Baseball, Bribery, and my Brethren

I’m on my ward’s Elders* Quorum Presidency, which means I spend a great deal of my church time worrying about home teaching. A while back we determined that the key to home teaching in our ward was accountability, and subsequently set-out to regularly hold "personal stewardship interviews" with our Quorum members (aka PPI’s). To make this easier we decided to hold a "PSI-Night," where all our guys would come and be interviewed over the course of one evening.

Now, EQ types are not used to EQ things on weekday evenings (for us, no "Men-richment"), so we decided to offer an incentive (bribe): come to the PSI’s and get a free baseball ticket. Yes, that’s right: our Elders Quorum was going to blow its budget on an Orioles game.

It kind of worked, and we had a decent turn-out. Last Friday was the pay-off: we watched (from the nosebleeds, of course) the Baltimore Orioles vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.

The game was terrible from a Baltimore perspective — 12-0 — and Palmeiro’s sizeable penumbra hung gloomily over Camden Yards. But it was a great night otherwise. Camden Yards on a summer’s evening, a group of sober young guys (plus a few oldies) having fun, a wheel-chaired Quorum member loving the game — brilliant!

The lesson? Bribe your home teachers? Maybe. But more to the point is this, o ye brethren: enjoy time with your priesthood brothers, as a better group of men would be hard to find.

(P.S. Baseball is OK, but cricket….Ah! The game of the gods)

* Elders Quorum or Elder’s Quorum or Elders’ Quorum?


  1. Ronan, have you seen any of the last two Ashes tests? As I’m only 28, these two tests have been far and away the best Ashes tests I have seen. Can’t wait for Trent Bridge.

  2. Porteous,
    You Commonwealth or something?
    Yes, the Ashes so far have been the single best sporting event for years.

  3. This Saturday the Elders’ Quorum will blow it’s budget (and more) on baby-back ribs, upon which we shall gorge free from guilt and familial associations. It should be sweet.

  4. Macclesfield, England currently in Provo but planning on returning to England somewhere next year. So when I say I’ve seen I really mean I’ve been listening to the radio, following cricinfo, and catching highlights when I can. Despite these obvious problems I’ve still been on the edge of my seat. Maybe it’s because following English sport for years has made me a pessimist but I think a drawn series is the best england will manage.

  5. Porteous,


    If England were truly Aussie-conquerors we’d have won that last game. As it was, I hung on every word of CMJ and Aggers at TMS on the BBC online. (!!)

  6. At risk of confusing these Americans, as a Brit living in Melbourne (Aus),it’s been wonderful to hear/read of the rennaissance of English cricket…and listening to ‘Blowers’on the radio commentary has brought back many memories (but then,I am rather old…48 to be exact).

  7. Ah, Mr Blofeld!

    LBW, C&B, Byes, googly, stumped, silly mid-on, wickie, seamer, yorker….

  8. I’m sure this entry wasn’t intended as a place to discuss English cricket, but while we are, would you drop Giles and Jones (despite that catch) and if so who do you replace Giles with? I tend to agree with you Ronan, that if England were going to win this series they really needed to win that last test. However, I do think in the last two tests they have made Aussie batting (at least recognized batsmen) look decidedly average. And as long as they keep selecting Gillespie we’ll rack up a few runs ourselves.

  9. No, I wouldn’t change anything. They seem a tight-knit bunch and we should probably leave it at that.

  10. No wonder my great-great grandfather left England in 1853. If you fellows think you’ve heard anything worth listening to on the radio, you should instead listen to the great Vin Scully, any night from Chavez Ravine. It’s too bad you can’t take a time machine back to the glory days of the mid-60’s, when battery mates Don Drysdale and Johnny Roseboro, or Sandy Koufax and Roseboro, were at it again, leading the way to a 1-0 Dodgers victory. And don’t forget to throw in a Maury Wills steal of second, or third. That, my lads, is sport (and radio) at its best.

  11. Baseball and cricket aside…

    any further thoughts on

    “energizing” the brethren?


    (Yankees’/Giants’/A’s’/Sac. River Cat’s’ Baseball Fan… with but a rare cricket bent)

  12. I’m a great believer that when people in the Quorum know and like each other, then the Quorum is so much more likely to function smoothly. So, get some Men-richments going, crank up the barby (with J.) and use you imagination.

  13. John Mansfield says:

    During my time at the Homewood campus, Indian students would often gather for cricket in the late afternoon on the lower quad between Latrobe Hall and Maryland Hall. Do you ever join in this, Ronan? Of course the interest in watching a good competition is not the same as the interest in joining a pick-up game.

  14. Ronan,

    If you want to try it again, the Orioles have a promotion for free tickets for Wednesday night games if you buy a combo meal at Wendy’s. Just take your Wendy’s receipt to the Camden Yards counter and they’ll give you a cheap seat for each combo meal on the receipt. Or of course you could give them multiple receipts.

    I took my kids and neice last week and had a great time. The stadium was half empty so we sat in the outfield bleachers near the grass. Weather was exceptional. O’s won.

    Or maybe we should arrange a bloggernacleball outing for August 24 (Dodgers), September 7 (Blue Jays), or September 28 (Yankees).

  15. Steve Evans says:

    Ahhhh bloggernacleball, the sport of kings!

  16. Steve, do you and Sumer want to miss a day of work, and pay $28 in tolls and parking and $34 in gas, to get free $8 seats next to Ronan and me for the Yankees game?

  17. Steve Evans says:

    Sounds fun! Plus the $20 on Wendy’s.

  18. Orioles vs. Yankees bloggernacle ball? Seriously, Matt, sounds like a great idea. Care to pull it together?

  19. Steve Evans says:

    Beware, true believers! Steve E. may no longer be on the east coast as of that date… stay tuned.

  20. …er, East Coast?

  21. Steve Evans says:

    J., you’ve obviously misread my comment. Sloppy, sloppy work. Sloppy!

  22. Steve, the Mariners are fun to watch, too. Congratulations!

  23. Men-richment…oh that’s awesome. The best ward I’ve been in had a fantastic elders quorum (no apostrophe anywhere, I believe) that ended up getting split toward the end of my time there…yeah, the activity was that high. Just steer clear of activities involving casseroles or gardening. Dead boring…even for a girl like me. I’d go for the O’s/Yankees anytime…’cept I’m quite partial to the Yanks. But I would agree, though, that when the EQ members get along well, it gives them more impetus to do their home teaching ‘cuz they like their comps & the folks they teach. Maybe you could even get a Men-richment coordinator called by the bishopric! haha :) Great idea, though. ~~

  24. I think bribery does have it’s place in home teaching.

    Here’s my bribery story:

    The ward had split and I wanted to introduce a couple of my inactive teach-ees to their new home teacher in the new ward. (Yeah, that’s a minor miracle right there, not getting dropped like a hot potato or lost in the cracks in a ward split.)

    We called Brother “X” on the phone. Brother X was nice and polite and honestly didn’t want us to go out of our way. That’s okay. I knew Brother X was a beekeeper and sold raw honey. I asked “Alright, but is it okay if we stop over just to buy some honey? I could use some.”

    Brother X said, “ok, well, sure.” We went to his house and he sold me the $5 worth of honey (it was a long time ago, he gave me a good price, it was for a whole gallon) on the front porch.

    He then engaged us in a conversation, at his instigation, on the front porch. And you guessed it, we chalked it up as a home-teaching visit.

    I think we had earlier phoned Sister “Y” who wasn’t home, but called her again after visiting Brother “X”. She answered, and we asked to visit. Like Brother X, she was nice and polite and honestly didn’t want us to go out of our way just to visit her.

    I said something like “Okay. By the way, do you like honey.” “Yes,” she said, “I love honey.” I said “Well, I got some extra honey, a whole gallon. Do you mind if Brother So-and-so and I drop it off at your house?”

    Budda-boom, budda-bing. Brother X made a sale, Sister Y got some free honey, and two Peter Priesthoods went home rejoicing that they did some home-teaching. And I thought it well worth the $5.

  25. Great story, GreenEggz. I love honey.