Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Church in Orlando: Are You LDS Vacationers Helping Out?

Wrapping up a fabulous conference in Orlando (Licensing Executives Society Annual Meeting). Chance to meet many amazing people, learn from some experts in law, business, and strategy, and give a presentation on "Conquering Innovation Fatigue" (coincidentally, this is also the title of a book to be published by John Wiley and Sons in Spring 2009 - not that I want to promote the book or anything). One thing I noticed here is that most cab drivers (based on my small sampling) haven't heard about the Church, even ones that have lived here for many years. None had LDS friends (one had an LDS cousin in New Jersey) and none knew that there is an LDS Temple in Orlando. Gasp.

Next time you LDS people are down here and have a cab ride, be sure to talk a bit! Some of the most interesting people on earth are cabbies. So get to know them and, occasionally, feel free to leave a Book of Mormon. I gave one to a kind man from Brazil and when he saw me again two days later, he told me he's already been reading and enjoying it. I'll see him one more time shortly, I think.

Well, not knowing where the Temple is shouldn't be surprising - one cab driver from another nation got lost taking me a little over one mile from the expensive conference site (Gaylord Palms) to my super cheap hotel in Kissimmee. I wasn't paying attention when I realized we had been traveling too long. He was relying on a Garmin GPS system that gave confusing directions. Instead of telling him to turn around, it said "Turn left, then left." He turned left, then took the next left, which put us on a tiny lane through a run-down neighborhood. Then the next "left, then left" command sent us into a dead end. After four stops trying to figure out where to go, I should have just gotten out, asked directions and walked - would have been faster. Over 30 minutes to go a mile. Next time that happens, I'm gonna punish the driver with my Johnny Lingo imitation.

Taxi tip: The big black towncars don't use meters and some charge high "flat rates" like $16 to go a mile. If it's not a metered cab, make sure you know what kind of rate you'll be getting before you hop in.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting. In recent years I've been to the temples in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Lima, Peru, and each time I simply asked the cab driver to be taken to the templo mormón, no problem. One difference might be that in those cities the temples aren't out of sight in the suburbs like many of the U.S. temples are.

And, by the way, don't expect to see a working taxi meter in either of those cities (except perhaps those taxis parked outside the pricey hotels catering to U.S. tourists). In those cities, we merely asked what it would cost to get to where we were going, or we would name our own price (generous by local standards) and ask if that was OK. You're definitely better off going that route than you are trying to rent a car (although speaking Spanish helps a lot).

MarkS said...

How would you imitate Johnny Lingo? Offer to give him eight cows if he'll get you to your destination quickly?

Floyd the Wonderdog said...

The cabbie to the London Temple not only knew where the temple was, but wished me a "good session". He's evidently had many conversations with members.

Nyssa Hill said...

I was just wondering if the author of this blog would talk about Proposition 8 in California? We need to get the word out about the negative affects a "no" vote would place not only on the LDS church, but on other churches throughout California and eventually the rest of the United States. It's not just about how we believe that it is wrong for two people of the same sex to marry. There is a potential for many lawsuits if any church leader in any church refuses to marry a same-sex couple, even if it against that churches beliefs. Speaking out against same-sex marriage could mean a lawsuit for any church if proposition 8 doesn't pass.
We need to protect marriage while we still can.

Bookslinger said...

Giving gospel material to a cab driver? What a cool idea! :-)

Anonymous said...

The Orlando temple is very far out of the way and not at all in a place you would expect, and certainly not anywhere near the heavily-trafficked tourist areas. Check a map. Even local members are curious as to why it's in that spot. An enormous and unfortunate missed opportunity on the church's part.

Bookslinger said...

Last anon: I'm very confident that the first presidency, probably the prophet himself, doesn't approve a temple's location until after checking that it meets the Lord's approval.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons for the location, as far as I understand it, is that it sits on what is the highest ground in the county...and it really isn't -that- much out of the way, now with the way this whole area has exploded...

Anonymous said...

If it's the highest area, it doesn't matter because it's hidden. It is not easy to get to, it is not heavily trafficked, and the interstate does not go near it (though there is a toll road within a few miles).
Look at google maps and streetview. See for yourself.
Washington DC, San Diego, Atlanta are all gem-like temples, placed in nearly perfect locations. Orlando, not so much.
The likely reason for it's location is due to the surrounding demographics. Some of the richest people in the country live within a mile. Some of the richest members of the church in FL live within a mile.