We were feeling blah yesterday, but we decided to try watching a movie anyway. Movies are always risky for us because we're so picky about them, but it's even riskier with LDS movies, because if they're bad they make us even more upset (although it's possible that bad Disney movies make us even more more upset, because of higher expectations, but those expectations are pretty much gone now, so I don't know). Anyway, people on Facebook were saying that Meet the Mormons was on Netflix now, so we decided to first see if that was true (we thought we'd heard it was on Netflix before and it turned out not to be, so probably the first time we only heard that it would be coming to Netflix and misread it) and second watch it. And since it was short enough that we'd still have time to do something to cheer ourselves up afterward, we figured it would be okay.
But! it turned out to be really really good, so we didn't need another thing! (But we watched an episode of My Little Pony anyway, because it was still a little too early to just go to bed, although maybe we should have, I'm soooo sleepy!)
It started out with a little introduction by the host, Jenna Kim Jones, who apparently is a not-unpopular stand-up comic, going around Times Square and asking people what they know about Mormons. It was fun, because they edited in clips from popular TV shows that mention Mormons, and there are some pretty funny jokes out there! ("I have a drinking problem? You're a Mormon. Compared to you, everybody
has a drinking problem.")
And then they did a short feature on six different Mormons selected not at random, to give the world at large a little idea of the kind of people you can find in the LDS church. It started out well enough, with a bishop from Georgia who was pretty normal. And then it escalated. The next feature was on a football coach, then a couple who has their own chain of MMA gyms in Costa Rica, then the Candy Bomber, then a guy who's out building schools and water storage for poor villages in Nepal, and then I guess they wanted to bring it back down to earth, so they focused on a missionary mom in Utah.
I have to tell you, I was under the understanding that one of the main purposes of this movie was to let people know that Mormons are pretty cool, but as a Mormon watching it, I did start to feel a little inadequate. I mean, first they have the Candy Bomber, who some people credit with preventing World War III, and then they have this guy in Nepal, and I'm over here like, "I, um...I translate comic books... People like them, maybe?" Fortunately, I'm not the type to let it get me down for too long. After a little while, I'm like, "Hey, that's really cool. Maybe someday if I'm motivated enough, or find myself in the right situation (like the Candy Bomber), I'll do something like that, too." In the meantime, I'm also aware that even the little things can make a big difference, so we'll just keep trying to at least not be whiny when asked to put chairs away.
That Candy Bomber story was really cool, though! For those of you who haven't heard of him and don't want to go watch Meet the Mormons first (although we would highly recommend it!), he was part of the Berlin Airlift when they were flying goods into West Berlin after World War II. While he was doing his job, he met some kids in Germany, and they were like, "Don't worry; we're gonna be okay. Just don't give up on us." And from that encounter (there's more to it, but I'm not going to give it all
away!), he started dropping candy on German towns. It just made me really emotional for a lot of reasons, thinking about those poor German children and how one of them said in the documentary that back then, candy was a dream, then amended the statement to say that food
was a dream. And on the one hand, candy is still kind of a luxury, like you don't really need it, but imagining how those kids must have felt when everything was so awful, just to get a candy bar! I think it helps me to be grateful for what I have, and reminds me that sometimes, even though it may have no nutritional value, it's okay to indulge in some chocolate for a morale boost. You have to take care of your spirit just as much as you have to take care of your body.
So anyway, the whole movie was really good, and all the stories were really interesting, although I admit we do have a bit of a bias. But I think it's a good reminder, even for me as a Mormon, that with so many members all over the world, there are all kinds of people doing all kinds of things. The movie doesn't talk about the religion itself so much--it's mostly only mentioned when it factors into the people's motivations and/or backstories. So it's mostly about...well, it's about people! That's all.
Today I'm thankful for getting to see Meet the Mormons, finishing our first draft of the manga we translated today, happy movies and TV shows to help us chase the blahs away, the super delicious Disneyland hot chocolate (chilled) that we had last night, and getting a shipping confirmation on one of the fifes we ordered.