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?
Did we get goals to reach?
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.
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.