Click here to watch episode 3 of The District
Click here to listen to the Mormon Expositor podcast’s review of this episode.
This episode seemed somehow shorter than the others. Or maybe it just didn’t push any buttons for me?
We learn a little more about Elder Moreno and his choice to serve a mission. He says that he had the classic, happy childhood. His grandfather is funny. He says “He was a real good kid… when he was sleeping.” HA! Aren’t they all? It sounds like as a teenager he was a handful and a soccer loving athlete. As he was trying to decide if he should serve a mission, he had a very sweet experience with a friend his age, Ronnie. They were just sitting in the car talking about the death of Ronnie’s grandmother. This experience helped him to gain his own testimony and decide to serve a mission.
My favorite part of the interview with Elder Moreno was when he says “sometimes it’s just hot. and you’re just tired”. I love a little realism.
The bulk of the episode deals with an investigator named German (hair-MAHN). His grandfather, who is deceased, was LDS but his mother was not so he had not previously been introduced to the gospel. He is beyond excited to meet the missionaries and says he’s been waiting for this kind of message all his life and that he just “feels happy whenever they are there”. He readily accepts baptism and they show other discussions with him. The main hilarity takes places during the (*drum roll please*) chastity discussion.
Oh Glory it’s hysterical. Just before the discussion the missionaries are digging through their trunk looking for the pamphlet about chastity. They can’t find it and finally they give up and decide to wing the discussion. Epic Mistake.
They are entirely too vague. Speed ahead to the next discussion and poor German has a confession to make. He was tempted to break the law of chastity. *gasp* (At this point I was saying – More porn! Because it was soooo uncomfortable) So as he is trying to explain what he did – again in the vaguest terms, following their example – the missionaries are looking rather horrified but then suddenly! Whoa. STOP the presses. German! You’re allowed TO DATE. The temptation he’d nearly succumb to? Asking a girl on a DATE.
So rewind. The missionaries gotta get a pamphlet and do that discussion all over again. Really it was funny but clearly that could have had some less hysterical, devastating consequences. And I think it’s adorable that German was so committed to how he felt about the church he was willing to give up dating! I wonder how he thought people got married and had kids…
I think this issue probably happens frequently. Heaven love them, we have two virginal young missionaries teaching a chastity lesson. They’re nervous and awkward and are prone to too much vagueness. But it sure made for an amusing episode!
Later German is baptized. And in an epilogue at the end we learn that German’s mother was baptized later – by him. That was very sweet to see them sharing. She attended German’s baptism and she says that she could feel her father there, feel his happiness that German was getting baptized. That must have been an amazing experience for her.
There is another investigator, Dennis. He’s been around the church for 30 years but never been baptized. His wife is a member. These missionaries want to know what is stopping him from being baptized! He says he has problems with the Word of Wisdom. He does tell them in the second meeting that he wants to read the entire Book of Mormon before he makes any decisions.
His wife bears her testimony to him. It’s incredibly sweet and she is clearly putting her whole heart into it but he doesn’t seem to be absorbing it at all. It’s more as if he’s just tolerating the situation. They end that discussion with the understanding that Dennis and his wife are going to read the Book of Mormon together. I don’t know if we’re gonna be seeing more of him.
I think within the church we often feel like bearing your testimony to someone will always sway them to your way of seeing things. It’s not the case, that’s a language we use within the church that doesn’t always translate outside of it.
And that’s it for this episode. I’m off to watch episode 4!
Did you watch? Did you laugh as much as I did at the chastity moment!?!?