Foreign Language Congregations
Are they stricter or laxer? I've read comments on this board that the Spanish Speaking Congregations are stricter. Somehow I imagine Pacific Islander congregations are laxer because they aren't as at odds with the culture. My father-in-law seems like a more liberal elder who naïvely led his family in when he was young and tries to manage the craziness imposed from above and abroad.
It probably would be more 'on the money' so to speak to note that there are cultural and ethnic differences in strictness across cultures. From what I've heard in New Zealand, elders from Pacific Island countries (Rarotonga, Samoa, Tonga) have less understanding of 'western' human psychology and are more prone to take punitive measures against brothers and sisters who confess acts of immorality. It would be interesting to see whether the incidence of disfellowshippings is greater in these cultures than in the dominant culture (English).
Where is our mole when we need him/her?
I'm in the Russian in America, and I can tell you it is SUPER relaxed. We get like 1 DF'ed brother/sister every few years, and those that do almost always come back or are never seen again. Many brothers/sisters are "unspiritual" and the elders cast a blind eye. Even I do things that are contreversial and I don't even get mentioned in any elder's meeting, at least according to my father, who is an elder.
The Spanish speaking congs are definitely nosier, more in people's private lives; it is a cultural aspect for the average Hispanic to be a busy body.
Depends to a large degree on the culture of the home country AND the country of origin of the foreign language congregation members.
There isn't a "one size fits all" answer.
Even in the Spanish language congregations in the US - you'll find the Mexicans are much more conservative than, say, Colombians. A congregation which is 75% Mexican will be much different than one that is 75% Colombian.
Darn , I was thinking about "helping" in a FL congregation. So I could fly under the radar even more than I am right now.... My elders leave me alone , although they did try to nail me down for a sheparding visit last CO VISIT.