Back to Work

Mom and all, (1/9/90)

Preface to this first paragraph: I’d just seen the Berlin wall come down, and was witnessing some strange behavior amongst the local population. They saw so many images of citizens "giving it to the man" by tearing down symbols of oppression, that they wanted desperately to join in and make it a worldwide uprising.

Will be interesting to see what kind of world I come home to, to see what kind of changes all this peace and strivings for peace will change people. Seems so far (here, anyway) that a lot of people want too badly to be "a part of what’s going on." The desire to be in on the move for peace is driving people to silly actions. A nun, priest, and 20-odd others were arrested for cutting the fence of the USAF base here. Some people don’t realize, don’t look at both sides. The base here helped maintain an environment in which this peace could rise up. Soon, it may no longer be needed. But it’s not like it’s a threat! Just eager to get in on destruction in the name of peace, I suppose. Silly. Of course, a lot of people here are scared of this peace. The "calm before the storm" theory, sort of. Your mothering will be the most significant contribution anyone could make.

I know what you mean about wanting to say something profound on the phone. Unfortunately, I had to concentrate so much on getting across any message, that the message itself had to be somewhat simple. Ah well, the purpose was to hear each other and be a little closer. [this in reference to our poor connection during our twice-a-year phone call]

I don’t know what T’s plans are now. As I’ve said things are still a bit distant, though repaired somewhat from a month or two ago. That’s getting better now that some things were ironed out. She says she’s much more independent now. Which is debatable since though she’s moved out (to her Grandpa’s – free rent still), she doesn’t have a job. Independent? Maybe. Anyhow, her plans change with the weeks.

Thanks for the advice about occupation. Finally, solid and constructive advice. I’ve been asking everyone about it and I get vague-ness back. Your suggestions, however, confirm my fears. I’m really headed in the wrong direction, I think, if I want to pick the job that I’d be happiest with. My dream job is slowly evolving into English/Ancient Language Professorship at BYU.

LOL! At least I’m consistent in my waffling about my career. I really think I’ve never cared enough about one particular job to be phenomenally successful in one career path. I work to live, not live to work.

New and interesting developments in the field here. Very interesting. Banbury may be receiving the Iron Rod Squad on Jan 31. If we can find 2 more flats, they’ll come. The Squad is 6 Elders "blitzing" an area that had just 2. Usually cream-of-the-crop elders sent to a troubled area. Come Jan 31, I may get to train 5 Elders in the ins-and-outs of Banbury. This situation is arising right on time, so to speak. We were just about to start some programs and things that the Squad would be perfect for and would probably be bringing with them anyway. Anyhow, it’s all very interesting. The way this thing works, I could be in Banbury thru the end of Fed, or thru the end of April. Whoa.

The whole mission is kind of in upheaval. Two new Assistants to the President, two new elders in the head office, a new (and rather distasteful, in my opinion) competition is starting. Competing for rewards (physical ones) leaves a bad taste in my mouth ("who can dunk the most?") President says nobody’s working, though (humph!) so this is a desperation kick-in-the-pants.

I ended up getting one of these awards later on. I kept it of course 🙂 hypocrite that I am…

Well it’s convenient to cut off now to mail it off a day sooner, so to sum up the situation here: ‘gators [slang for investigators of the church] are progressing well, the Spirit is rising to a fever, and the pace could get frantic soon.

Will get frantic. President told Elder B and other district and zone leaders that he got a call from a General Authority who was called by a General Authority asking what’s happening in the England Coventry Mission. Eek. What’d we do? He wants us tracting 20 hours/week. hmm. Well, it can be fun. Looking forward to working hard, though. I’m happiest when I am.

This makes it sound like (and it did appear to me at the time) that missions are managed like sales divisions of a corporation, with President getting hammered for not meeting his quotas. Now that I’ve been a bit closer to the process and people that analyze the numbers and provide guidance to mission leaders, I know different. Questions are asked by "upper management" purely out of a love and concern for people, not a desire to "look good" to their superiors.

Here’s your thought for the week: "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each hones worker." – Helen Keller

Love, Elder Chris

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