Monday, September 24, there was a stake family home evening activity and “Mormon Night” at Shea Stadium where the first-place New York Mets were scheduled to play the Washington Nationals.

According to the online stake calendar, about 3,500 members of the church would be in attendance. I assume that number is associated with the number of tickets that were made available to us for purchase. The tickets were $6.00 apiece and we were in the highest “nose-bleed” seats. Whether or not there were actually 3,500 Mormons present, I do not know … but there was a lot of loud cheering when the full-time missionaries (from the New York, NY South Mission) sang the national anthem at the beginning of the game.

While on my way to the game, I ran into a huge group of the missionaries on the subway platform where I was switching to the express 7 train. It was kind of fun to be dressed as a ‘civilian’ in a subway car with so many missionaries – wondering if any of them would try to contact me. I positioned myself strategically next to a senior couple and observed as the elder tried strike up a conversation with a young businessman – who very quickly said he needed to make a phone call and pulled out his blackberry. End of contact.

At that point I introduced myself and found out I was talking to the mission president and his wife. I was impressed that this mission president was making the effort and giving the right example to his missionaries. I also gave them my email address and asked if they could send me some pictures of their missionaries singing the national anthem, if they should happen to acquire any. This morning I was delighted to find the following pictures in my inbox:

Missionary Choir Picture 1

[It’s more than just a bit ironic (I think) that this picture caught the large “Bud Light” advertisement as a backdrop. In some ways, I think this picture characterizes the spiritual/cultural battle the missionaries are engaged in every single day.]

Missionary Choir Picture 2

Missionary Choir Picture 3

Missionary Choir Picture 4

Missionary Choir Picture 5

It was a really fun stake activity but the game itself did not go well for the home team. The Washington Nationals pretty much destroyed the Mets, final score 13-4.