjae, chammae yorobun” (all of you brothers and sisters). It was an introduction used in speaking at church. “Yodurum” means acne. We would teach greenies when making their first sacrament meeting introduction in their new Korean ward or branch to say, in effect, “brothers and sister, you zits.” The members expected it and took it in good stride.

    Sorry for the long post. I have other great MTC stories, including stories involving the catacombs under the dorm buildings, hypnotism, strangling elders so as to make them pass out, and avenging the Japanese occupation of Korea, that probably should never see the light of day.

  52. The best MTC story I have heard was about some Elders who as they packed up to leave, put a small but loud battery powered alarm clock deep inside the wall by removing the light fixture. The alarm was set to go off at 2 AM every morning and was extremely, extremely persistent.

    The next set of Elders lived with it for weeks because they had no idea where it was.

  53. JA Benson says:

    As entertaining as this thread is; this is exhibit A why they raised the bar :)

  54. Aaron Brown says:

    And yet the recently-raised bar would not have kept any of us out, JA. Hah! :)

  55. # 53,
    One of our grandsons told us that his MP said, “I’d give a million dollars if the brethern would just send me a bunch of repentant, beer drinking, football players….I’m so tired of these mamby-pamby geeks, who won’t work, that pole-vaulted over the raised bar….”

  56. Aaron Brown says:

    Interesting quote, Marie.

    While I tend to assume the Church knows what it’s doing (that is, that they have good reason to believe that discipline, work, or whatever in the mission will improve, on average, if the pre-mission “sinners” are excluded), I have to say the wisdom of its decision has not been intuitively obvious to me. In my experience, the elders who sowed-their-wild-oats before the mission were not any less effective in the field than those that didn’t. Now, it’s possible that my experience is not representative, or that I didn’t really know my fellow elders’ histories as well as I think I did. But still …

    Aaron B

  57. I would second that observation, in general, Aaron, though there were the obvious exceptions.

  58. My oldest son will leave on his mission next year. This makes me hope he is called to a country with its own MTC, since his sense of humor probably will lead to a prank that will rival the best of these – except Amri’s.

  59. So my MTC story is this: I was the AP, and thus was the received the brunt of all of the jokes/pranks/harassments you have seen in this thread, and a few you have not seen, like itching powder in my bed, finding my bed (frame mattress, and sheets) on top of the sidewalk cover 4 buildings away… At one point I broke, and I requested that my friend send me a package of Wylers beef bullion crystals and a wrench. Being the AP one of my duties was to make sure all the other elders on my floor were in bed. After everyone was safely in bed, I took my wrench, and took off all the shower heads and put in some bouillon crystals and put them back on. At 6:00 AM the following morning, a lot of missionaries took showers in soup. It worked great! We had some aromatic elders that day. The painful part was the next morning at presidency meeting when the branch president asked me to speak in church on the evils of doing pranks. I gave the talk, but man I felt guilty doing it.

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