|Subject:||missions promote the fine art of lying|
|Date:||Nov 07 18:04|
|How many of you former missionaries lied or exagerated your weekly
numbers. Or lets have a raise of hands of those who didn't.
How about in zone conferences, did anybody overestimate the number of potenital baptisms you had in the pipeline, knowing full well that there is no way in hell you will reach those numbers. But the peer pressure was just to great and you had to say " we are going to baptize 5 people this month'. I remember each month at zone conference, the projected baptism for a zone would be something like 24 and the actuals would end up being 3. This would go on month after month after month.
how about in zone conference when they would go around the room with the mandatory bearing of testimonies. After each missionaries testimony the next missionary felt compelled to one up the last missionaries testimony and of course to do that required lying or exagerating.
Or how about when you almost have an investigator convinced to be baptised, so you bear testimony of something that is not true, it might be partially true, but not completly.
Or how about all the missionaries bragging stories of home. IT seemed like the missionaries from Utah would always brag about the number of girls they were writing, or how many girlfriends they have had. Utah missionaries were also good about lying about there atheletic acheivements. Yeah I pitched a no hitter three times. The California missionaries lied about the amount of money they had, and the cars they drove and the cars they were going to get when they got home. The Idaho missionaries lied the least, but they also lied about their atheletic acomplishments.
I could go on and on. But in a nut shell, missions promote the fine art of lying.
|Subject:||I don't remember lying, but I remember being embarressed because my numbers always sucked n/t|
|Date:||Nov 07 18:26|
|Subject:||I didn't. Partly because during the first part of my mission, I believed|
|Date:||Nov 08 04:15|
|that the Mission President would have Holy Ghost powered discernment
and would be able to spot dishonesty and I also believed that there God, Jesus and Holy
Ghost Man were all watching my every move. I always had high tracting stats (the amount of
time you spend knocking on doors, etc.), but mediocre teaching and baptizing stats.
Later, as I realized that there was lying going on and the MP didn't have any special discernment, I still didn't pad my stats. I didn't want to play the game and I was beginning to despise the system where so many were trying to pretend that they were humble while at the same time competing for high ranking leadership positions. The leaders seemed to be speaking out of both sides of their mouths. One day, they would go on about how all are equal in the sight of god and your worth wasn't measured by your rank. Another day, they would go on about how god had pre-ordained particularly valiant spirits to be leaders, blah, blah, blah...
They couldn't keep their stories straight and I didn't want to play the game. Toward the end of my mission, I just wanted to be left alone.
|Subject:||Actually... (a bit-o-swearing)|
|Date:||Nov 07 18:47|
|I was fairly honest with my zone numbers. I once had an all-out
fight with my zone leader because I refused to increase my baptism goal into the
stratosphere. He came back a few days later and apologized, saying that he respected my
I even stopped writing letters to my president for the last 6 months of my mission because I couldn't handle making up bullshit for him anymore. I stopped lying to investigators (for the most part) in that timeframe; even though I didn't believe in the church, I'd present it as I saw it at the time; a Nice Thing, but if you don't like it, that's just OK with me. Strangely, we seemed to have more baptisms after that (which is probably why my prez never got after me for not writing letters???). Most lations who are baptized into the church go inactive almost immediately (which, incidentaly, is why I laugh at the church numbers in south america all the time)
I see what you mean though; one of my zone leaders (Alexander from Argentina) almost keeled over from stress and anxiety by the end of his mission; the struggle between what he knew was the truth and what he was doing is pretty obvious to me now (hindsight 20/20). I suppose there are three basic results from a mission:
o You convince yourself it's true, and you actually start believing what you're teaching; welcome to TBMville
o You kill yourself because you seem to be the only one who doesn't have a Srong Enough Testimony; the gospel "must be true" because everyone around you says so; welcome to Prozacville
o You know the church is a bunch of nonsense, and so you come to peace with yourself and either leave the not-so-ready-to-harvest field or stick it out for TBM cloaking purposes; welcome to true happiness
|Subject:||Re: missions promote the fine art of lying|
|Date:||Nov 07 19:52|
|Author:||Belge de Bruxelles|
|Wow! This is so cathartic! Yes, I lied about stats! Specifically, I
was in Brussels with Elder M. He was on his way out of the mission, and on his way out of
the church. He and I made a deal. There was going to be NO tracting. No teaching. The goal
was to get Elder M. through the last 3 months. He promised to introduce me to some
beautiful women and to have a nice time for 3 months. I in turn promised to lay off the
missionary sh**. We rationalized through the whole process. Prez didn't want to have to
send him home early--that would look BAD for the Prez. Elder M. had no intention of
perpetuating the glorious restored message. So it all came down to me. If I stood up for
what was "right", everyone is unhappy. I'm unhappy, because Elder M. would
refuse to work. Elder M. is unhappy because he would have to create a scene. The Prez
would be unhappy because he'd have to send Elder M. home. And all those Bruxellois would
be unhappy to have to tell us to "vas t'en." And other versions of f*** off in
So here was the deal: We disconnected the doorbell, so the ZL's couldn't drop in unexpectedly. It was sort of like Hogan's Heros, Elder M. (OK, I didn't call him Elder--he was Dougie) had his sound system set up, so that he could turn furniture around quickly in case of inspection--which RARELY happened. We slept in until 10, then hit the streets for lunch, etc. In the evening we'd head over to the cafe where Dougie's friends hung out to play foozeball (FliPer). Dougie's friends were mostly college kids. Some evenings we'd hang out at one of their apartments to watch TV, etc. Dougie occasionally sent me home early.
So, back to the stats. We filled out the forms with fictional investigators--well, we used the names of Dougie's friends. And we taught them fictional discussions. We actually spiced it up pretty good, and we were leading the zone in discussions and investigators. On ZL work days, Dougie would take a ZL over to one of his friends who were tipped off. And I would spend the day tracting with the other ZL. And of course none of our investigators ever got baptized. But of course NO ONE'S investigators ever got baptized--This was Belgium for crying out loud. End result: The Prez was happy. Dougie was happy. I was happy. And all the Belgians were happy. And isn't that what the Gospel is about? Making people happy?
|Subject:||It must be something about the language|
|Date:||Nov 07 20:10|
|Similar experience in the France/Swiss mission. Except we'd go to
movies, leave pamphlets on the seats, and list the names from the credits.
Hmmm. I guess my mission wasn't such a bad experience after all.
|Date:||Nov 07 21:46|
|In our mission, the brothers who would let you get away with/do such things were known as the "Good Bretheren". We'd greet eachother at zone conferences with "Hello, Good Brother Blah", or induct new members by introducing other brothers as such. It was a perfect secret code and sign. The token was our ticket stubs to Disneyland and other places (ended up at a belly-dancing show once; that's a loooooooong story though).|
|Subject:||Re: missions promote the fine art of lying|
|Date:||Nov 07 22:39|
|>So, back to the stats. We filled out the forms with
fictional investigators--well, we used the names of Dougie's friends. And we taught them
fictional discussions. We actually spiced it up pretty good, and we were leading the zone
in discussions and investigators. On ZL work days, Dougie would take a ZL over to one of
his friends who were tipped off. And I would spend the day tracting with the other ZL. And
of course none of our investigators ever got baptized. But of course NO ONE'S
investigators ever got baptized--This was Belgium for crying out loud. End result: The
Prez was happy. Dougie was happy. I was happy. And all the Belgians were happy. And isn't
that what the Gospel is about? Making people happy?
LOL, loved your story. Once, I was made a senior comp in a new location. I had to take a flight to get there, and my new comp and I spent about half of the first week just getting settled in. Our "mission standard" for total hours worked was supposed to be 65 per week. So, when I called the ZL with the first week's stats, I reported an honest 52 hours or whatever. He replied, "Elder Jordan, the mission standard is 65 hours a week." I was taken aback somewhat by that response, and told him that we had a lot of non-proselyting crap to do the first week. He replied "The mission standard is 65 hours a week." Well, it took me another day or two to get his drift, but for the rest of my mission, I never reported less than 65 hours worked per week. Some of those hours might have been spent in the apartment, on the beach, in the mountains, in a store reading comic books, or "trunking out" with other missionaries, but it somehow always magically added up to at least 65 hours a week. Ironically, as time went on, the more time I spent relaxing and relieving stress, the more people I baptized when I DID work. When I came home, I was the 3rd top baptizer in the mission over my two years' time.
|Subject:||Baptism stats had very little connection to following mission rules.|
|Date:||Nov 08 04:32|
|Contrary to the mythical connection between obedience to mission
rules and number of baptisms (which myth was promoted constantly in my mission), I
observed that there was no connection. Gregarious, outgoing, missionaries got lots of
baptisms, especially when they broke rules and listened to music and went on outings with
investigators. Salesman type missionaries got lots of baptisms.
I had two senior companions that were a study in contrast. The first was a really outgoing friendly guy. He loved having fun and hanging out with people and breaking mission rules was like a game. We met a lot of people who loved hanging out with him and quickly regarded my companion as a great friend. We ended up with quite a few investigators and a respectable number of baptisms. (As a greenie missionary, however, I was always worried because of the rule-breaking. I often felt like I was supposed to do a Nephi and "admonish" him, but it seemed too geeky and I couldn't make myself do it. So I just went along. My failure to "admonish" him, in turn made me feel guilty, but we seemed to be doing better overall than the Superhero TBM Nephi wannabe missionaries.)
My next senior companion was just the opposite. He was a bit shy. He could be mildly humorous among missionaries, but when out doing the "lard's work" he was all business. No light mindedness or loud laughter. We were always just "THAT CLOSE" to dusting off our shoes whenever one of the locals seemed to be giving us a lame excuse for not listening to our message or otherwise didn't show proper respect for the gospel. We kept all the rules. It was the most fruitless two and a half months of my mission. Virtually all of the investigators we had left over from my previous companion suddenly started remembering that they had really busy schedules and couldn't meet with us anymore. As a Nephi wannabe at that time, I had initially been grateful to get my new rule-keeping companion, and I heartily joined him in self-righteous, sanctimonious rule keeping and serious missionary work. But I soon realized that none of our contacts were interested in meeting somber-faced, testimony-spouting missionaries.
Uptight, rule-keeping, nose-to-the-grindstone type missionaries had a hard time getting second appointments.
When I first got to the mission, I attended a baptism where one of the top baptizers was baptizing two "converts." One of the older missionaries told me that the guy was consistently one of the top baptizers, even though he could hardly speak the language and had a hard time memorizing the discussions. But it wasn't hard to see how he got so many baptisms. The guy was remarkably good looking. He could easily have been a major star in Hollywood, somewhere between Tom Selleck and Paul Newman, but better built than either of them. All of his "converts" were high-school girls and young, single college-age women.
In spite of the obvious, some of the missionaries insisted on speculating that the Holy Ghost was giving him special blessings to compensate for the trials and challenges that had been given to him with the language and discussions.
TBMs can be funny without even trying!
|Subject:||Re: All BYU comps had sex|
|Date:||Nov 08 06:11|
|Well....about 40 years ago, I served as a stake missionary and did
"trade offs" with the full-time guys.
I recall some who "boasted in such a way" (and then later found out that they had been lying because they were "embarrassed about" being virgins). I was a young married man, at the time.
Still, I can't imagine ANY young man representing the Church wanting to be "un-virtuous" (or, at least feeling "shame" about something that was meant to make them feel really, truly ALIVE!)
Conclusion? I'll wager to you that most of them were lying about their athletic abilities AND about their girlfriends (on whatever level THAT might have been!)
|Subject:||I never lie . . .|
|Date:||Nov 08 05:56|
|On second thought, I lied my ass off on my mission. I hated
proselyting and teaching lessons, but would if I got the chance. I had the weird idea that
the Church would actually be good for these people. (oops, I digressed)
Anyway, I was supposed to have a certain amount of green (missionary activity time) on my weekly report. I remember getting about half of the hours I reported. I was lucky to get those.
|Subject:||Seriously, I'm one of the most honest liars you'll ever meet.|
|Date:||Nov 08 10:10|
|As a mishie, I was about the only one that didn't inflate my weekly
stats. I was actually trying to be honest, and, well...Christlike. It irked me that the
successful glory seekers would regularly start a 1rst concept, get brushed off, and count
it as a discussion. As a reward for my honesty, I was constantly belittled by my DL/ZLs. I
also never attained a position loftier than senior companion during my mission.
I used to feel like a loser as a result of all that negative feedback. I was the "least" of all the mishies in my own mind. I'm sure they agreed.
|Subject:||My pencil did a lot more tracting than I did . . .|
|Date:||Nov 08 11:46|
|Subject:||Successful missionaries could make a killing selling cars|
|Date:||Nov 08 13:27|
|There are TBMs I know that would make a killing selling cars. Probably successful missionaries. Also, there are a lot of TBMs involved in Amway and other MLM schemes. I wonder how much mission training prepared them to be successful in MLM.|
|522. Nightmares of Being Called to a Second Mission||555 Japan Mission under Groberg - a Cruel Experiment|