October 11, 2006

He's Ba - aaaack!

Today I got another letter in the mail from Mr. Ward Clerk. I'll post it here and you can decide for yourself what you think. I'm copying exactly as he wrote it...

Dear Sister F,

I just got home from Poplar, MT. I flew up there & picked up a young man with down's Syndrome who also has heart trouble. It is raining & cold, feels like winter is fast approaching.

I wanted to share something with you that I have learned about the nature of our Heavenly Father. He is so loving and Kind, and especially patient. On thursdays I serve as an ordinance worker out at the Temple. The ordinances need to be preformed accurately & correctly, yet we don't get any "practice runs." We study what we need to do & then go forward with Faith. We all make mistakes at one time or another, but our Infinite Heavenly Father (who is infiniately loving, kind & patient) understands that we are not perfect & accepts the best we can do. He also helps us to preform beyond our normal abilities.

The other night we were getting ready for dinner & I asked J. to go get the ketchup. So, of he goes running into the kitchen and tells (my wife) "I'm getting the ketchup mommy!" He is not big enough to open the Fridge door so I told him to ask mom for help. Instead, he runs up to the the fridge & knocks on the door, puts his ear to it to listen, and then holds up his hands & shrugs while saying "Nobody coming!"

Saturday evening (my wife) & I got to go out on a date (rare event but very nice). J. saw (my wife) putting on some lipstick & asked "Mom, are you & Dad going to get more babies?" He is such a character.

I was really angry at one time in my life. I stopped going to church, didn't want to serve, didn't want anything. It all started back when I was the Elder's Quorum President. Some one said something to me that offended me. It festered & snowballed. I came really close to losing my family over it. It was so EASY to be mad & find offence. Pretty soon I didn't know anything else but that. It was so HARD to stop being angry & to stop looking for offence. I have discovered that the path that has the least resistance usually leads away from the straight & narrow path.

Back in 1995 my parents, who had been married for 25 years divorced. I was 22 and we had joined the church when I was 4. At first I was really upset. "Mormons aren't supposed to get divorced." I kept telling myself. I was mad, hurt, sad, upset. My parents had been un-happy for a very long time. My mother never had anything good to say about my dad. She would yell a lot. I remember hearing "Bob N, I have never..." or "You are so...." Fill in the blank and you get the picture. My dad was not perfect. He was a closet Drinker & abused pain pills be cause of a back injury. So, after being upset I really thought about it & in my parents' case, they really were better off being divorced. My mom, for a number of years after, always refered to it as "Bob's divorce." She would always come over & just go off on my dad, & always end with "But I'm not bitter." She was so bitter she made lemons seem sweet. My dad used to be in contact a lot. He remarried about a year later & his new wife took him to the cleaners & then divorced him. I bailed him out of that & then he got involved with a lady from Minnesota. Sold everything & moved back east. It lasted about 6 mos & he came back, lived with us for about 6 mos. Now I haven't heard from him in a long time. It was about 2 yrs & we heard he was in the hospital. Drove to Helena to visit. Another 2 yrs. passed with no contact & so off to Helena we go & we tracked him down. I had written him a letter & he sent it Back! We found him. It's been about 2 yrs with no contact. You probably didn't really want to know all this & are probably thinking "Whoa dude, too much information." I can't say as I blame you. Although, I find my disfunctional LDS family funny, insane, sad & maddening all at the same time. Back in 1985, we were on a church float trip down the Jefferson River in Three Forks to the Missouri headwaters. My middle brother, K. (14) drowned at the headwaters. I was the last to see him alive. Why am I telling you this, I don't really know. I just sort of feel we have trodden down familiar paths. Please write me & tell me your thoughts. You can tell me I'm crazy, pathetic, or what ever. I'm pretty easy to talk too. Here's my e-mail: *****@bresnan.net. We truly missed seeing your family at Church today. I remember the last time you bore your testimony & I felt the spirit when you did.

Have a great day!! (with smily face below the exclamation point dots for eyes)
(Phone # inserted in margin)

Sincerely, J.N.


So, my first reaction is the desire to send him a single sheet of paper in the mail, with this in big, bold letters:

WTF??

44 comments:

Bull said...

That's just incredible. Seriously. What does he think he's doing? He's obviously either been assigned or else taken it on himself to help you back into the church. He seems to feel like he knows what you are going through, but really hasn't got a clue.

I love the rather silly lead off that seems to imply that you are offended. Why does everyone think that? It is, as he so rightly points out, ridiculous to go looking for offense and then obsess over it.

The outpouring of "too much information" is a stunt to try to create an intimacy that otherwise would not exist and is a gross intrusion. I think he's hoping that if he bares his soul you'll open up in return. As if...

If it were me, I'd email him and tell him that you don't know who he is, why he is writing you, and have no desire to receive further contact.

The only thing I can think is, "What a loser."

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Bull, he's obviously got serious issues I think, stemming from not only his LDS upbringing and also the dysfunction in his family. But hey, we all have that to some degree. I pity him more than anything. If it is an assignment, poor sap probably sat there wondering what to write and wishing he didn't have to!

Sister Mary Lisa said...

I meant "but also."

Bishop Rick said...

Wow, that letter was all over the place. I tried to put myself in your place as I read it, and went from anger to wonderment, to pity, to actually having a desire to talk to him, and back to wonderment.

He seems like a nice enough man. I think I would send him an email stating that I appreciated his letters but did not wish to have any type of friendly relatioship with him.

I'm usually a softee until I get pissed off, then I look to kick ass.

Sideon said...

Inconceivable!

Bull nailed it - the guy gushed to push emotional buttons. If there's any reaction, it must be "the Spirit," right? If you get the Spirit from a clueless stranger, well then Gawd must be working in mysterious ways. Yeah. Mysterious. Oxymoron-ish.

I pity the guy too. As someone's wise grandmother once said, 'it takes a lifetime to tend to the weeds in our own garden.' That's not saying the guy doesn't have any splendid fruit or flowers.

Maybe a different tactic is in order? You don't have to explain yourself to him or anyone. Your beliefs are your own. You're not selling them or trying to "convert" anyone. Be the fantastic you that you are and leave it at that. Smile a Mona Lisa smile and drive them crazy, the harder they dig for the reason you're smilin'.

Be well.

Janet M. Kincaid said...

Okay, I'll confess: I couldn't read past the second paragraph. The words suddenly blurred and were replaced with "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." And then I was struck by this thought: you should be proud of yourself. It's very possible that you are the cause of TBMs actually THINKING about what it is they believe in. And for a moment, I was thrilled!

I'd like to think that's a wholly hopeful thing. (TBMs thinking, that is. Not me being thrilled.)

Alas, all they're able to think in are talking points that are the same mimicry and dreck they babble in Blast and Bestimony meetings.

A soul, finally free. said...

The last part that you worte really made me lol. Oh man that would be so funny. Well hey look at all these letters your getting as something to do when you get off work. I mean man, they are really flowing in. Yeah I've gotten ONE. That was from my sunday school teacher..telling me that I always added so much to class...what did I add to class? I dont rememeber ever really enjoying class so I dont see how I would have added much. except a yawn there, a loud sneeze there...here a yawn there a yawn, everywhere a yawn, yawn. Od sis. so and so had a sunday school....lies lies lies lies lies! haha...that my rendition of old mcdonald...i guess if i ever did pop in I could share that. BUt I better not. Oh, and hopeffuly in god infinite whatever word he used...maybe he will show old mister ward clerk the truth about the church. One can only hope, and then maybe then he'll understand and quit these ridculous attemps to get you to come back. LOve you.

Cele said...

ML if you do write back, make sure you put the defination of WTF withit,because really it would be over his head. The man can't write a comprehensive letter, let alone decipher three letters.

Equality said...

Wow, that guy has some SERIOUS issues with personal boundaries. Is he a close talker, too?

And what the hell was the kid-getting-ketchup-from-the-fridge story all about? Huh? What does God's patience and infinitude have to do with anything? If God is infinitely loving and patient, then I guess we really can "procrastinate our day of repentance," right. Oh, why am I trying to form rational responses to these mad ravings.

I would consider getting a restraining order against this guy if I were you. Truly bizarre.

Jazzy said...

SML,

I am speechless! What the heck was the point of the letter anyway? I tend to agree with Bull in that those stories were just a ploy to create a "friendship" with you in order to bring you back to the church.

I also agree with Sideon. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone. I am sure that you will find a way. You are smart! You can do it!

:):):)

from the ashes said...

Wow, what an amazingly idiotic letter. What happened to the normal, "We really misses you in church. I want you to know that if there are any issues you want to talk about, I'm here for you. With false love and insincerity, Ward Clerk" ?

from the ashes said...

oh, and can I add you to my blog list?

Eight Hour Lunch said...

"Looooord I was born a ramblin maaaan..."

Don't know why that song just popped into my head. Seriously though, did he even have a point?

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Sorry, my boss was in all morning (a job bid today so he was busy sorting through faxes all day) so I couldn't respond to all of you sooner..

Bishop Rick, I did the same thing. But mostly my feelings kept veering to wonderment and bewilderment at the things he was writing. Wow. And I won't reach the kick ass stage unless they start popping in to visit in person. Then I'll get angry.

Sideon, I love your idea to show them my Mona Lisa smile and just keep 'em guessing. This is what I've decided to do. Let him write all he wants, heck, it may be somewhat therapeutic for him in his own life. ??

Janet, I wish you had been able to make it past the blah blah blah to read it all. It was amazingly weird. But I don't blame you one bit. :)

Emily, "here a yawn, there a yawn, everywhere a yawn yawn!" You really made me laugh hard with your wit. You are hilarious, girl.

Cele, if I give him WTF? as a letter, his confusion and bewilderment will be no worse than mine toward HIS letter to me. Serves him right.

Equality, that's the funny part...I have no clue if this guy is a close talker too, since in 5 years of being in the same ward, I've only spoken to him once, to request a printout of primary class attendance rolls. He was sitting across the room and handed them to me once they printed. Last night I told my husband I was getting sick of this stalker, and he thought that was a little extreme. I'm glad you don't think so.

Jazzy and Doug, there was no point to his ramblings. Really strange. I'm with Bull, he's trying to make it seem like we're close by inundating me with personal information and stories. I couldn't care less, unfortunately for him.

From the ashes, thanks for the comments! I felt the same way. You are welcome to add me, and may I do the same? Thanks!

Arizona Expositor said...

Wow this guy saw the Bednar and Packer talks is my guess. The whole being offended thing is what struck me and then drifting all over the place. Who know's what his intentions are??? I would right him back and tell him I am not offended and leave me alone. Or better yet send your resignation letter to your bishop with the same message.

Arizona Expositor said...

PS: and email this a guy a link to your blog...

Liseysmom said...

Wow! You got it right... wtf?! I think that guy needs some therapy.

SocietyVs said...

That's an interesting piece of literature, seems nice enough though, a little on the rambling side I agree. He could of put in 'please come back also' with a little tear-e eyed smiley face. Keep up the good fight.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

AZEX, I'm just gonna ignore him and see if he goes away. And if he doesn't, then HEY! He's given me the gift of a free post on my blog!!

Lisey'smon, I'd have to agree. He really has some issues bottled up. And his wife is as Molly Mormon as they come, I think. Not that I know her really.

Societyvs, I'm not fighting. I'm trying to remain passive and hoping they just go away and leave me in peace already.

Molly The Mormon said...

I am married to Peter Murphy, thank you. Not your Ward Clerk. Although he does seem like a very sincere man with a kind heart and righteous intentions.

You would do well to embrace this man and heed his council. It all made perfect sense to me.

Ramiumptum,

Molly the Mormon

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Molly, this man is hardly someone I would embrace, since I barely even spoken to him. Not even YOU would embrace a virtual stranger, right?

Arummmpummmpummm.

Sister Mary Lisa

montchan said...

Give him a plastic wrapped pogo stick (for his protection) and tell him to fuck himself with it. It will be more effective than sending you such fucktardish letters.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Montchan, why is it you always make me laugh out loud and snort when I see the word fucktard???

Imagine him sharing that tidbit in his next fast & testimony mtg...

"I really felt the spirit prompt me to contact her in her inactivity. But she sent me a POGO STICK! Can you believe that she's gone so far off the deep end with Satan to tell me to do a thing I cannot name with said pogo stick? I will have to try harder."

Sofi said...

This could be the greatest letter I've ever read. If I had not been raised as a Mormon, I so would have thought this letter was fake. This brings WTF to an new level of WTFness.

Rebecca said...

Dude needs some SERIOUS editing. Much like the script for "Lady in the Water." And probably this comment. He kept starting to get to a point then not actually GETTING THERE. I'd be like, "Dear Mr. Nosy Pants, the thing is, I haven't been angry or offended. But your letters are getting me there."

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Amy & Rebecca, I am also stunned. I wonder if I'll get any more "love bombs" from him in my mailbox this week. Both letters have arrived on Tuesdays since he writes them Sunday (probably his only Sabbath-sanctioned activity while the TV is off) and he must mail them Monday. Poor guy.

Anonymous said...

god, I loved that last line.

And I actually almost spit my drink out on my monitor when I read AZ's suggestion to send him a link to your blog.

And I'm finding that Molly's out-of-the-blue posts are always classic.

I get such a kick out of the exmo bloggers. Great to find you guys! (Like anyone but you is going to see this, but oh well...)

I know it's been a couple of months since this post, but, based on this, I'd recommend sending him a plain-brown-wrapped beginner's guide to masturbation with a note advising him to get in better touch with himself.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Gluby, your comments are pretty hilarious too! I'm sure if I did go get him such a guide, I'd probably end up reading it for myself and stowing it in my secret stash of fun reading material.

:)

Anonymous said...

ha

While you're at it, here's a book that might bring you closer to the spirit:

The Pop-Up Book of Sex

Be sure to look at the 5-second demonstration video. Fun for the whole family!

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Gluby, I just have to say it. I can't help it ~ 5 second demonstration?! I much prefer watching demonstrations that LAST. Seriously.

:) And, I'm going to have to take some time and comment on your comments on my other archived posts. Probably tomorrow. You are very entertaining.

Anonymous said...

But it's a really intense 5 seconds.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Gluby, does your wife know you like those intense 5 seconds, and that you shared the information with me??

Anonymous said...

I do now.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Hi LB! Nice to meet you. He talks of you a lot, so I'm glad you're here too.

Anonymous said...

But seriously, though -- if you haven't done so, check out the book at Amazon.com and check out the little video. It's a kick... er, well, a... a spank.

Anonymous said...

I feel like writing a song entitled "Five seconds of looooove..."

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Oh. My. God. I did as you suggested, and watched the five seconds. That is hilarious.

Sheesh. What are you trying to do? Corrupt me?

Anonymous said...

I've corrupted one ultra-priss Mormon girl. Why not two?

Glad you liked it. Everyone needs a good spanking here and there. :)

Krom the Kreator said...

OMFG. That was beyond hilarious. I only have one word to say after reading that letter and the subsequent comments: Fuktastic!

That and please put a restraining order on that nutjob. That guy is a few fries short of a happy meal.

I really liked the part where he mentioned that he saw his brother die in the water. Nice.

Oh, and this blog is awesome with a captial A.

Anonymous said...

hahaha. OMG. This was the best.

It seemed like something popped in his lil' heart, and he couldn't help the rest from comin' out, one emotional point to the next without any context.

I loved the part when he just drifts into what his lil' kid said. hahaha.

Jesus, thank you for sending us the meek and humble of the earth, so we can sit and laugh at them. Amen.

- the cadillac cowboy

Hellmut said...

Definitely time to establish some boundaries, isn't it? I feel sorry for him as well but you got to protect yourself.

Karma said...

Eeeuuuu! This makes me want to HURL! LOL!

Other Gent said...

If he's still sending you these, write back and ask him to please stop hitting on you, and that you'll tell his wife and the bishop if he keeps it up.

I'm fairly certain that would stop it.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Other Gent, he's not still writing these. I shared all he ever did/sent on my blog. It really doesn't take long for a person to be forgotten once they walk away from the church. Sad but true.