She Cannot Google

March 3rd, 2011

One more thing about our Beehive House experience and I will leave it alone, I promise. One of the little sisters that was there, guiding us through Mormon Disneyland (Which exhibit would the Beehive house be, anyway? Haunted Mansion?) was Chinese. Literally from China. Each of these missionaries wear their home country’s flag on their little name tag and this little sister’s English was so broken that we could only understand about a third of what she was saying. She was trying so hard to talk to each of us in the tour and when she spoke to us as a group, you could hear her script shine right through her broken English. One thing I’ve noticed about the missionaries of the Mormon church is that when they speak about things that are supposed to make me feel “THE SPIRIT” there is a distinct cadence about the way they do it. There are definite key words that are said and key questions that are asked but there is also a rhythm and tone about them while they are doing it that I’m sure they have been trained to use. So as this Chinese little sister was speaking I could hear her trained cadence coming through. It was bizarre. It made me wonder where she came from and how she got here.

How does a Chinese person become Mormon anyway? I suppose that there is a plausible explanation; a schoolmate from the states or a coworker or something. But the thing that astounds me as I continue to think of her is that she came from China, where she can’t google shit, all the way here to Salt Lake City, Utah. In Salt Lake City, we can google, but SHE cannot google. She is a missionary. She is told what to say, how to say it and when. She lives in an environment in the United States of America where SHE CANNOT GOOGLE!!! I’m astounded. Really, if you think about it, what is the circumstance that a person, in our country, who is an adult, is not FREE to do what they want? It is voluntary religious prison. Sure she doesn’t consider it that. She is “freed by her religion”, she is liberated from the evil of this world by her religion. But here she is, having come from a world where she was restricted in so many aspects for her entire life, in the United States voluntarily living in a religiously restrictive environment. I wanted to bring her over to me, hand her my iphone and press the little blue G on my home screen. Genuinely, I am not saying that I want her to google anything specific but I think that for her it would be fun. What would she google first? I’m sure it wouldn’t be anything relating to Mormonism or Brigham Young or polygamy. If it were me, I can’t imagine what I would google first…I’ve googled so much now that I can’t imagine life without it. After a solid 62 seconds of thought, with my fingers suspended over the keyboard of my laptop I can’t think of what I would google first. Or at all. I’m so used to access to information as an American-born person with access to technology during every moment of my life that I can’t fathom not having had it. I actually will admit to you right now that I have had my iphone with me in the bathroom and googled on the toilet. You’ve done it too and don’t even deny it.

This has been bothering me so much that I want to go back there and ask her questions about her life. I want to know how she got here, to the Beehive House. I want to have lunch with her and just talk. I guess for her, being here in the U.S. is probably a huge adventure, but shouldn’t she get to go see the Grand Canyon? Shouldn’t she go visit California and drive up the coastline? Shouldn’t she see New York City or Vegas? I mean the girl has been working in Mormon Disneyland all this time, she should DEFINITELY see Vegas. Or at least the real Disneyland. I guess at some point in her life she will be released and maybe have the option to travel the U.S. as a “free” person, unencumbered by a religious task or script. I imagine her in China planning her trip looking up places to see and realize…SHE CANNOT GOOGLE!

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One Response to “She Cannot Google”

  1. Ang Greetham on March 4, 2011 11:49 pm

    Yeah, it’s kind of like you can see over the fence to such an amazing place but she isn’t even able to even know that a fence is there to even loo over. I’m grateful for having the freedom to the fence and then being able to look over to the “green pastures” and then finding the gate and passing through.

    P.S. the first thing I googled was fashion. Big surprise huh? : )

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