Posted by: blackfootsmj1 | May 12, 2011

Standing out at The PLAYERS Championship

Any time I am in public I wear my missionary proselyting clothes (white shirt, tie, dress slacks). And as you can imagine I stick out like a sore thumb. It’s always a unique experience. One thing I can always count on is getting asked questions, complimented, stared at, and my personal favorite: the “why are you wearing that” look. It happens everywhere I go. When I go out to eat, when I am riding a bike, knocking doors, and even when I go grocery shopping. I still remember my first day with a brand new missionary. As we were walking in the front doors I told him someone would ask him where something was in the store. He laughed and shrugged it off. Sure enough, not even 30 seconds into our shopping experience, someone stopped us and asked us where the mexican hot sauce was.

This Monday, our preparation day, was no different. A group of missionaries (and myself) went to the practice round at The PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra, Florida. A group of them were watching some players hit a few balls on the driving range. Then a representative from PING came over and told them he was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and said he was happy to see them in their missionary attire. He then explained that several pro’s had commented on “those guys in white shirts and ties” and as a result, was able to talk a little bit about the Church. And even say “I did that not too long ago.” We were stopped by at least another half dozen people, all of whom asked what we did and why we were wearing long pants and a white shirt and tie to a golf tournament.

My favorite experience was getting into the clubhouse. A group of Elders had tickets that allowed them to go into the clubhouse but mine did not. When we got to the security guard he let us in anyway because he “thought we could spruce up the place”. Elder McFarland, one of the missionaries, even wrote down thesecurity guard’s name so we could pray for “that security guard” who let us into the “private” clubhouse.

I have no idea if anything major will come of our visit to TPC Sawgrass. But what I know is, a few more people saw the Mormon missionaries at a major golf tournament and few more people recognized that we were “set apart from the world” and there was something to be respected about what we do as missionaries. I would hope that one day that security guard will find the missionaries in his area and find out just a little bit more about the church.

Not too bad, considering it was our “preparation” day.

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