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Posted by: urbanprankster ( )
Date: February 18, 2012 06:42AM

I am new to this site and I am not an ex-mormon but I harbor some resentment towards the church. I have read with interest several of the old posts concerning missionary experiences and whether or not they were beneficial, I would like to share mine. I served in the Australia Sydney Mission from 1979 to 1981 and like many missions where the success was limited, felt the work was tedious and detrimental. Our mission president was disfellowshipped and our sister missionaries were sent home (around sept. of 1980) and he was replaced by J.P.
Wirthlin for a time until the dust settled. TSM even came down and had every missionary in the mission gather to say that Pres. Wright (Orson Wright, the offending MP) was sent home but it was up to the mission grapevine for the actual crime to be revealed (our MP told the SM's not to get married after their missions, that they would be sealed to him.)the AP's were chastised soundly by TSM for not ratting out the MP sooner but soon the mission settled down and the dictatorial rule was replaced by one of understanding and love (I could post an entire book about the excessive bs we had to endure under Orson)as I only had 3 months left in my mission I didn't get to experiece much of the mission after the regime change and to this day I feel cheated and bitter because of what one authority figure did. I just wonder if any other missionary experiences were as bad as this (I also endured the constant stream of F#$% off and slammed doors as well as not being able to interact with members unless a non-member was involved etc.)

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Posted by: Eliza Snow job ( )
Date: February 18, 2012 08:23AM

My mission president was and is a car salesman from Arizona. Our mission was about numbers and numbers. "Dunk 'em and dump 'em" was our unofficial motto. He was a real sleazebucket who leered at the pretty sister missionaries and felt free to criticize and make fun of missionaries who struggled. He once told a missionary, who had just lost a close relative, that they must not be mourning too much, because clearly they had not lost their appetite. Nice.
He would routinely mock investigators and tell us to class up our investigator pools and start tracting in the nicer neighborhoods. Of course, his attitude trickled down among the missionaries and I was continually horrified and heart-broken to see and hear the way missionaries would make fun of members and investigators behind their backs. I'm sure this is not much different from most missions as there really is nothing christ-like in decieving people to join your church.

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Posted by: Tabula Rasa ( )
Date: February 18, 2012 08:42AM

Not me. I was in the Netherlands and had a grande ol' time eating cheese and Indonesian food, interspersed with tracting and street boarding. Not one horror story in 2 years. Charles Didier (Area Rep) was a dick, but other than that, I actually enjoyed it.


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Posted by: angie ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 06:58AM

When were you here Ron? I am actually going out for a rijsttafel tonight :-)

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: February 18, 2012 08:48AM

It's sad they seldom take this logical step, but that would be my advice to any and all mishies who are miserable.

They and their parents could also do more homework and not accept the assignment if the conditions are unlivable.

It isn't up to private nonmormons in their homes to refrain from turning away mormon mishies to protect them from being frustrated and not having better numbers. These nonmos have their own lives, kids, jobs, and responsibilities which are as important to them as the goals of mormonism are to mormons.

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Posted by: Ctus ( )
Date: July 28, 2012 01:15AM

I agree Cheryl but sadly, it is all part of the cult mentality. Both for the missionaries and for the parents. I HATED my mission but didn't really think seriously of leaving. The stigma I would have had to endure would have been awful.

Even the idea of parents keeping their kid from a bad mission is, as you already know, a sign of poor faith, among other things.

You are absolutely right though. It is just too bad that so many get so scared of thinking for themselves. I was there once.

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Posted by: flash ( )
Date: February 18, 2012 10:09PM

I served in the Virginia Roanoke Mission from 1977 to 1979. At a Zone Conference four moths before I was to go home, I had the usual interview with the MP as every missionary did. But as the usual “blame the Elder” one sided interview commenced, the MP became unusually hateful and vindictive toward me because this time he stood up from behind the desk and proceeded to yell into my face saying that “I was a failure as a missionary” as he pointed out my lack of baptisms and the low number of investigator discussions indicated on my weekly report. (2 weeks earlier my companion and I baptized a family of 4). Every Zone conference always produced a similar tirade from him but this time was the last straw for me with this GA-wannabe pin head.

Too many times did I sit through similar interviews and said nothing, but now, with new found courage, I fired back at him. I stood up from my chair, leaned over the desk and yelled back into his face, using several colorful metaphors in the process, that he was a f***ing failure of a mission president for blaming me about things that I had no control over and that I was not motivated by threats. I continued yelling into his face saying that if he was incapable of offering any kind of encouragement, support, or compassion for me or any other missionary who gave up everything to be in this armpit of a place, he should pack his bags, take his clueless wife and his dumb-ass children, and get the hell out of our lives. This man was not the kind of man used to being put in his place by anyone let alone a lowly elder.

In all my days there, I have never seen him madder but I did not care anymore. He went beyond red faced to purple and began to drool onto the desk. He was so angry he could not speak anymore and I had run out of colorful metaphors to continue. As I turned toward the door and began to walk out, my last words to him were that I would never speak to him again for any reason. I then walked out of the room, left him with his puddle of drool, and I never did speak to him again for the remainder of my mission.

After that heated exchange, I went outside the church building for the remainder of the Zone Conference to calm myself down. For the next 3 hours, I fed two squirrels from a jar of Planters Peanuts. That was the last time I ever took lip from him or his assistants again.

He is dead now and I could not be less sad. I hope his death was painful & slow.

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Posted by: lawstudent2013 ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 11:33AM

WOW! you can't imagine how many times I have fantasized about going back in time and telling off my dic* of a MP. Thank you for your story!!

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Posted by: utahmonomore ( )
Date: July 28, 2012 11:57PM

Me too!

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Posted by: BG ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 06:18PM

I'm pretty sure I know your mission president's daughter. I'm pretty sure she is out of the church now.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: January 14, 2014 08:44PM

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Posted by: anonelder ( )
Date: February 18, 2012 10:10PM

I was in the Melbourne Mission '79-'81. On the way home we stopped in New Zealand to visit the Temple. When we arrived we ran into two Elders from our MTC district who served in the Sidney Mission.They told us about what happenened to their Pres. Come to think of it, I met that guy{Sydney Pres.} when we landed in Sydney on the way to Melbourne. Those same two Elders were met by The President and two Assistants. I remember him being rude to us{Melbourne Elders} saying,"I know you're not my missionaries, your ties are out of line!"
Guy was a jerk

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Posted by: Just Browsing ( )
Date: February 18, 2012 10:51PM


Mission president's office --I won't mention where to protect the innocent (not THE mission president) ..Sister, who was forced on mission by her parents to "straighten her out", was in for her monthly interview, about 4 months in.. She had already asked to leave two or three times, always with the answer NO --

Suddenly the Mission President decides to use "his authority" to command her to stay !!! --BIG MISTAKE !!! Instead of cowering like all the other sister did --this wonderful sister, (not a tiny timid girl) leans over the desk, up front and in his face, yanks his tie really hard and states

"You *#@)*^#!@ will arrange to have me *#*^!#*+ sent home "


Still admire her guts and bravado !!!


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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: January 14, 2014 08:47PM

That's hilarious. I love a good story.

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Posted by: days gone by ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 11:14AM

I served some years ago and I remember a zone conference that turned out to be something totally different than expected. I was probably about one year in at that point, and I lacked the wisdom to see what would eventually transpire during that meeting. We were told not to bring audio recorders of any kind and to not write down anything during the course of the meeting. As obedient servants, we bowed our heads and said yes to the requests of the APs who were also clueless as to what would be spoken. It was a rainy day I remember and the ride into the city was pretty typical. No one riding on the subway or those waiting at the bus stops cared to listen to our message, and the usual feelings of rejection creeped into me like they had so many times before. I craved warmth and compassion. I wanted a hot meal. I wanted to be told that we were doing everything we could do and to press forward in faith. I looked forward to a spiritual uplift from an inspired servant of God.

The meeting started out as usual with the typical hymns and prayer. After a few announcements, the mission president introduced the Seventy and he went about his talk. Soon into his message, he asked several zone leaders to stand up and to give an "accounting" of the work in their zone. Since our mission baptism numbers and discussion statistics were some of the lowest in the Asian missions, we fully expected some type of training or scriptural encouragement from this leader. We wanted to be edified from someone who sat at the feet of prophets and apostles and soaked in all their eternal wisdom. Maybe our prayers were going to be answered that rainy day. That didn't happen.

Instead, his tone suddenly changed and he transformed into an interrogator with these zone leaders as his unsuspecting first victims. "Why don't you baptize?" "Why can't you teach x number of discussions?" "Why don't you share the Book of Mormon with more people?" "Why are you not being a good Elder?" "Why are you not doing your duty?" Needless to say, we were all pretty floored at his tone. Any portion of "Spirit" that might have been present at that meeting was
immediately and swiftly ushered away like an uninvited guest. We all just kind of looked at each other in amazement. Some looked scared. Others looked pissed. I remember some sister missionaries taking it all in like they couldn't get enough. It dawned on me why we couldn't bring our recorders. I thought to myself, "this is total bullcrap!".

Fortunately, one of the zone leaders fired back at the pointed questions from this servant of the Lord and left quite an indelible impression on many of us. He said something to the effect that " we are busting our butts for the work as we face rejection day after day. The members don't support us, we have ridiculous pressures placed on us, we can't find half of the members who were baptized in the past, and no matter what we do, it's OBVIOUSLY not good enough!" He was perfectly direct and I think it stunned our speaker. We all clapped inwardly. Our mission president spoke soon after that and defended his mission and missionaries despite what the Seventy had said.

I left that meeting forever changed with a healthy dose of skepticism about what I once believed and had faith in. There was no inspiration from the top that day. Only the simple words of a young missionary stood out. What a great and liberating feeling it was.

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Posted by: Socrates2 ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 01:29PM

He would require us to stand up in his honor every time he would walk in the room. He was in to music and so used mission funds to buy recording equipment so that he could have the most musical missionaries transferred to the mission home and make cassette tapes of songs that he liked. He then tried to get all the missionaries to pay $20/tape to pay for it all.

I would be surprised if he sold a single tape. What a nutcase.

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Posted by: lucky ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 07:47AM

It was discovered after this video was made that the temple president mentioned in this story was actually Pres. Grohberg, the father of John Grohberg the GA, and his brother the tyrant prick MP in Japan. This video just breezes through the incident, but it was abusive in ways that cant really be explained.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 01:04PM

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Posted by: MOI ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 11:02AM

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Posted by: diableavecargent ( )
Date: July 28, 2012 08:47PM

What was your beef with him? Was this in Canada?

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Posted by: Anonymous ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 12:52PM

Many elders in my mission were falling in love with the native girls/women and vice versa. In one zone conference I was stunned that our normally calm, put-together mission president became enraged and emotional. He pleaded with the elders saying, "The women in this country aren't as good as the sisters back in the United States. Stop falling in love with these women! Please wait until you're home!" Many of the missionaries came from foreign countries including one of my companions. I was blown away.

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Posted by: lawstudent2013 ( )
Date: July 27, 2012 01:00PM

I had a similar experience. I served in Russia and some missionaries had been getting married to some Russians. Our MP had us share a video in the districts about crocodiles sneaking up on animals on the shore that get too close to the water. Moral of the story, native girls were crocodiles looking to "get" us elders. He also mentioned in Zone conference that maybe Russian made cars look nice while we were there in Russia, but wouldn't we rather have a nice Ford? Oh and he told me that all these Russian members see is a blue passport on our heads. Made me sick how patronizing he was

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2012 01:00PM by lawstudent2013.

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Posted by: PapaKen ( )
Date: July 28, 2012 11:49AM

He came to Switzerland to dedicate a new chapel in Lausanne. We were so excited to have an apostle visit. We put up flyers around town with the heading "APOTRE A LAUSANNE!"

But he disappointed us when we held a zone conference and he spoke for a while, and then took Q&A:

He publicly humiliated a mishie who asked some specific questions about the priesthood at the time of Jesus. He bellowed, "Elder, are you asking me if the church is true??"

He casually replied to a mishie's question about teaching blacks by saying, "If you knock on the door of a black family, tell them a story about Jesus, and be on your way."

Later, during a private interview, I asked him about some specific wording in my patriarchial blessing. He dismissed my question by saying, "What does it matter?"

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Posted by: romy ( )
Date: July 28, 2012 01:58PM

I never went on a mission but I have worked in acquisiton sales...same thing right?

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Posted by: get her done ( )
Date: July 28, 2012 02:19PM

before going young people should read this post

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Posted by: Southern ExMo ( )
Date: July 28, 2012 04:22PM


This thread should be required reading for their mothers too.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: January 14, 2014 05:40PM

If I had ever been a missionary, I would have told the MP to go to h--l. I did that, effectively, to an angry red-faced SP when I told them they could have their "church of Satan" the night I sent my resignation.

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Posted by: nonsequiter ( )
Date: January 14, 2014 06:07PM

I don't like to think about either of my mission presidents.

One left the mission in a total state of chaos (which was fine by me to be honest) and the other came in and seeing what it was like decided to start a reign of terror.

Seriously all he had was fear tactics. In interviews he would say things like: "Your companion told me you sleep in [or] you are watching movies, is that true?"

So you either called your companion a liar and denied it or admitted, either way problems were caused.
(Of course most of the time it was a bluff, but missionaries are gullible).

I remember one zone conference though. He had each of us stand up one at a time and promise him that we would never grow any facial hair after our missions (The sisters were excluded).

I remember one Elder point blank refusing and the MP would not drop it. It was a stalemate but made for a nice distraction to an otherwise dull meeting.

Now that I think about it, he wasn't really mean (Well except when he told me I was a damage to the mission when I told him I was gay) he was just kinda crazy.

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Posted by: En Sabah Nur ( )
Date: January 14, 2014 06:31PM

Our own Raptor Jesus has a pretty harrowing mission story. If you have $3 to spare, you can read about it in his book:

My own mission was a battle against the bureaucracy; the mission office wanted us to meet quota, while I wanted to serve by the Spirit (read Spirit as relying on my own intuition and creativity).

I thought it was absolutely backward to have our public service limited to 4 hours a week while tracting was expected at 40+.

It's little wonder why so many of the missionaries I was close to began spending extra time in the library or at the gym, traveling out of their areas to visit friends and hooking up with the native Aussie ladies.

I actually had a bit of a breakdown and spent several months feeling completely out-of-control and lost, having been dumped in the worst area of the mission for 14 months then shipped out bush, hundreds of miles away from the nearest missionaries, without a car in the middle of the blazing Australian summer.

We had a MP "changing of the guards" midway through my mission. I actually liked the second mission president, despite the fact that he scattered all of the older missionaries abroad in tiny towns across central Australia while he kept the younger ones close to "home." When I confronted him at a mission conference and asked him, point blank, if he had sent us all out to pasture, hoping that we would go home without sullying the greenies, he just looked at me with feigned shock, and replied, sarcastically, "WHAT? Oh no, Elder Otter, I would NEVER do THAT! If the Lord wants you all far away from Adelaide (our mission HQ), who am I to disagree?" It was a dick response, sure, but also kind of funny.

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Posted by: ftw ( )
Date: January 14, 2014 06:41PM

I remember my mission presidents favorably.

I had a hard time as a missionary, I was very obedient and worked very hard and prayed very hard and just didn't have much success for a long time. Got a lot of judgement over that, why we weren't baptising like the previous elders or other elders. Eventually I found a groove but it was hard and crappy getting there.

I learned obedience. I also learned that success as measured by baptisms had seemingly little to do obedience and that the most fun/popular elders often had the most baptisms. I never could quite reconcile that one. Surely the work of God isn't a popularity contest and surely obedience brings blessings. It was tough. Definitely thought about going home during the darkest parts, but I'm stubborn and generally will follow anything through to it's conclusion.

Like others, I found there was alot of stats, stats, stats, numbers, numbers, numbers. I just stopped caring at some point. I'd work all day and do the best I could.

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Posted by: soju ( )
Date: January 14, 2014 09:03PM

I think my mom may have known someone from your mission, OP. She told me a story of a friend of hers who had that exact thing happen to her. The story is this (as told by my mom, retelling what happened to her friend): She was pulled into an interview with the mission president shortly after she arrived in the field, and he said "I've had a revelation that polygamy is to be reinstated and that I must take all of the sister missionaries as my plural wives." My mom's friend reportedly gave him a flat look and said "Really? No. No, that isn't happening" and told some other church leadership in the area. The implication was present that the MP had been banging some of the other sisters.

My mom didn't seem to get why her friend fell away from the church after that (I think. It could just have been she had doubts). Always ended it with a moral of "people are not perfect but church is."

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