As a missionary parent, sometimes it is difficult to know whether to include the hard things that missionaries go through. You want to be sensitive to all people involved, but you also want to be honest and not sugar coat the reality that missions are difficult and full of trials. We aren't doing any favors for the future missionaries that read his emails if we only include the good stuff. We have decided to continue sharing the truth, but have omitted names. It is our hope that someone might learn from Sean's experience this week. If your youth are planning and preparing to serve missions, share this with them and help them understand that they need to be fully committed to serving a mission and understand how their negative choices and attitudes on their mission can become a burden to those around them. I read something this past week that we have tried to teach our boys, but could never say it as well as this:
"Be the kind of missionary your mom thinks you are."
Hi Family! Boy is there a lot of stuff that has been going on that I want to share, I don't even know where to start.
Transfers were on Wednesday. It was President's last transfer meeting ever and it was really sad to see them for the last time, but I'm really really excited to meet President Turner this Wednesday! He is doing a tour of the mission to meet all of the missionaries and interview them, as well as have a big meeting with each zone. Not only that, but I've been called to be a District Leader down in Mount Pleasant. It's just outside of Charleston and it is way nice here. We're close to the beach and there are a lot of amazing people here. The members have been really good to us since I got here, and I was able to meet most of them yesterday at church. The Ward Mission leader, Brother Rhett Brown, is a super chill guy too. He's really young and he played football for BYU from 08-12. He knows Brandon Ogletree which is cool!. He's working well with us and he is excited to get to know us better.
I live in an apartment with two other elders besides my companion too. Elder Leavitt and Harris. They're both way awesome and so I'm excited to be in a place where we will all get along and have fun. President had given a specific assignment to be have this certain companion because he has been struggling with a lot of things his entire mission. He's only got about 2 months left. He has had a lot of anxiety and things like that for a long time. Well I have to say first that I have tried to love him the very best I can. He really is a great guy and we get along when we talk about normal things. He's funny and very smart too.
Unfortunately, when it comes to missionary work, he didn't want to do any of it at all. The first night that we were there, I tried to plan in some knocking because this area has no investigators or potentials at all. He told me that he hates knocking and after about 30 minutes of me explaining that it's something we have to do in order to find people that want to hear the gospel, he got really really mad and refused to do it and only wanted to go and see active members the entire day... I finally convinced him to go knocking but it took almost an hour. The next day, he had almost a panic attack in the morning because he didn't want to go knocking (we were only going to knock one street). He was hysterical and we all in the apartment talked him down and then I gave him a blessing so he could feel better. Then I took him and the other Elders out to CiCi's to see if that would help him be happy. It did for awhile.
Most of the day he was upset. At the end of the day when we were planning, i asked him what he wanted to do and I tried to lighten up so that he could feel comfortable while we worked so that we could ease into working hard. He just wanted to go see all of the same members again, and then wanted to go see a family that was outside of our area and I told him that we can't go out there because it's outside of our boundaries and President asks us to stay in our boundaries so we can be more efficient.
Well... It made him really really mad. He cussed me out multiple times and he threw a fit because he didn't get what he wanted. It was hard to just stand there and deal with it, but the whole time I stayed calm and I tried to get him to understand that I just want to do my best and that I needed his help because I had no idea what I was doing in this brand new area at all. He apologized for it later that night, and we talked for awhile and I was able to get through to him a little bit. But then the next day we had to have a long talk about things in the morning because he simply wouldn't pray, read, plan, or do anything that we're supposed to do every day. He kept refusing to go out and work. Later that day all 4 of us went to this lady's house to help her move. That went well and he had a good time and we were all happy.
Well we were biking for the day (we share a car so one day we have a car, and one day we are on bikes) and it started to sprinkle and he said we had to go home and I wouldn't let him do that because it was time to work and to see the people that we planned to go see. He got angry and cussed me out again, and then started to ride off to home. It started to pour down like crazy and I biked beside him trying to get him to realize that we have to put effort into this so that we can save people and help them be happy and he just didn't want to hear it. We got home and I still stood my ground and wouldn't let him do what he's always done and not work and he yelled at me the entire time. I was trying to tell him that I needed him as a companion to help me here and that I just want to be his friend and work hard so we can help others and he still wouldn't have it.
I called president and just asked him if there was anything that he knew of that I could do in order to give him the desire to be on a mission and to want to work, but president told me that this missionary promised him this last transfer that he would actually try to work and that he wasn't keeping his promise to him. So president talked to him for a minute, then talked to me and said that he was going to send him home and that I needed to drive to Columbia to drop him off and get Elder Bowen because he was going to be my new companion.
Elder Bowen was training, but his companion was going home on the same day and so we are now put together here in Mount Pleasant! It was a really hard week and there are so many details that I could share but that was a brief summary of it. It was so hard not to give in to going against what I know I'm supposed to do because I just wanted my companion to be happy. But now I'm with E. Bowen and we're really excited to be together once again, and to work our hardest here. This area is amazing and I'm so glad I've been put here. This week has been the most stressful and draining but now it's all better and I'm ready to look forward. I did my best to help my companion, but he wouldn't let me in and I'm sad about that, but he is home now and he was happy to go home.
I hope your week was amazing. I'm excited to be a DL here and to meet my new President and to work with my good friend Elder Bowen.