Missionnaries technics

I am right now listening to this post cast.
How can I express my gratitude for my mission president?

Did we get awards on my mission?
Yes.
Did we get goals to reach?
Yes.

Yes to every question that may come to your mind.

Yet my mission has been different.
I knew this mission president, although not perfect, was a good one but listening to this podcast I understand better the feeling some had that he was made of the same material as GA.

The awards we would get were not for the numbers of baptism we had, I mean unless some crazy numbers were reach (as high as 11! Which was nothing compared to what I hear on this podcast) but we never had a hard goal to reach.
I also remember the low, extremly low goal for “tracting” we had. I know they have really high goal in some mission. Not in ours. Our misison president really wanted quality rather than quantity so he had this requirement for us to be able to count a conversation as tracting. We had to have mentionned at least 3 gospel principals or subjects such as: families, God, Jesus-Christ.
This was smart because we had to have a real conversation with them in order to put them in our numbers and therefor to care for them a little more than we would have otherwise.

Awards?
You bet we had awards.
They were for memorizing a certain amount of set scriptures.
Never for the bigest numbers.
Not only did he NOT take us out for dinner if we had big numbers but when he had to go home just a month before I did he gave a blessing to each of us. I remember what he said in mine because I wrote it down just after he did and I knew it was inspired. I still do.
Oh yeah…and all of the sisters got a hug too!

Did he used “sales” technics on the mission?
You bet he taught us to. He had worked in the advertisement all his life and after his mission went to teach it at BYU

But they were nere really applied to “the mission” but to “our mission”.
What I mean was that he cared for our growth more than for the mission growth because he knew the two were linked.
I know he helped me to become a stronger member.
Paradoxically I believe hard that if I had not served a mission and with THIS mission president I would probably not have been excommunicated. My mission and this man opened my eyes on so many things that when I came back home and knew what I needed and just could not find it, it really made things harder for me in the church as a member of the church.
I was more fragile like most missionnalies are specially when they come back to an environment where nobody understands what you come back from. And worse, all the members thought they knew because you knw…they have been long time members.
I had the theorical knowledge I needed to become a strong member but then not only did I not have the material to help but trials quickly worsen.

Up to this day I wonder if I had had what I needed when I came back if it would have made me as strong as I am today.
Excommunication is a pain to me because of what led me to this point of my life and I am not talking about the breaking of a commandment.
When I look back I still hurt and sometimes some things repeat themselves today.
The thing is that my time out of the church helped me to find in myself the material I was looking for outside.

I know the usual comments people make to this kind of thought is : yes you are stronger because you found the strength within and blah blah blah. And then they even come up with the diamond alegory sometimes. I like it and I think it is true.
But isn’t the fact that I HAD to be excommunicated to become who I am an evidence that something failed in my environment?
Wouldn’t I have been as strong but differently if things had gone they way they were supposed to? I am not talking about perfection and no trials. I am talking about a way where I could have found strength in the gospel in my ward. Where I could have been fed on the strength of others and then feed the others’ strength too.
My path makes me feel different and lonely because I have come to understand things on my own that I just can’t share with my ward and I feel it is a waste sometimes.

General conference again

I love general conference because it is one of the week end of the year when I can sleep in on Sunday.
What? I can watch it at home on my computer.
I am prentending to be slacking off but I am not really. It is just that watching it at home with few disturbance helps me to focuse better.
Beside I don’t feel like trying to watch a tiny screen in a huge room at the stake center. I should go to the eye doctor but this is one of the nice side of socialized medecin: it takes a little less than a year to get an appointment with an eye doctor. Better take an appointment with one even if you don’t need it just “in case”.

Anyway I have questions that I think would be interesting to investigate and I think I need to feel spiritually clear (if you know what I mean) to be on the way of getting the answers. Honestly I don’t think I’ll have the answers in this life but I just like to ask and work for the answers. It is one little pleasure in life that don’t financially cost much but which is harder. I just like it. I like stretches.
The thing I need to watch out for is not to stretch it too far and eventually fall into non-sense that really gets the “picture” blurry. And I like that too. I mean having to watch out. I am getting better at it although it is far from being perfect.

I think that I am looking forward to general conference this time for good reasons and I think it is the first time really.

NT

Have you noticed how sometimes it is easy to understand the NT under the light of what we know of human behavior?
Like “this has happened before and will happen again”?
Sorry, I am a fraking geek.

A talk on a subject I loath

“listen to your leaders”

What an aweful subject.
I don’t believe in listening to our leaders. I don’t believe in what they say.
Rather I believe in God and I want to listen to what He has to say.
And I understand that He set up something to make communication easier between Him and us. This is also a way to grow in many different aspect.

So my talk went about this way:
Soemtimes we believe that our leaders are up to no good and that we could do better than them.
And the horrible truth is that we are right!

We could do better than them and it is pretty much why we were not called to this position.

In Aïkido there is Uké and Tori.
Tori is the one doing the exercise. Uke is the one lending his/her body so tori can progress. No Uke no progression. And very often Uké is going to hurt because Tori messed it up.
But we take turn. Tori is not always the same person and Uké is not always the same person either. Sometimes I am the one doing the exercise and progressing and sometimes I lend my body.
Yet, Uke is not passive because a smart Uke will learn from a good or a bad Tori.

It goes the same way in the church.

When we sustain people it is not just moving an arm up. It is a vow to not only let the person fulfil his/her calling the way she/he thinks fit but also an agreement to be Uke knowing that we may get hurt in the process. We lend our lives and we give some time to the person called for his/her progression.

Last summer during my Aïkido seminar I felt even more grateful toward the Uke I met who had been doing Aïkido for sometimes 50 years. I have learned so much with them. Sometimes I would find them after the class and even if I had thanked them on the Tatami I needed to tell them thank you again. Because I never understood what I was doing even if I was supposed to be the Tori, but they always not only lent me their body but they also gave me a few minutes out of the time when they could have learned themself with someone better than me.

Same goes with church leaders.

It does not matter if we are better than them. Or rather it does matter but then what do we do?
Am I better than my bishop and is it a shame that I’ll never be called as a bishop?
Maybe.
But then if I think so don’t I have the duty to help Him grow and improve? Isn’t it one of the htree mission of the church I pretend to belong to?

And maybe I am wrong. Sometimes we feel so smart as Uke. Thinking that we understood everything perfectly and we are eager to show our partner what are the correct movements because we just understood it all.
And then when it is our turn most of the time we really make a fool of ourself because although we think we have done it close to perfectly the master comes and correct almost every movement we have done because what we have done may have looked good on the Tatami but it is pretty much dangerous for ourself in the real life.
Same thing in this life.

This is a Tatami life and we are all doing Aïkido. But someday the class will be over.
Will we run to others wanting to thank them for helping us progressing?

I remember one of them reeally looking at me as if I were weird and telling me something like he would not have imagine this seminar any other way.

Listening to our leaders is not about being submissive to idiots.
It is about listening to God’s communicating with us. and when the communication does not go through and we know it is not our fault THEN listening to our leaders is a matter of love, of deap and true love for them because it is the only way they can progress. We are Uke, they are Tori. They can’t progress if we don’t lend our lives and if we don’t tell them with all the love we are able to show, how they can progress.

First time talking to me

I don’t really know what is the general feelings from those having to use a wheel chair but in France they tend to keep at home. Not that they are ashamed or anyhting but due to how old is our country and the pavement and everything it is often really hard to get out. nothing is really made for them. I mean we are making efforts but there are things we just can’t do like broaden the streets and sidewalks everywhere. It has been done where it is possible and we still have to make much efforts but there will always be places where it is just impossible
Anyway I have been living in St-Etienne for 10 years now and there is a guy that I see anytime I go grocery shopping. Probably because the mall (malls always have a grocery store in France) is one of the few wide enough place for him.
He is young and obviously he got there because of a car accident. One of his leg look like it is stuck because somehitng happen, not because of a disease.
He is extremly fast with his wheel chair and don’t look at all like he is just hanging around. He always look like he knows where he is going and why. I always tend to look at him anytime he is around and I know my look can be disturbing when I really don’t intend to. I got often in trouble because of it. and I have been sorry for the past ten years eveytime I see him and look at him thinking that I really hope I don’t mean anything rude.

I had my Aïkido class yesterday after work and as usual I took my weapons with my.
Now if you can picture this:
I am 5’2″
The jo is about 4’1″
And then there are the other weapons that are shorter but all are in the same bag. You can imagine how long is the bag and how ridiculous I look walking around with it. People really stare at me. The worse is at a red light, people are obviously not just looking at me. Sometimes then even point their finger at me.
Yesterday I saw wheel chair guy down town and I thought we had just exchanged looks (of course I felt guilty again about the way I may have been looking at him) and he went the opposite way. I stoped at an ATM machine when I heard someone talking to me.
I neither knew this voice nor did I really understand the question but I heard the word “hunt” and I knew someone asked me about my weapons because people always think it is a gun (this alone let’s you know how unfamiliar we are with firearms).
and when I turned around wheel chair guy was there with a big smile.
I explained to him what it was and he asked me another question and we both went our way.
I am just happy about it.
First he talked to me and it made my day.
Second he does nto think that I give him bad looks or else he would not have talked to me.
I know it is stupid of me to fear it but I just don’t want to hurt people because of my looks specially if I can’t explain myself.
Yet I really don’t mind hurting people through what I say…
Ok it is not true. I don’t like it either.

Tough year

This is being a tough school year. It is the last one I can work for this school and it is tough.
I am often amused at myself. No matter how right I am I always try to find evidences that things are not really this way or that I am wrong. This duality often brings me low because I think I don’t know really how to deal with some truth without feeling bitter and angry.
Wheh I have the solution I put it down in this blog. At least I am understanding what I need to correct.

I have always wanted the students to understand that I think they are real people and not just students for me however it did not mean that I was going to let them do whatever they wanted. I have tried what I thought was the right behavior with them and it worked. Now that I know how to have a good relationship with them I have to go. I get both a good feeling and frustration.

My mother asked me what if this time I pass. I think I may try for a few years to be a teacher and I will do it as long as I like it but I will work on my photgraphy skills still so as to be able to switch to it when I want.

Now I have a question: what about a blessing becoming a stumbling block? I am not talking about something that WE think is a blessing. I am talking about a real blessing becoming really an obstacle because it is too big to deal with.

Fireside

It seems that I pulled it through.

It is my fault if so few people showed up. Of all the ward missionnaries if one was aware that this was the worse sunday ever it was me and still I did not think that the first sunday of the month when school has started was the worse ever. I yeah I forgot to tell that like half o the ward works for the school system. Ok a little less but still, enough that it can be sometimes a problem and sometimes a solution.

My cousin called tonight to tell me a “good” news. I know it does not sound good but it is. My uncle’s girl friend eventually left him. I guess she has decided that she should put an end to his beating her up.
but the best news is that my aunt seems to have decided that she does not want to see her brother again. She is reaching 50 and eventually learning that it is one thing to forgive and another one to put yourself in danger again and again because you have “forgiven”.
She fought her brother, she stood up. I am so proud of her.f