22 February, 2011

The GOAL, to share the gospel

Well, that's crazy that Devin got his call to Romania...... Definitely wasn't guessing that one. He'll have exactly one year less than me when he goes out then. Well, it's been quite a rough week this week. We haven't had a whole lot of success, and have been losing a lot of our investigators. I'm honestly just getting too stressed out with a lot of the stuff that's going on..... with my companion, the members, and now the investigators..... It's hard to keep the excitement to go out and work. I've been doing everything I can to try and find my footing again, but so far this week, we haven't had a whole lot of success. I think one of the biggest problems that I have, is that sometimes I focus too much on myself, my wants and needs in the mission, but I think the best way to be happy is start worrying about the people more. Sometimes it's really easy to get to focused on the numbers, and when they go down a little bit, I lose focus. This week we only taught 20 lessons, half of what we should be teaching. As of right now, we have absolutely nobody with a date, and nobody progressing. It's definitely a little harder to work when things aren't going so well, but I know that the Lord will bless us if we keep working with all of our effort. We also had a Zone conference this week...... it was definitely interesting. For lunch, they gave us a little piece of lasagna, a half a glass of orange juice with water, and like 3 spoonfulls of fruit salad. Yeah, they don't exactly spoil us in this mission. ;) I am kind of at a point that I am really confused. I have a companion that absolutely hates the numbers, and a president and other leaders that I feel focus a little too much on the numbers. I know the numbers are supposed to help us help the people, but in this mission, they are used to gain recognition, and move up the "ranks." For example, the mission has set "minimum goals" that we are supposed to have for certain things, even though in Preach my Gospel it says the President should not set cuotas. In the numbers that they send us every week, the President gives recognition to the two districts with the most baptisms, and puts the companionship that has the highest numbers in each of the key indicators, even though it says that the numbers shouldn't be used to recieve recognition. A friend of mine was in the district of one of the Asistants before, and one of their meetings, he said, "alright, we're going to have a competition to see who can set the most baptismal dates today." I feel like a lot of the leaders and other missionaries think that the mission is a competition instead of something to help the people. Our zone leaders the last change, baptized 4 children, even though their parents aren't members, and the children already aren't attending now. I really just get frustrated, because all the leaders push the numbers so hard, instead of focusing on the people, and making sure that they have a good testimony before they get baptized. I find it hard to support the president and the other leaders, because they are the ones that fuel the fire. I know that there are a lot of other missionaries who feel the same way. I don't know what I should do, because if we say anything to the president, he just gets mad at us..... I just feel kind of frustrated with the whole thing, maybe you guys have a suggestion of what I can do? Or if I should just keep working, and just ignore it? Anyway, I have been kind of distracted by that lately, and it has been frustrating me, but I am just going to focus on the work as best I can this week, and try my best to help the people. I can't let other people determine my potential as a missionary. Well, that's all the time I have, so I'll talk to you later. I hope you guys are all doing well, and I love you tons. Love you all, and I look forward to your response next week. -Elder Griffin

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