From: Joseph Weiss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: AP Switcharoo
Date: June 29, 2014 at 9:04:28 PM MDT
So apparently the assistants and President were planning on transferring me this transfer but the Lord said no way jose! Wednesday morning we were studying at the Senior couples house because our car was getting serviced when the phone started vibrating in my pocket. I pulled it out and it said President was calling. I answered the phone and he wanted to talk to Elder Roberts. From his facial expression I was pretty sure he was the new Assistant. A few minutes later he handed the phone back to me and President confirmed my suspicions. He said that Elder Williams the current Assistant would be my new companion for the next transfer! I was so stoked. He asked if we could be in mortdale at the mission office by 4pm. So we straightway left our studies and he packed. Elder and Sister Hill were really sad. Elder Hill even teared up a little bit when he first heard.
We got there at ten minutes early. +10! and president wanted to meet with both companionships involved in the switcharoo. Then he asked Elder Roberts and his new companion Elder Shafer (As in President Shafer's son from Vancouver) to leave so he could talk to Elder Williams and I. He kind of rebuked me by overemphasizing that there is no senior companion with Zone Leaders. I found it a bit strange. No explanation for why he was saying it but then he said he got a phone call from the mother in-law of the mother of a family of investigators. We had a really hard time trying to reset expectations because the Elders before were really good friends to them and we just wanted to be missionaries. It was really rough and many phone calls and texts later and President is the 6th person to talk to me about this situation without my initiating it.
He in a nutshell said I screwed up. It was a really hard pill to swallow but I did. I told him with tears in my eyes I guess the worst mistakes to make are honest ones sometimes. Ever since we had that negative experience with her it's like it has followed me a haunted me. President saying what he said cut pretty deep. I felt like I was trying to be who the Lord wanted me to be and was being questioned on every side for what I had done. I felt betrayed. On the drive back Elder Williams and I decided we were going to make things right with this investigator. But I didn't feel like I had done anything wrong. I'm sorry for the way she took it but I was trying to do what was right. And I'm going to apologize so she doesn't have to carry any burden but I don't get what this is all about.
The next day we go to invite a non-member family to the baptism. Next door is a member of our branch who's husband passed away my first transfer here. I wanted to introduce my new companion. She opened the door with the biggest smile on her face and said, "Come in!!" I told her that we couldn't because of our rules. She snapped. She chewed us out and slammed the door.. The next day she came to the baptism and my companion apologized and she accepted it and everything was peaches and cream again. Then sunday I shake her hand and say g'day and she's still good. But ten minutes later she stands up as I walk past a chews me out again and sits down before I can say anything. So I'm sitting on the stand to bless the sacrament trying to avoid some piercing death stares. When the sacrament is over I sit down in the congregation and think, "How am I gonna fix this?" When sacrament was over she was irate and chewed out the most loving person in our branch and walked towards the door. She looked at me and said in a disgusted tone, "Goodbye!" I said," Sister I'm sorry that was not my intention to hurt you!" Then she let me have it again. Wow. I started doubting my people skills for sure! Four times in two weeks that people have said something like this to me! I don't understand where all of this is coming from!
Well President Palmer called me a couple of days later and told me he didn't feel right about what he said to me. And he wanted me to know I was a great missionary and that he trusted me. Yesterday his first counselor went and visited the angry member and solved it as best as he could. He spoke to me on the phone with his wife and they reassured me that they took some abuse as well (It felt good to know I wasn't alone) and that she was off her rocker because of the grief from her husbands passing.
This morning I read 1 Nephi which says,
9 And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.
I realized that what I experienced was adversity incomparable with the atonement. That adversity was hard for me to deal with let alone thinking about feeling another persons. And then to think "he felt that for all of us?" It put my little pitty party into perspective. I know that Jesus Christ is real. Whenever I ponder on his sacrifice I feel the Holy Ghost touch me to let me know it's real.
I heard a good quote by Elder Holland which reminded me of Dad. He said, "The path salvation always ran through Gethsemane". And that is not for Christ alone but for us also. We must go there to feel a token of his pain so we can receive his grace. Our branch mission leader returned from his mission in February and on Sunday is told us how when he was released he lost his "super-powers". The priesthood blessings that sustained him daily were taken away. I dread that day. I shouldn't have fear but I do. I have a life-style right now that is too good to be true. I don't want to waste a second of it.
I love you all heaps!
Elder Weiss VI