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?