Saturday, September 26, 2009

When #fail no longer matters

(This blog entry is part of the This American Life* series)

You can not fault her for not trying. On the flight from Washington to Buenos Aires, the person next to me was part of a bigger group, all Korean. I was curious whether they were visiting Argentina as tourist, or visiting family. There is a large Korean population in Argentina. It was neither. They were on all missionaries for a Korean Christian Church.

Thinking back at my visit to Provo, Utah several years ago, I imagined that, like the missionaries of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, they must have prepared well and must be fluent in Spanish. Were they mormons, they might even have specialized in the typical Argentinean pronunciation and studied their culture.

She was no mormon. She did not speak a single word of Spanish and knew almost nothing about the people and the county. On a scale of 1-10, the preparation for their ‘sales’ call, was a lousy 1.

She did have a small booklet, called Amor y Esperanza, containing phrases she was able to pronounce. The plan was to approach people in the street, belch out some phrases and convert the people in this Catholic country to a Korean Christian Church. Knowing the portenos, good luck with that.

The first commandment in their booklet had to be “failure makes you stronger” I admire the effort.

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