This week was more of the same for me, working hard all day every day.
The hardest part about being a missionary is being a missionary leader. I work with a lot of missionaries and it seems like they just don’t have a desire to work hard, or they work hard but they aren’t working in an effective manner so their numbers are low.
These numbers or "key indicators" that we work with are baptisms, confirmations, investigators in sacrament meeting, lessons taught with a member present, other lessons taught, "progressing" investigators (they are reading the Book of Mormon and praying and trying to keep the commandments), references received (from members), references contacted, new investigators, lessons taught to less actives and recent converts, and contacts on the street.
The goal of a good missionary is to work hard to increase these numbers every week, because as you do so you will help more and more people accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
The problem is when missionaries start to get satisfied with low numbers. Let’s say that I’ve taught 4 lessons today (4 lessons is like the minimum for a day´s work), I can 1) say that I’ve done enough for the day and not really try hard to talk to people on the street or even go to a member house to eat a snack for the rest of the evening. Or I can 2) still try my hardest and teach another 4 before the night runs out.
The missionaries that do the first a lot of times get stuck in the rut of only teaching a low number of lessons every day, so they start lowering their goals and instead of teaching a minimum of 4 lessons a day their goal BECOMES 4 lessons per day. Then they start teaching even less. . . .and then start slacking off with the free time that they have because they aren’t exerting themselves during the day.
But then there are other types of missionaries that have good intentions but they don’t really know how to use their time wisely. They start teaching instigators in a wide, spread-out area so they spend half their time during the day walking. They arrive in house tired at the end of the day working hard and obeying the rules, but they don’t baptize often because they aren’t teaching very many people. (I was like this at the beginning of the mission.)
Our job as leaders is to help people improve the quality of teaching and planning (through training meetings and doing splits to teach by example) and to motivate and inspire the missionaries in the zone to work their hardest.
The hardest thing to do I think is to inspire people to work. I’m not a very crazy and outgoing guy. I’m good at teaching principles and solving problems, but when it comes to getting up in front of 20 other missionaries and trying to motivate them to work harder I’m like a fish out of water. I’ve been getting better with practice but it’s still awkward.
O well, I hope by the end of the mission I get a hang of it.
But that’s what I’ve had on my mind today, love you all
I bought new insoles this week, Dr. Scholls all the way. I’m gonna buy more this week too I think