“Hello…where are you coming from...have you heard of LDS before? Three sentences and we were in full-blown conversation. I quickly learnt that these women were “Sister Missionaries,” the only members of the Church who work with the public on the Temple grounds. Each sister had a flag below her name tag indicating her country of origin, which reaffirmed the global reach of this religion. The men around the square were generally a lot older. The few younger men I saw were dressed in plain oversized suits and seemed a lot less inclined to strike up conversation, probably because I am large young man, and young men are territorial and insecure.
The first sister I met, whose last name I forget, was from France and welcomed me to the South Information Hall. She offered me a couple of brochures and asked whether I had heard of the Book of Mormon. I mentioned I knew the play, which in hindsight might not have been the best idea. She frowned, while the missionary beside her laughed. The French sister said that it was a bad play, and that I ought to watch Meet The Mormons, a 2014 movie that explores the lives of six members of LDS. Then came the question of my religious affiliation, to which I replied "I’m spiritual." Her reaction suggested naivety to the idea, so I went on to explain my belief that the energy between people is a force greater than any individual, and that it can only be accessed through empathy. I brought up love and karma, and quickly realized that I had entered the realm of Buddhism. This was followed by a brief pause… She opened the book of Mormon and proceeded to take me through a visual history of the religion. I’ve only seen the first 8 pages of The Book of Mormon, but I can safely say that it is a picture book. About ten minutes passed and I informed her that I had to keep moving. I thanked her for her time and wished her all the best.