Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Typical "P-day" With My Trainer

What is P-day? One day a week, missionaries are excused from regular proselyting and are to use that time to "prepare" for the next week. It is the day to wash clothes, go grocery shopping, write letters, or otherwise hang out. However, P-day (at least on my mission) ended at 6 PM. Because of this, I called it P-half-day.

My first apartment didn't have any laundry facilities and so the members in the area were kind enough to let us go to their homes and wash. While clothes were washing we would usually write letters.

One member had a computer and when we were at their house, we would use the computer to write letters (it was this computer on which I made my little "sign" which my companion defaced). My "trainer" usually went first and he would take FOREVER on the computer. He would write his form letter and then would have to sit there for a half-hour dinking around with the fonts and colors. By the time it was finally my turn, we only had a few minutes and then he would hound me to hurry up.

After laundry, we would usually go shopping. I remember that he bragged about loving romaine lettuce. He would buy the lettuce and then let it rot in the fridge, never touching it. I think that he was just proud that he knew the word "romaine".

Usually at this point, all the missionaries in the district would get together at the church house and play basketball. I never played. I wasn't into that. I would find an empty room with a piano and play.

By this time, 6:00 PM was near and what little time was left was used to go home, clean up a little, take a shower, and get ready to hit the trail again. I was always amazed at how little free time the "lord" could spare to his devoted servants. We worked 6.5 days a week, 12-16 hours a day. So our "spare time" wasn't really spare time at all. It was just getting ready to do more work.

Here's a few more stories.

We were driving somewhere on a very slushy day. The roads were covered with slush and whenever we passed an oncoming vehicle, the car would be showered with slush. Well, Elder Genius, for some reason completely unknown to me, suddenly decides that he wants to roll down his window. Please keep in mind that he was driving so it was his side of the car that got all the slush.

I saw it coming five minutes away. Naturally, by this point I pretty much hated the guy and so didn't say anything. I just sat back, bit my lip, and waited. Sure enough, we pass some vehicle and Genius gets totally covered in slush. I laughed my ass off.

Did I mention that he was a dumb ass? I swear he was a dozen short of a bakers dozen.

It must have happened three or four times... the idiot would drive the car directly into a snow bank and get us stuck. Each time he did it I would just shake my head in amazement at how stupid a human being can be.

I remember that one of his pairs of garments had a huge poop stain.

We spent a lot of time tracting. When I say "a lot" mean a damn lot! Knocking on doors and trying to convince people to listen to us was not productive or fun. In fact, I was embarrassed. I knew those people didn't want us bugging them. At the same time, it was frustrating because almost everyone we talked to said that they already believed in Jesus. I couldn't understand why they professed to love Jesus and would then shut their door in our faces.

So tracting was the chosen time-killer and just like almost every aspect of my mission, I hated doing it. It was completely counter-productive. We were encouraged to work with the members in order to get referrals. Apparently, many more converts come from member referrals than they do from tracting.

Oddly, the one and only convert I had on my entire mission was found by tracting. I taught him all the discussions and then got transferred just before he was baptized. So someone else actually got the credit for his baptism. But that's another story for another time.

We had been together for two months. It was transfer-day. Naturally, I was eagerly awaiting the call telling us that someone was leaving. When I got out of the shower that morning, he told me that they had called and that I was leaving. I was so excited that I immediately began packing. Well after about an hour, he tells me that it was all a joke and that no one had called. To say the least, I was pissed.

In the MTC, there had been three of us in the same district who were all going to the same mission. Once in the field, we were all in the same district again. So we saw each other on a regular basis. Well, one day we get a call from a neighboring companionship.

One of the guys I was in the MTC with just suddenly freaked out, grabbed a taxi straight to the airport, and went home. I never did find out what exactly had happened. I suspected that he was feeling the same way I was. However, his companion was a much more laid back guy. For a few days, we were in a tri-companionship.

I was amazed. How could anyone go home? As much as I wanted to, I couldn't endure the humiliation of it. Not going on a mission would have been better than coming home early. So even though I was in hell, going home was not an option.

Most of my companions after my trainer were not so rigid and uptight. A few of them were, and a few were the total opposite. But my trainer was the worst by several times. At least I got the hell over with first.

My next companion was a good guy. I was so used to rigid rules that at first I didn't know how to act around him. He was pretty laid back. His "weakness" if you want to call it that was music. He had lots of "apostate music" as we called it. You know, stuff like Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, that type of evil stuff.

Not much to report with him. We got along well. He didn't shove the rules down my throat. We still worked, but it wasn't anything like before. And unlike my trainer, my second companion wasn't a filthy hog. He actually washed the dishes!

1 comment:

Long Ben Avery said...

Mariah Carey and Boyz11Men, utterly,utterly evil! BTW that clangs my gaydar straight away!