Mormon Missions that excel at destroying Mormon testimonies.

by forbiddencokedrinker Feb 2012

After mentioning that I was a California San Diego Alumni, I was shocked to find there were a lot of us on here. In retrospect I should not be surprised because you get exposed to a lot of things in San Diego that would make you question your testimony. That, and the mission had three presidents in a roll who would make you question your testimony.

Are there any other missions that excel at destroying testimonies. Someone suggested France is a really good one, possibly being responsible for more fallen RMs then long lasting converts. Any others?

Maybe if we compile a list, the GAs will start closing off a bunch of Missions, thus protecting the locals.

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
Spain & brother went there, didn't baptize anyone & just spent most of his time playing golf...

Stray Mutt
I have a hypothesis...
I suspect the percentage of apostate missionaries is inversely proportional to a mission's average baptism rate.

It seems to me that the more people you baptize, the more positive the mission experience seems. Halleluja, the church really is true!

On the other hand, if no one wants to listen to your message and you're able to get only a couple of people (or none) to join the church, then all the crap that comes with a mission doesn't seem to have a purpose and the leaders seem like thugs who are absolutely not inspired by God.

Also, the people who are easiest to convert are those who are unhappy with their lives. Meanwhile, contented people are the hardest to convert. So if you're in an area where baptisms are low, it's probably because the general population is contented. Being around happy non-Mormons can be an eye opener. They're supposed to be miserable and mired in sin because they don't have the One True Church, right? But they seem happy without it. And I'm rather miserable, now that I think of it. What's wrong with this picture?

Concrete Zipper
I'd be surprised if the church hadn't already compiled such a report
Given their membership databases, it would be a very straightforward thing to put together: a database query and a nice Excel chart.

Note to church monitors: I know you'll never let us see such a report, but if you haven't done so already, please create it and shop it around the 15. See if you can find any siginificant correlations between resignations and domestic vs. foreign missions, high-baptizing vs. low-baptizing missions, etc. Other factors might be enlightening but harder to gauge, such as kind vs. asshole mission presidents, introvert vs. extrovert missionaries, number of baptisms by the missionary vs. the mission average, etc. Go for the low-hanging fruit first and see what you find. You guys have lots of data, so data-mine away!

CA girl
Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
Ditto Spain - but it was years later when I left so I can't say for sure it destroyed my testimony. I sure spent a lot of time sight seeing and visiting with Spaniards. I never felt anxiety about the mission work - it was more of an attitude of "Hey, we have something here that's cool, if you are looking for something but if not, if you are happy where you are, no big deal. Let's just be friends."

It wasn't a big baptizing mission, that's for sure.

Re: I'd be surprised if the church hadn't already compiled such a report
The beauty of your suggestion is that they probably will do it, then brow beat the missionaries they see at risk the most for future inactivity for not being faithful enough and having more converts, thus exacerbating the problem. The difference between a reasonable man and an a$$hole is how they deal with unpleasant truths.

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
Germany was quite effective at wiping the smug know-it-all grin off your face and making you face up to reality and facts - at least for those who cared to think.

A mission president can make or break a mission.
He can build up or destroy a missionary. Its amazing the amount of power that one man has over a 19-21 year old for two years. I've often wondered if the COB really understands how an asshat ladder climbing GA wannabe mission president can destroy the lives of some young men and women.

As for location, I went to Britain very naive thinking I would baptize thousands. After about the 2,876th time of being told to f*@k off reality started setting in.

Re: A mission president can make or break a mission.
Agree. Tracting and the rejection was difficult, but the Mind Blank from the MP and down through the ranks was much more damaging and difficult than the tracting.

Jesus Smith
Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
Guatemala/Southern Mexico/Yucatan

Once you really think about the people, cultures and ruins of this area, you either see it as complete evidence (delude yourself) or you get interested to study it to find evidence. The honest missionary who spends much time looking will be heart-broken to find the actual story of the people contradicts the BoM to the max.

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
I think it's more of an internal thing that baptisms.

Once you've had experience(s) with Nazi-Mos (asshats, whatever), your internal clock starts ticking down.

When I began seeing the asshats in Leadership Positions, I thought to myself: 'and this is "Good"?

Utah Missions
The SLC mission I served in certainly helped me lose my testimony. I came across loads of "apostates" and "anti-Mormons" who helped expose me to the truth. Plenty of seeds of doubt were planted and I probably wouldn't have read the Tanners' stuff had I not been on a mission there. I figure the same might be true for other missionaries in the Utah missions.

Just Once
Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
I especially liked this thread because it's so "spot on". I have a son who is currently serving a mission. I don't want to be too specific, because I'm fairly sure the mormon church has their trolls surfing this site for ammunition they might find beneficial. He was badgerd into serving a mission even though he was honest enough to tell them, "but I don't have a testimony". A GA said, "Don't worry, if you'll go on a mission I promise you'll gain a testimony." Not only has he not gained a testimony, but now is fairly certain "the church" isn't true and is bitter about being coerced into serving a mission and waisting two years of his life. My question is, "WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT MORMONISM THAT THEY"LL BADGER A YOUNG MAN, ONE WHO IS STILL SUSCEPTIBLE TO COERCION, TO BE A REPRESENTATIVE FOR THEIR CHURCH WHO DOESN'T POCESS EVEN A SMALL AMOUNT BELIEF IN THEIR CHURCH?"
You don't need to believe it to sell it.. 
Portugal here
My apostasy was years later too. Definitely some residual mission cog-dis played a role though.

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
I agree with I'mjustsayin that serving a mission in Germany was a very effective testimony killer. For me, tracting every f*cking day was was like pounding your forehead against a concrete wall, It was like groundhog day every single day for 2 years. You wake up and look out the window at mostly an overcast, rainy day and realize your shoes are still wet from the day before from tracting all day in the cold miserable rain. Either no one was home (most adults worked), or if they were home, they didn't answer the door. When they did (usually because they were expecting someone else), the look on their face was (who the f*ck are you? And, get the f*ck off my porch) Those that answered the doors sent us away with either; "not interested" or "don't have time" before slamming the door quickly. Those that engaged us in coversation did it mostly to practice their english. We tracted on average 30-40 hours each week, in order to try and get to our goal of 60 missionary work hours each week. It was mind-numbing and looking back now, I realized I was depressed for most of my mission. The whole experience made me seriously question what I was doing and forced me to examine my religious beliefs at such a deep level that I'm convinced it was the start of my eventual exodus out of the Church.

Ireland was a pretty good one.
The people of Ireland are happy and didn't need us one bit. They had enough religion. We baptized about 20 a month as a mission, and most of them left soon afterward. One of my friends from the mission thought that about 25% of the missionaries went inactive after going home.

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
Why is he still out there? It sounds like he should quit wasting his time and come home.

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
Germany Munich mission was very beneficial at showing me the true reason I was on a mission in the first place...signing up more tithe payers!!!

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
All the RM's leaving is probably causing a huge problem for the church. Who are the girls going to marry now? Who's going to have the mormon babies?
This could put a huge dent in their financial future.

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
Germany and I am sure other European countries could be a testimony killer(some mentioned Germany and I am just seconding).

I know three guys in their twenties that came home early from their missions in Germany..just months into their missions. All had health problems that just weren't there before and not after.(Making those three connections, planted seeds that I would later come back to when leaving the church) All three are extremely quiet-now and sort of passive, under the radar. One of them was like the class clown in high school... seeing him after his shortened mission to Germany...he seemed sad. I can't help but think of those guys and wonder if they are reading this board. I wish the best for them.

I have a feeling that Germans are very smart people and will set a missionary straight(Go Europe-for not being scared of the truth). I don't have a cite for this but I read a while back that churches are closing in record numbers in Europe because there just aren't members to fill them. New Age Understanding!?

I knew some exchange students in high school from Germany and they seemed extremely smart and had evolved minds. I would love to go to Germany. My fiancee has a grandma that grew up in her cute little accent.

Stray Mutt
I should thank my late mission president for being a lying, abusive jerk.
He gave me a big nudge down the road to apostasy.

NeverMo in CA
Re: Ireland was a pretty good one.


Wow--20 a month actually sounds like quite a lot to me. I'm surprised you even got that many. I lived in Dublin for about five years in the late 90s and would occasionally see Mormon missionaries there--usually as I walked to the corner shop to buy a paper they were the only young males up early on a Saturday morning and without hangovers! I often wondered if they got many converts, if any.

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
My brother served his time in Sand Diego mission - said when he was assigned to the Naval Base area it was very demoralizing, seeing how the families lived and how it was common place to see one man move in when another went on deployment and move back out six months or so later. Just an accepted part of life there, among other issues he had.

He never left the church, but wasn't a "TBM" per say when he returned and started living his life. He kept going to church, but he just went because he always had.

Maybe he would or wouldn't have left the church later in life but he passed away at 28, so who knows. Now he gets to be on church records as an active member for another 72 years or so.

Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
I was inactive before my mission and after.

I had a European Mission in the 80s and it was clearly a waste of time and effort. The false promises from leadership, the numbers/sales games. Even a Zone Conference with Paul H. Dunn. And a speech in the MTC from Bruce McConkie that was mindnumbingly dumb about how to speak from the spirit. Obviously, he didn't get inspired during that speech and just rambled stupidly.

I was there 89-91 and I realized pretty early on that they didn't need the mormon chruch.

The Japanese have existed just fine without mormonism for 2,000 years.

It does not look good for the mormons in Japan. They have closed missions, and god only knows how many local units.

Tabula Rasa
Re: Missions that excell at destroying testimonies.
I had a grande ol' time in The Netherlands during the mid-70's. Great food, fun members, outstanding culture and city life. Outside shitty baptisms, I had no real complaints. Good MP, good comps... Only total asshole was Charles Didier, the area head. Real dickwad.


Richard the Bad
On the Irish
“This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.”
― Sigmund Freud

did they tell you to F&$k off
or Piss off... the latter i should think... :)

True that. I watch the BOM evidence documentaries and know they are full of crap because I lived in the places they are filming. 

Trust me, I was told to F&$k off
infinitely more than to piss off. It wore me out.

Jesus Smith
Re: True that. I watch the BOM evidence documentaries and know they are full of crap because I lived in the places they are filming.
Where did you live? I was in Guate--went all over except to Xela side.
just for a laugh...
I was reading this thread & watching "dispicable me". The scene where the girls come back to the orphanage after selling cookies all day...WOW! Sounds like missionaries & a bad MP!
You don't want to spend the weekend in the box of shame, now do you???
They were always trying to talk sense into us.
"Well, this may all sound very important to you now, but as you get older and less idealistic things become less black and white."

"Ock, where's yer hat? Yer gonna catch yer death o' cold, so you will. Not a lick o' sense between yuz."

"You're a right bunch o' wallies, so you are. Riding around on bikes in suits. The sight of ya. Ock lads, ya should be out enjoying yourselves, meeting the ladies, not being so serious about stuff that ain't serious. You'll grow old from regret."

An old man told me that at some point you stop listening to those who came before you and start looking at who come after you, and you find you care more about them than you do yourself. Then everything changes.

And to think I went out to teach them.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"