At this moment, there is a group of missionaries finishing their missions and having their last interviews with President Gomez. In mission terms, they’re all TRUNKY and its kinda funny. Trunky means they have their minds on putting their stuff in their suitcases (trunks) and taking them home... its really a dumb word. [Tyler says I’m trunky. He’s right.]
This week we had the monthly Mission Leaders Council where all of the zone leaders and the sister training leaders come to Iquitos for a day which, due to the flights, usually turns into 2 to 3 days. We talked about a bunch of things in that meeting that seem completely ridiculous to me. I won't go into much detail, but it has to do with people not understanding what a mission really is. With the age change, this being a new mission [July 2013] and everything still getting set up, there are quite a few missionaries that act like this is EFY [a retreat for youth], in that they’re here to have a nice, cute spiritual experience but have forgotten about the work part of it all. The real problem is that it is a contagious idea that has infiltrated some zones. The other thing is that when President got to the mission, there were some bad habits that were throughout the mission. He’s recently been correcting some of these (for example, pday in street clothes). We were all taught that that is how p-day was here because it was the jungle [missionary guidelines stipulate missionary attire for all but sports or service]. Me and a few other missionaries had written President about it a few months ago to ask for clarification. President reaffirmed the rule, and a lot of people got annoyed. People often don’t want to give up their habits of disobedience. Basically, there are a lot of people overreacting and just trying to blame others because the mission has been struggling for the last 6 months. It was really just a lot of drama about how some missionaries don’t really want to be missionaries....but I think the culture is changing slowly but surely.
As for my trainings, last month I trained on daily planning and morning studies. We changed the planning from a lesson every hour to every half hour so that we could be more efficient and work more and focus our studies on our investigators. The other training that I was doing was a leadership training where I talked about the importance of the District Leaders to help them to take more control because before the Zone Leaders really were in charge of everything. These are subtle changes but they really make a huge difference. In the Mission Leaders Council, I trained on charity and getting outside of ourselves and thinking of others with an example in Matthew 4:1-11 (with JST) and based it on an MTC talk from Elder Bednar "The Character of Christ". In the coming month, I will be training on teaching simply and the Book of Mormon. The subjects I use for training depend on the needs of the mission and what President wants. Training is a large part of what I do as an assistant.
We live in an apartment about 3 blocks away from the offices and we have a pensionista here in the offices that is a member of my first ward (Moronacocha) and they bring the food here. She is a really good cook, even though we still eat a lot of rice and chicken.
This week there are changes and a group of 16 newbies is showing up, which is always fun. I love the newbies and it’ll probably be a lot more fun having a bigger group so I’m excited for that. Right after the changes, we go straight back to training here in Iquitos and travelling. Our travelling will be even more extended. When we go, we will be staying out in the other cities for longer periods so that we can go out with more missionaries outside of Iquitos. So, basically, I will never be here. From now on I will only be in the offices to do reports and for planning. Otherwise, I will be out with other missionaries. Even though yesterday, I did a report for like 10 hours without stopping...that’s way too long to be looking at a computer screen....
Well, I love you guys and hope you have a great week!!
P.S. Also, mom, turns out that Sister Simonson’s dad found my blog and told her last week that he loved the picture of her throwing up...hahahaaha turns out my blog really is famous!