Dan Harrington's book “Who’s at the Door? A Memoir of Me and the Missionaries” resulted from writing his first column for a newspaper in his hometown of Augusta, Maine. He needed a new column and a new story. From, "Knock, knock ... Meeting with LDS missionaries no joke for author of locally published memoir":
Harrington said. “I was on the hunt for another story, and I was trying to think of everything that I could that my editor might want.”
Answering a knock at the door, Harrington found himself face-to-face with two neatly dressed young men, proselytizing missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “My first thought was, ‘Oh no, how can I get rid of them?’ ” Harrington said. “Then I thought, ‘I could write about these two.’ ”
Journalistic expediency and curiosity carried the day, and Harrington, now 32, invited the strangers into his home. The missionaries shared their message (about Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith) and Harrington shared his (about needing a subject for his next news writing assignment). Both parties agreed to a return appointment.Ultimately, Harrington chose not to join the Church. Stories like his rarely get told in Mormondom.
What I found interesting was the insights we can glean to make future missionary efforts successful. Consider the following from the article above.
“There are some specific instances where Dan talks about how the elders would invite a member of the ward to visit him with them,” Fielding said. “He canceled three different times.” Many people, Fielding said, enjoy meeting with the missionaries, but don’t ever become comfortable attending church meetings or interacting in an LDS congregation because none of the members take the same level of interest in them that missionaries do.”I think that not only is this a problem for investigators of our faith it is also a problem for members. Often no one takes an interest in them at all.