You may recall that recently Switzerland recently stopped the practice of routinely issuing visas to [foreign] Mormon missionaries (i.e. mishies from outside the EU). And — if you’re like me — this may have left you full of questions like: What will the CoJCoL-dS do??? Do they have enough European mishies to keep the mission going? Will they quietly shut it down? After all, Switzerland is an insanely expensive country, and I doubt they’re converting enough rich Swiss bankers to offset the cost of maintaining operations…
Fortunately for the curious, MSP’s Switzerland-based correspondent recently ran into some mishies at a tram stop and asked them!
So, it turns out that they do, in fact, have enough EU-citizen mishies to keep Switzerland fully stocked. Of the pair I met, one was from England and the other was from Germany. I’ve met mishies in various countries, and this was the first time I’d ever met a pair where neither one was from the US. (Once I even met a pair where both had attended the same high school in Utah.)
While it’s kind of too bad that many kids from Utah will be deprived of the experience of being rejected by the Swiss, this development may have a positive side for the CoJCoL-dS — if you think of the mission in terms of grooming the missionary himself for a life of Mormonism.
The one French guy I met who served an LDS mission told me that one of the key factors in his disaffection from the church was serving alongside the corridor-Mormons who already knew how to play the Mormon-corporate game. That is, the people who are raised in Mormon-land already know they want to be DL, ZL, AP, etc. because those distinctions mean something in their culture. And the mission experience is already disillusioning enough without watching people earn their leadership positions through all manner of polished, hypocritical butt-kissing. And I get the impression that Hellmut’s mission experience was similar.
It may well be beneficial for the European missionaries to get some Mormon leadership experience without having to compete with the corridor Mormons for it. That European guys that is. Ladies — still SOL, sorry!