The Mormons Invade Russia
One would think that traveling to farthest reaches of the world would offer relief–if not for pure distance–from American-style evangelical multi-level
marketing. Nope. While interviewing Svetlana, the daughter of the Russian powerbroker CEO of FESCO (The Far Eastern Trading Company), three
young men approached, commenting they heard English spoken and offered assistance in directions or tourism. One was from Utah, the other, North
Carolina; the third, Vladivostok. The 20-something year-old Russian has already been converted by the other two Mormon missionaries on a quest to save heathen Ruskies from themselves by supplanting their commie
tendencies with the capitalistic emollient of Jesus Christ & His Latter Day Saints. As His saints had already gone marching all the way in to the literal farthest point in Russia, they naturally felt righteously endowed to bulldoze over an otherwise dandy Russian afternoon. The sun had risen at a comfy 8:45 am, and temps were already in the upper 50s with no reported chance of sudden fog. The dragonfly and bird were aloft; Russians in sun-appreciation garb were gaily dressed in musty camouflage and heavy coats. The day couldn’t have been more inviting to “Elders” McDonald, Clem, and Stanislov, hauling an unsuspecting Lord in tow.
I asked Elder M. why Utah has greater enlightenment than all of European history. Clearly, such line of questioning should be an easy parry and riposte for such an enlightened truth-bunch, but only angry spluttering was the result. it heartened me that we’d need no translator for the response, as its tone distinctly transcended all language barriers. I felt our Russian
chums might have further questions before handing their checkbooks over to the Church of Latter Day Saints and was keen on casting some more helpful spiritual light upon this door of pay-for-play salvation.
I further felt it a bonus to let the Russian proselytizees take comfort in knowing that the Utah God lives on a separate planet called Kolob (no kidding!), far, far way in a distant galaxy. Before I could get to the magic underwear that buttons up to the neck, the Russians impolitely guffawed, further frustrating our young missionaries. I felt I might have inadvertently buggered their spiritual sales pitch in my zeal to help my compatriot American neocolonialists. The Russians grew bored with the missionaries’ now hugely-fragmented talking points, they grunted, and skedaddled.