Once they approached us, I noticed their name tags and telltale skirts. "Oh goodness," I thought as I realized they were Mormon missionaries. However, I decided not to judge and we began conversation.
The girls asked where I was from, what I did, etc. The normal chitchat stuff. Then one asked if I was interested in history. I explained that I was very much so interested. I love genealogy and women's history. They started talking about a project their church was doing regarding making old documents accessable via the internet.... sounded interesting at least.
Then the other asked if I was very religious. I stumbled over my words... not really sure how to explain it. I said I was raised Catholic but that I struggled to follow organized religion because of the misogyny that is rampant in monotheistic cultures. I said I identified more along the lines of spiritual and that I pray to my ancestors to watch over us. She then asked if I believed in a higher being. I had to pause for a moment, because, yes, I think there may be a higher power. I said yes, but explained that I wasn't sure if I could assign a gender to a super being.
We finished picking weeds and I invited them inside to wash their hands and gave them a glass of ice water. We chatted back and forth. They mostly asked about what I had studied in school and what my job was like. I wanted to show them that people who are feminist aren't crazy, they can be very loving, and very dedicated to great causes. I told them about my job where I work for children in the foster care system. They were very interested and so I went into detail. I love telling about my job because it truly is a wonderful thing that my coworkers and I do. I love to change the perception of kids in foster care, of those who come out of broken families. I like to instill hope in those who hear about my kids.
Anywho, the ladies were very polite and lovely as expected. They asked if they could come back to talk about the history project their church was doing. I am sure I made an awkward face but said yes. I scheduled them into my calendar for a few weeks from now.... I am actually really glad that I said yes. Because even if they come back to try to sell their religion to me, they are truly dedicated human beings. They are kind and friendly yet probably get lots of rudeness from people they visit. After all, even if they come back, at least we can talk theology. Maybe I can encourage them to analyze religion in a feminist way :D