More from My Journal

Christmas, 1984: “I have been thinking about my mission and the growth I have seen in myself. I remember how I was that first week of January, a dumb kid. … As I got into the MTC, all of my weaknesses came out. I realized how selfish, evil, and carnal I was. I still have so far to go on the road to perfection, but I think my mission has made a start. I remember that I tried hard to get along with Elder P, but I couldn’t. I guess I could have, but I didn’t try hard enough. The Spirit was so strong there in the MTC. It was almost scary. Villa Adela was a nice place to start. Elder H was so laid back and mellow that it helped me adjust from the rigidness of the MTC. … At that time, I still hadn’t realized what my mission was all about. It took Elder A to give me a brutal awakening. That month was absolutely miserable. I was depressed and sick. I saw two movies and didn’t knock a single door in that entire month. I only hope the Lord will forgive me for that shameful month. I am grateful for that experience. If it hadn’t been for that one month, I never would have “captured the vision,” as President H says. … Here in the mission office, it’s kind of overwhelming, all the responsibility. I have learned that the office elders are great, spiritual men. I feel I’m the least of all of them. I know it. They couldn’t possibly be as weak as me. So, I guess I just have to try harder. Maybe someday I’ll make it.”

I really can’t explain how reading this makes me feel. The guilt and shame over not measuring up just breaks my heart, even now. Was I the only one who felt like that?


5 Responses to More from My Journal

  1. This makes me sick because it brings back flashbacks of my own two-year hell. Man, maybe the mission program works for some or even most, but for me it REALLY sucked. I was very unhappy and could never hit all the benchmarks, and having a girlfriend back home made it all the worse. I felt that knocking on doors was rude and intrusive, but that’s how we spent 90% of our time (except for the months when I checked out and drowned my sorrow in sleep, movies, and Stephen King novels). I really think the mission program sucked for me and a sizable minority, and I’m surprised I lasted all two years!

  2. runtu says:

    Hey, Chris, it’s good to see you again. Hope all is well.

  3. Mina says:

    “I realized how selfish, evil, and carnal I was.”

    Runtu, dear, you could never ever be the first two (and you should be the last one as much as possible).

    God. I’m pretty speechless.

    But you survived that and much more. I hope you know how much you impress me as a model of what kind and decent human beings should be like.

  4. bull says:

    So you must have been in the mission office after the pill poppers. Apparently one guy would come home from the office, pop some valium, put on his headphones and go to bed.

  5. runtu says:

    The guys in the office before us were basically slackers, but I liked them for some reason. I remember the AP telling us he had picked up Elder Faust from the airport and then after dropping him off, went to some hot springs outside of La Paz with some local girls.

    But remember, I was the selfish, carnal, evil one. LOL

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