Mission Presidents From Hell

Mission president saluteObey your mission president to the death. Vision of obey.

Please submit your missionary survival sagas in the box below. Tell us the stories you were afraid to write home about.

Paraguay Asuncion North Prez Sparks 2000

01/29/2010 - by milobeetle

I only lasted 6 weeks down there. My comp insisted on working our asses off till 2am, and we still had to get up at 6:30am EVERY DAY. This was all approved by God through Prez Sparks. Yep. Pure hell. P-days, after we took the hours-long bus ride to the nearest grocery store in San Lorenzo and back, did laundry, etc, I had 2-3 hours to myself at most. Of course I slept, and didn't get much letter writing in. My comp said I was lazy, and that if I had more faith I wouldn't be tired. I told Prez Sparks I wanted to go home. He snapped, told me that if I did, my children's children's children would be cursed. (What ever happened to the 2nd article of faith--punished for our own sins?). He lived in a mansion in the city, not far from starving people in the slums. I hope he felt good that god loved him more than the dirt-poor lamanites struggling for survival. Anyway he refused to give me my passport and let me go home until I told him I didn't believe in god anymore. He was a type-a macho control freak. He had a pet monkey tied up in the back yard. He had a baby ostrich too, till the tortured monkey drowned it in the pool.

Oh, Prez Sparks received revelation to change the first discussion. In the first principle, we would ask the investigator to talk about any close family members who had died. We had them think about this person, then told them they would see that person again, and could be with them for eternity. Often they would break down crying. We told them that was the holy ghost testifying that what we had just said was true. By that standard, anything that makes a person cry must be true. Jihad anyone?

F that shizzzzzzz!

Sending love to all my co-sufferers!

Cowering behind the curtain

11/24/2009 - by Duffy

I knew I was in trouble when the first thing he did when we arrived at the mission home was to confiscate our passports. I really didn't want to let him have mine. I was pretty sure that I was supposed to keep it with me at all times. But I crumbled there that first night.

We were hounded for stats and baps. The MP had direct word from G-O-D that there were at least FOUR people in each of our areas who were ready for baptism and if we didn't find that minimum number, it was because we were unworthy, useless, human beings. Just before Christmas new revelation was received that the previous number was too small and the REAL number was 12 or more. We were told that we were a HUGE disappointment to the Lard because we weren't finding the minimum 12 golden people in each of our areas each month.

I kept getting the feeling that he wanted us to make up for the amt of time he slacked off on his own mission.

One of my companions was so freaked out by him that she disappeared during zone conference. She didn't want to have to interview with him and she just vanished. We looked everywhere for her. Finally the MP's daughter found her cowering behind a curtain on the stage in the gym. Wow.

The Henchman

11/24/2009 - by Satan's little helper

Back when I was a missionary...we tracted from the backs of dinosaurs. My first MP was Joseph T Bentley. He was Ernest Wilkenson's (past President of BYU) henchman.

He kept tabs on the spys 'ole Erny sent in to various classes to root out the professors that were too liberal about things like communism and evolution. He forbade any music but the mo' tab (yuck). He was good buds with Kimball and stood up to minor GAs when they were too relaxed. He also told a whole mission conference that we had to repent because he could tell we were thinking light minded thoughts. He was pretty out of touch with reality and we were all pretty scared of him. He was an arrogant old fart but proof that you can get to a point in the church when you are too old for them to mess with ya.

Throw Mexicans into a small pool

11/24/2009 - by Adam

The president I had for the first year was a real a**. As soon as I got there, I was told he had cut off all music but MoTab, and that was what he was famous for. He would rail on us every zone conference about how we needed to "repent."

Deep in my heart, I asked, WTF does a missionary have to repent of? We literally spend ALL DAY doing nothing but trying to do the right thing?

It was a terrible experience.

The second one was a very tender, I love everybody type (a professor from a state college who, in the wake of 9-11, taught a 2 hour lecture on Islam and its good qualities). I have nothing against him, but I am sure the church does, baptism numbers went way down with his loving approach.

But, man, the first one I had would ream you for no reason. He was only interested in masterbation and throwing mexican people into a small swimming pool. Once, when my opinion differed from the AP, he told me I was not worthy to be in "his mission."

Again, the guy was a real tool. I say this in the name of Joseph Smith. Amen-Ra.

Old Hag or Young Woman

10/07/2009 - by Arizonan

My posting differs greatly from those already posted.

My son had a very challenging mission where the "mission culture" (established by the mission president) was one of manipulation and extremely high pressure to baptize in Mexico or be chastized by the MP or his APs. I won't go into any of the negative things in this vein.

Nevertheless, as he returned home after his faithful 2 years, he had a chance to further digest his mission experiences and in the process he felt saddened (even angry) by the way he realized he had been manipulated by the APs and the way in which he in turn was taught to manipulate those under his stewardship where he served as a zone leader.

His inclination was to focus only on the negative parts of the mission and forget all of the many good experiences he had also experienced.

Mission presidents are old hags and young women. To help him I showed him a picture I found off the internet in a google search. There is a picture (sort of like an optical illusion) where you can find a picture of a lady. Because of the optical illusion, some who see the picture for the first time see only an "old hag" while others looking at the same woman see instead a "beautiful woman."

In reality, both are there if you look for them. In my church work with many RMs, I'm of the opinion that most missions are not of the same manipulative nature of my son's mission. (Likewise, I think the negative experiences shared by others in this blog are exceptions not the norm in a typical mission today.)

My point was to help my son understand that his experience with the "old hag" part of his mission was there, no denying it, and I encouraged my son to express his feelings to me and not bury them, even though they were negative. But then I asked him to not remain focused exclusively on the negative.

Otherwise he would forget the "beautiful woman" part of the mission picture was also there. In other words, a mission (like life) has both negative and positive aspects to it.

Although we may acknowledge negative aspects (and we can learn from them, such as: "How not to treat others," etc.), if we only focus on that we neglect the beautiful part of a mission's experiences, such as where one learns to understand and exercise his faith, to sacrifice, to forget oneself in the service of others, and to rely on the Lord, and to grow in a closer relationship with the Savior.

My son had really worked with all of his heart in serving the Lord as a TB missionary. He had seen answers to prayers, and seen the lives of many people inspired by the Holy Ghost as they received the gospel and made commitments to follow the Lord. To focus soley on the negative would be to deny that the hand of the Lord painted the beautiful, rewarding part of his missionary experiences. His "mission picture" had these beautiful aspects too, and I encouraged him to also remember and be grateful for those things as well. I served my mission over 30 years ago in Ecuador under President David Ferrel. My experience was different than my son's in that I don't remember him ever encouraging a culture of manipulation. President Ferrel was a wonderful mission president. I've come to understand what it means to be Christ-like through his loving example. I know every missionary has different experiences on a mission, but I believe if each searched, he or she would also find uplifting memories to cherish. Those are the "tender mercies" we hold in our heart as we thank our Heavenly Father for the opportunity to have served a mission.

PRESIDENT WILLIAM O. OSTLER - FIJI SUVA 2008

08/04/2009 - by Fed Up

The mission was pretty ok until Pres. Ostler arrived. There is where it went downhill.

From the start it was clear that his main purpose is to continue his campaign to be a general authority. After he arrived, all the love went out the window. It is pretty much run like a corporation. He's into statistics and rules and everything is neat and tidy..but pretty much everyone knows he's just out for his church career.

The rumor in the mission is that he inflates baptisms numbers to impress salt lake. At last count he has managed to offend 2 bishops and at least one stake presdient with his pompousness. one temple worker told us that he enters the temple like he owns it. The worst thing has he has a hang up and wanting dig up old sins from missionaries.

My companion told me that he asked for details and goes into things that are not his business, like he enjoys it. in short: a man with no friends, who seriously thinks he's in line for the apostleship. There are a whole lot of people who whould be sickened if he got it. Ruined my mission.

Richard M. Eyre - England London South Mission - 1977-1980

4/03/2009 - by FreedomFinder

Richard Eyre mission president. My mission president, for awhile (in the England London South Mission) (1977-1980, was the illustrious, "published author", Richard M. Eyre, and his wife, Linda.

They came to England as a fairly young couple, already with 6 or 7 kids, with another one born in England. Eyre's unstated goal was to entirely make over the Church's entire missionary program in Southern England, and he moved ahead with great brouhaha and aplomb to do so.

One of his first efforts was to cast aside many long-standing programs of his predecessor, --Pres. Douglas Smith-- the son of Joseph Fielding Smith. In stead of unifying the missionaries, it just created resentment and confusion.

Pres. Eyre, I recall one time, had organzied a big, huge missionary gathering, and all missionaries were commanded to appear, without fail or excuse. As I recall, we had been working quite closely with an investigator couple who had already accepted the challenge to be baptized...their baptism was a week away, at most.

Suddenly, the male investigator's father passed away...and the funeral was scheduled to be on the day of the big Whoop-de-doo Conference. Despite officiallly, and repeatedly asking/begging permission to attend the funeral, we were denied permission, "Let the dead bury the dead," we were told. Teh investigators were so stunned by our inability to help them out in their moment of grief that they reconsidered their allegiance to the church, and did NOT get baptized--solely due to this issue.

There were other, similiar, pompous, self-aggrandizing meetings, conferences, etc. from Eyre...but i had had enough. I was so put off by all of this apple-polishing that I made the decision to just terminate my mission, and come home early. I have never regretted that decsionin over 35 years, even though Pres. Eyre told me I would regret it for the rest of my life, and would never live down the shame of it. Shame on HIM for trying to manipulate me, and make me feel guilty.

L. Tom Perry's Raising the Bar ditty: Fat wankers need not apply

10/06/2006 - by NoToJoe

So I had the "pleasure" of attending General Priesthood meeting last night with my father and koolaid chugging brothers. (good times).

Based on L.Tommy Perry's fine lecture the quality of missionary applicants must be in decline. Perry stressed that there is a minimum standard for serving a mission which included physical, mental, emotional, and social fitness. He mentioned physical standards like you must be able to walk X miles per day, bike 3X miles per day, climb stairs and have an attractive physical appearance.

He then went on to talk about how too many video-game addicts have no social skills and can't effectively ram-rod the cult message down the gullets of the nave investigators.

After Perry sat down the next stuffed shirt droned on about? PORNOGRAPHY! (good grief, without pornography what else would they have to talk about). His talk was soo predictable. I had to fantasize about naked women just to pass the time.

Anyway, back to Perry. So I am left to assume that the quality of the mission applicant has suffered by raising the bar. Yes, they have excluded all the guys that partied with friends and could get laid in High School. But what are they left with?

A bunch of 20 year-old fat virgins with no social skills who can't possibly peddle a bike all day to chase down the unconverted. THE BAR HAS BEEN RAISED (but all the elders are too fat to jump over it).

Not So Inspiring Mission Stories-Italy

12/06/2006 - by Yomo

Story 1: On my mission we had the weekly 'inspirational story' from mission headquarters. One week the 'inspirational story' was that two elders who had recently followed the mission presidents counsel to add reflectors to their bikes had a car swirve widely around them and crash into another car! When I asked the ZL what was inspiring about that he simply said "well they COULD have hit the missionaries".

Story 2: The other missionaries in one of my areas was teaching people from Nigeria that all lived in one apartment (Nigerians often lived with many non-related people in one apartment in Italy). One guy had already been baptized in the apartment and three of four people from the aparment later joined. The first guy to be baptized got up one testimony meeting and gave a very enthusiastic testimony. When I got home from the mission I found out from another missionary that the first guy was(and always had been) an actual pimp and two of the women baptized were prostitutes. I feel bad, since many poor Nigerians are forced into prostitution-but certainly an interesting tale. Funny too because I never thought much about the fact that the 'pimp' guy always dressed in much nicer clothes than anyone else in the apartment-and that we weren't very concerned about what he did for work.

Story 3: One guy being taught claimed to have seen Joseph Smith appear to him and tell him to become a Mormon. Later when one of the missionaries called him he yelled and threatened to kill them if they ever came to his house again.

Count your mission parasites, name them one by one

11/29/2004 - inspired by Dark Sparks and others from the Recovery from Mormonism bulletin board

LDS Mission diarrhea. When upon your pillows your "cookies" are tossed
When you are disgorging, puking 'til all is lost,
Count your mission parasites, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the germs have done.

LDS mission leeches. (Refrain)
Count your bacteria, treat them one by one,
Pluck your bloody leeches, see what they've undone!
Count your fungi, spoors, each and every one,
Count your many cooties, see what decay hath done!

LDS mission leprosy. (Verse 2)
When you look at others with their hands and toes,
Think that leprosy has also rotted off your nose,
Count your many lesions. Ask the Bishop why?
The Church won't pay your medical bills, so high.

LDS mission crotch rot. (Refrain)
Count your microbes, name them one by one,
Scatch your crotch, feel what the rot hath done!
Dab that ointment, all pleasure you must shun!
To hell with those many blessings, you know the Devil won!

LDS mission anal rot. (Verse 3)
Are you ever bloated with a load of care?
Does your anus feel on fire and about to tear?
Count your toilet paper sheets then let it fly,
While you keep spewing as the days go by.

LDS mission tapeworm. (Refrain)
Count your plagues, tame them one by one,
Visit the doctor, now stick out your tongue!
Count your prescriptions, take them one by one,
Count your tape worms, see what havoc they have done!

LDS mission puking. (Verse 4)
So, amid the disease whether great or small,
Do not be contagious, don't splash it on the wall;
Count your many injections, doctors will attend,
So bow down and let them examine your rear end.

LDS mission athletes foot. (Refrain)
Count your many curses, caught down in your craw,
Count your rashes, scratch 'em til they're raw!
Count your burps 'n belches, when's the final straw?
Tell your mission prez, it's time that I withdraw!

J. Martel Bird became my mission president

04/15/2004 - by anon

Missionaries who entered the field in the late 1970s and went through the "one week" mission home experience in Salt Lake City across from the Church Office Building will remember Mission Home President J. Martel Bird.

J. Martel Bird was "the" reason why many of us thought the honorable thing to do right away was to admit we were unworthy to even live (much less serve a mission) and just go home - repent - serve our time in some public correctional facility and then get on with life as a rebuked but semi-worthy soul who "might" hope some day in the distant future that God would "maybe" forgive us for being who we were.

Every evening after a day filled with lectures from J. Martel Bird elders took the opportunity to go to "confession" to see if they had done anything bad enough to be sent home. I was one of those missionaires. While the only thing I'd ever done that I felt bad about was masterbating the night before entering the mission home, I was sure it was enough to get me sent home. It wasn't.

I was told, infact, that is was of such little importance that I should never think of it again and just to go have a good mission. I was very relieved. The week continued with J. Martel Bird preaching fire and brimstone and how we'd better confess "everything" we'd ever done wrong since emerging from the womb or we would have no sucess and be condemed forever - if not longer.

I was scared beyond my wildest imagination. I started thinking about when I decked a kid in the playground in grade school and bloodied his nose. When I stole that army action figure from my friend when I was three years old. I worried about the time I lifted up my girl friend's dress in second grade to see what all the fuss was about and stuck a crayon up her vagina. I agonized over the time I stole a Hot Wheels car from a store when I was eight and didn't confess it before getting baptised.

And I worried that because I knew of crimes committed by my friends in junior high and high school that somehow I was guilty for not turning them in. Over a couple of days I could hardly sleep and was in such mental pain all I wanted was for the whole thing to be over. Of course, I felt I was the only missionary with such issues and for some odd reason I was one of maybe two missionaires ever to serve that had such issues and problems in my life. That I was the only one stupid enough not to take care of the repentance business before getting out in the mission field. At least that's what J. Martel Bird would have missionaries believe.

Then came a statement by J. Martel Bird I will never forget. He said when he was called to be the mission home president by Spencer W. Kimball, the things he and his wife were told were of such a revealing and faith-promoting nature that he and his wife would have jumped off of the top of the church office building to their death if Kimball had required it of them. That, he said, is how worthy you should already be. I was devastaed.

Anyway, about a year-and-a-half later my mission president in Scotland was going home. As a joke in the mission we all started saying: "watch, our new president will be J. Martel Bird." We shuttered to think such a thing could happend to us. But, as I live and breathe, it was announced shortly that our new presidnet would be none other than J. Martel Bird. I kid you not. A collective sign of dread went through the missionaires and all thought the end must really be near.

I was very afraid. As a high-ranking missionary it was my job to pick up J. Martel Bird from the airport and kind of shaddow him a bit while he got settled. His first question to me was: "I'm not independantly wealthy like President Oscarson and I can't pay for missionary meetings and dinners and such. What should I do?" I sugested he have each missionary pay a fee. He liked the idea and made sure in our first mission-wide conference that it was my idea. I wasn't very popular for a while.

The first week or so we sat in meetings while J. Martel Bird preached. We were told things like: when we go home and on a hot day take our garmets off to do any thing like wash the car or swim it was a sin and we would be condemned. If we thought ill of any church offical we were condemned. If we looked at any "lassie (girl)" while in the British Isles and even thought about her in any sexual way we were condemned forever. The list went on and on to the point that it was obvious none of us could ever hope for salvation no matter what we did. We began to wonder, understandbly so, why we were even out there if nothing we did would help us.

I found out later that the Scotland Glasgow mission, which took in Northern Ireland at the time, had a reputation in Salt Lake City as a "mission out of control." That President Oscarson had lax standards and treated the missionaires too well. That he let them go sight-seeing on their day off instead of working them to death every day. That he had too many holiday gatherings giving the elders a break and enjoying the day. That Oscarson had a TV in his home (which J. Martel Bird put in the attic immediately) and was breaking mission rules by watching it. Needless to say I was stunned.

I had always regarded Roy Oscarson as one of the greatest men I'd ever known. I idlized him as a man of God who we loved. But no - he wasn't good enough for J. Martel Bird or the hacks in Salt Lake City. So J. Martel Bird was there to clean up the mission.

Well, I only had to endure J. Martel Bird for a few months. As a leader-type missionary I was able to steer clear of him most of the time.

In my exit interview I asked him a couple of questions about the church's claims that had plaqued me for most of my mission. I forget now what they were (since there are so many) but J. Martel Bird looked stunned. He told me that since I had been contemplating such things I must not have had the spirit with me as much as I should have and that I probably missed some golden converts and would be held accountable for my weakness. I explained I didn't dewel on the matters and I had had more than my share of baptisms. I then asked him if my entire mission was a waste of time and if I was now suppose to worry about condemnation or how I would ever make it up to the Lord? He said he didn't know. But if I was faithful to the end, paid my tithing, did everything asked of me, God would take that into consideration.

The next several years I felt that I was never going to be acceptible to the Lord. Nevertheless, for the next 20 yeas I did my best.

Until fairly recently I just accepted my fate until one day I decided to find out if all the Mormon stuff is even ture. I took God out of the equation and studied the scriptures from a secular point of view. By doing this I was able to rid myself of making excuses to explain God's bazzare, violent, or demented behavior. What I found was a religion set up by man to control man. And, it's not a bad money maker either.

Once I was no longer bound to the mind control aspects of reiligion in general, EVERYTHING MADE PERFECT SENSE. God had become, in my mind, what he always was - a creation of man with all too vulnerable traits and petty concerns of common people. The God described in the Old and New Testaments was nothing more than the result of folklore and fables passed down through the generations not unlike the tales that have been created over the past thousands of years. I found that I no longer believed in God for the same reasons I don't in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Elves, or any other of the hosts of man-made figures.

But, I digress. Yes, my mission was a good experiance for the most part. But in retospect, if I had to do over I wouldn't. It was mostly a waste of time.

Roy W. Oscarson was a lovely man - by Mothman - 03/27/2008

I have to agree that Roy W. Oscarson was a lovely man and think of him often. He was just a wonderful inspiring and uplifting man. I actually sat and watched his T.V. with him.What people forget is that at this time the 1970's in Northern Ireland "the troubles" were taking place and the country was policed by the British Army as things were so bad. In fact I know missionaries who were nearly killed.

President Oscarson advised all missionaries to keep a radio in the flat in case of trouble and listen to the news. The T.V. was used to watch the national news, he was in fact being cautious. On the other hand I have no time for J. Martel Bird thought he was a strange man and most Elders did. When I met him he would not shake my hand as I did not have my name badge on!!!

Just like Jesus would do.I will always remember Roy Oscarson as a Godly man no matter what anyone in SLC says or thinks.

__________

12/21/2006 - Wow, you can't be serious. You wonder what your problem is? The 15 years leading up to your mission caused you so much guilt and felt like President Bird couldn't understand your problem (theft, other uses for crayons, what ever else). Get over it.

You are still bitter 20 years after your mission. Is there a problem? Figure it out. Can't you find something positive about your life. You sound like you have lived a very productive life. (sarcasim, if you can't figure it out). President Bird passed away several years ago. Lucky for you.

Wouldn't your life be awful if you crossed paths with him again. I served under President Bird as well and I am grateful for the positive influence he had on my life. He inspired me many times. Was he strict. Oh yeah. Did I suffer unforgettable mental damage? Hardly.

If your going to write on a site like "mission presidents from hell." Have the courage to post your name. It really takes alot of courage to slam someone and not post your name-anon. I would love to hear who you are and help me better understand were you are coming from.

Sincerely,

Mark Wootton email: mark.wootton@nsanpete.k12.ut.us

COOL mission presidents

02/29/2004 - Truth Without Fear

I can think of two.

One, president of the Michigan Detroit mission told young men "..come on, put on that white shirt and tie and be a DORK FOR THE LORD for a couple of years.." He also played the guitar and sang at firesides.

The other I know personally. He is a professor of anthropology, believes in (preaches!) evolution, does NOT believe in the historocity of the OT, BOM, or BOA. I am serious as a heart attack. He helped refute the Kinderhook plates and other phony church relics.

How these guys slipped through the cracks, much less survived, is beyond me.

______________________________

After our freshmen year at BYU, my freshmen boyfriend (Brett) recieved his mission call-- to serve in the exact mission where my parents lived! He went into the MTC after Winter Semester while I went home to my parent's house during the summer. Sure enough, his first area was in my stake! My father was a new convert and my mother was taking the discussions, so Brett couldn't help but run into them. He and his companion taught my parents in our family home, but there was absoulutely no "funny business" going on. Brett was a completely obedient missionary, keeping all of the "white handbook" rules about communicating with members of the opposite sex, etc. But as he was teaching my parents and was ASSIGNED TO LABOR in our stake and ward, I couldn't help but run into him... I COULDN'T HELP IT!!! Which is why I was so ticked when, one early Monday morning, I got a phone call from the local mission president, chastising me for contacting Brett! He berated me up and down, saying that I had no business seeing my boyfriend, and didn't I want to help him be an obedient missionary? I was so taken aback (and it was rather early in the morning), that I just ended up agreeing with the mission president. He had me promise to attend the singles' ward (which was detrimental bc my parents were investigating the church and would obviously be attending the family ward), and he also had me promise to go back to BYU as soon as possible, so that my very existence would "no longer be a temptation."

It wasn't until later that I realized how absurd the whole situation was! The mission president is the one who assigned Brett to our area! This was not my fault! I was merely living at home with my parents during the summer, earning money before fall semester, like any other college student! What a prideful, arrogant man this mission president was to deny his own lack of discernment and instead lay guilt upon a 19-year-old girl. - 02/06/2004 - anon

My first missionary companion, my trainer, eloped 3 weeks after I arrived. I had been told (by the mission pres himself on my first day in Brazil) that my companion was the "most spiritual Elder." Spiritual my a$$! He was glum, somber and stupid. I hated every day of those first 3 weeks. When he left, I could hardly refrain from helping him pack! I then called my mission pres to tell him what happened. Something like 5 weeks later - after I thought it was all water under the bridge, I got this small handwritten note saying something like "Elder Fubeca, the day you let your companion leave was my darkest day in Brazil. Keep an eye on your companions. You are your brother's keeper. I wish I had known sooner"

Talk about a guilt trip! - and if it was so heartfelt, why didn't he send it right after it happened? He waited 5 weeks! Like it was all my fault. My companion was a native Brazilian and probably planned the whole thing in front of my face since I couldn't understand or speak Portuguese at the time! That, and the fact that I did notice he was pretty friendly with this one girl and told my DL (I'm ashamed to say now, I DID nark on him). So much for following prescribed procedures.

At the time this letter really tore me up. Now it just angers me. My Pres was king of emotional manipulation and I was his puppet. - 12/01/2003 - Fubeca

I remember how our mission pres used to "reward" us for baptisms. The missionnaries that got the most baptisms in the months were allowed to watch videos. I won the right to watch: Rocky 1, Rocky 2 and Rocky 3. The Karate Kid 1 and 2. Star Wars 1, 2 and 3. I went to see "The Miserables" three times :) :) :). And when you dis at least 10 first discussions in one week, you won a pizza!!!

What a fun (not really) time in the England London Mission!!!! - 10/05/2003 - anon

The Certificate

09/20/2003 - from ShakespeareWales

One of my Mission Presidents offered to give us a certificate if we achieved certain goals every week over a three-month period, including working x number of hours, teaching y discussions, and baptising z converts, etc. In principle, these were all worthwhile motivational goals. The problem was that the Prez couldn't have motivated a choir of nuns, and nobody gave a shit.

The only elder who actually got a certificate was the mission kiss-arse. The President made a big fuss over him at zone conference, but since everybody thought the elder was a crawling tosser, nobody gave a shit about that either.

Under His Royal Highniness

09/13/2003 - Connell the Barbarian

I served a mission under His Royal Highniness, Walter Guedes de Queiroz in the Brazil Porto Alegre ("Gay Port"!) Mission from 1980-82. What a fucking nightmare.

First of all, Queiroz had been a hell-and-brimstone Baptist preacher before discovering "the True Gospel". He brought a lot of his preaching tactics with him into Moronism, unfortunately for us Elders. And I mean ONLY Elders, as Queiroz believed sister missionaries to be either totally weak or satanic, and he refused to have any assigned to his mission; the few that had been there when he came on board he had had reassigned to other missions in Brasil, so by the time I arrived there were only Elders in our mission.

Of the roughly 100 Elders, only 12 or so at any given time were North Americans, the rest being native Brazilians, some from Portugal, and 2 or 3 from Argentina. He thoroughly disliked us North American elders. At mission conferences, we all lined up like a military inspection and he would walk down the line giving little moments of inspiration or criticism to each elder, as the case may be. But invariably, each Brazilian elder received a hardy "abraco" (hug) but North American elders merely got a firm hand-shake. Okay, he wasn't that cute (and he was way too short for me), but I wanted my hug, dammit! NAs (North Americans) also had a much more difficult time getting into any leadership positions, because of his discrimination against us.

At least a dozen of us were also Gay (including yours truly), which made for interesting mission dynamics. Two of the Brazilians were totally out of the closet (one being a professional roller skate Queen) and the president's response to all of us was to keep us as far away from mission headquarters (and him) as possible. I personally was never allowed to hold any mission callings either - I never even made it to "Senior Companion"!!! And I could speak Portuguese better than most Brazilians....

But I was also consistently the lowest baptizer in the mission and was held up by the Prez, on more than one occassion, as the negative example. You see, I "only" came home with 157 converts (including two bishops, five RS presidents, a slew of branch presidents, and several youngsters who went on missions later). 157 is a lot for most missionaries. But not for our mission. During that era, we were consistently the highest or second highest baptizing mission in the world - 100 of us baptizing about 1000 people a month. I simply refused to go in for all the manipulative bullshit that other missionaries were using. I, a TBM, felt like the gospel should sell itself and I was interested only in finding people of faith. But other missionaries had fewer scruples than I; every Morg Chapel in Brasil had a BEAUTIFUL - but fenced in - soccer field which our Elders used as a petrie dish for breeding new invesigators.

Such spurious tactics leads to the other end of our mission spectrum: Elder Cano, the AP. He was given the formal title (by the Prez) of "Prince of the Mission" and we referred to him as such. He was the canon by which we were all to be measured. Cano was to be our standard, our goal, our dream. He went home with over 1000 converts (yes, one THOUSAND) under his belt. But I did some report typing (I could type 100 words a minute, no errors on a manual typewriter - I'm SOOOOO Gay!) in the mission home once and funny, but Elder Cano seemed to baptize ONLY 12-17 year old girls! So I asked him later if he'd ever baptized a man. Nope. Any woman over 30? Uh, one. Any woman over 20? Uh, a few. Then I had the supreme thrill of watching the Prince in action during a mission conference in which we all did tracting for a day. I got to be the Prince's temporary companion in the hopes that some of his magic missionizing would rub off on me - the mission embarassment. We took thre! e young women to an ice cream shop and basically had a date with them. Elder Cano was a Total Charmer and oozed sensuality out of every pore of his skin - he even kissed each one on the mouth when we said good-bye. Later, I heard rumors that the Prince had procreated a little princeling with one of his golden contacts. So those were the tactics I was to employ to get more converts to the Lord's Church?? I was disgusted at the hypocrisy of all this. Okay, okay, I admit that I did baptize one or two super-cute 18 year old boys who had crushes on me. But I never kissed, fondled, or boinked them!

In the meantime, I dropped by the mission office to file some papers and started to ask the fiscal secretary some rather pointed questions about mission funds. Like why were there only two cars in the entire mission (for a geographical area that was basically the size of a smallish Texas)? Why did we live in shacks in the "favelas" while the Prez lived in a mansion in the burbs? Why were there NO bicycles in our mission? Where were all the mission funds from Slick City going? The secretary flatly refused and told me to mind my own business. Later, we had a whispered talk at a quiet burger joint and he explained a few facts to me: (1) Queiroz had been a Baptist preacher all his life and that's all he knew how to do career-wise; (2) he had no way to make a living to support his growing family after his mission was up and he was SCARED; (3) US dollars could be gambled into a lot more money on the Brazilian "black market" so the President had received "carte blanche" from The Brethren to handle his own financial arrangements, with little documentation to back up his transactions. You do the math....

I do have to give him credit when it came to my "erectile problems". One of my companions was a Total Italian Dream Boat so I walked around with an erection for three solid days after we got assigned together. Finally I got "blue balls" so bad that I was screaming in agony and my hunky comp took me to the hospital. I sheepishly explained to the doc what was happening. Bless his heart, he called the Prez and informed him that if I didn't masturbate on a weekly basis that I could do severe damage to myself and become sterile or worse. So the Prez aquiesced (every Mormon a procreator, you know) and gave me official sanction to Do the Dirty while on the mish. The other Elders were totally jealous and wanted to know what my secret was. Of course I couldn't tell them that Elder Afonso was such a hotty that I couldn't see straight! (ahem)

I had several other minor run-ins with the Prezinator but I mostly stayed the hell away from him whenever possible. However we did have another huge battle over a district newsletter that I put together. The mission-wide newsletter put out by the Prez and his staff consisted of a brief message from Him and then PAGES of statistics, letting everyone know exactly where we all stood in relation to the Mighty Prince. This bored me to no end and was absolutely uninspiring. And being the Sunstone Symposium-Dialogue-Mike Quinn-Mormon Underground junky that I had been, I started a district newsletter called "The Kolob". I translated news features from Sunstone into Portuguese, wrote doctrinal expositions on the Pearl of Great Price, reviewed the conflicting versions of the First Vision story, ya know, things like that - anything to keep my intelligence even slightly fed, and all in Portuguese. The first issue was rather mild and I actually received a nice letter of praise from the Prez, which totally blind-sided me.

But then issue 2 came out and he immediately called me to the mission home (a 24 hour train ride away for me!) I walked into his office and he immediately COMMANDED me to cease publishing the Kolob. I refused to do so and he told me that I was wasting the Lord's time on "besteira" (drivel or junk). And I told him that I worked on it only during my P-Day activities and so it was MY time to waste. He again forbade me to publish another issue and I left in a huff. Of course a week later a new issue of the Kolob came out. Queiroz was livid. He yanked me from the very distant town where I had been and stuck me in one of the suburbs near Porto Alegre, where he could keep a close eye on me (the only time I served anywhere near him). He put me in a huge shack with five other Elders and he told them I was not to use any of my P-Day time for study or writing anything except letters to home - no typing under any circumstances. So the other obedient Elders made sure that I didn't have time or access to a typewriter during my P-Day and that was the end of the Kolob.

When The Holy Brethren made the change in 1982 from 2 year to 18 month missions for Elders, I had been out 20 months and so was given the option to leave or stay the remaining four months. I was so over Queiroz and his slimy policies and politics that I bailed. The best two years of my life? HARDLY.

Elder O'Donovan
Brasil Porto Alegre

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Comments: I wish to respond to "Connell the Barbarian's" post about President Queiroz under the title "Under His Royal Highniness. I, too, served from 1980-82 in the Porto Alegre Mission and so can speak directly to the mostly false representations made about what serving under President Quieroz was like.

". . . unfortunately for us Elders. And I mean ONLY Elders, as Queiroz believed sister missionaries to be either totally weak or satanic, and he refused to have any assigned to his mission; the few that had been there when he came on board he had had reassigned to other missions in Brasil, so by the time I arrived there were only Elders in our mission."

I can name MANY Sister missionaries who served under President Queiroz during that exact period of time spoken of. Many of them are still friends with my wife and I to this day. I know, with an absolute certainty, that Sister missionaries served there since I also married one of them! Maybe given your own inclinations toward the same sex you simply did not care for the Sister missionaries yourself so they were invisible to you. Your post, in this regard, is patently false.

"Of the roughly 100 Elders, only 12 or so at any given time were North Americans, the rest being native Brazilians, some from Portugal, and 2 or 3 from Argentina."

This is assertion is also simply false. I arrived in 1980 with three other American Elders and was picked up at the airport by President Queiroz and his two assistants, BOTH Americans! It is true that President Queiroz did not like to place Americans with other Americans as companions, as a general rule, since this could hurt Americans in learning the language or acclimating to the culture. Nothing devious there, actually, a rather good general principle. At least half of the missionaries in the mission were Americans so any assertion otherwise is simply false.

"(North Americans) also had a much more difficult time getting into any leadership positions, because of his discrimination against us."

While their might be some truth to this, the example of the two American assistants from above not withstanding, the reason for this was also thoroughly explained by President Queiroz, a few times, so if your language skills were as good as you claim (Queiroz could not speak a word of English) then you would have known the reason. Brasil was a country where missionary work was thriving. It was growing very rapidly. President Queiroz understood that those Brasilian Elders returning home would someday be the future leaders of the church, in Brasil. Right or wrong, President Queiroz was trying to groom these Elders for leadership positions in the church, post mission. You can disagree with his reasons, but they were certainly not dishonorable.

"(1) Queiroz had been a Baptist preacher all his life and that's all he knew how to do career-wise; (2) he had no way to make a living to support his growing family after his mission was up and he was SCARED . . "

As I recall, President Queiroz was an attorney. He had also been a Baptist minister when the missionaries tracted into him, true, but he was also an attorney. The only thing I ever heard President Queiroz talk about with regard to his post-mission plans was his hope to be the best home teacher he could be. He regularly encouraged all of us to be good home teachers after our missions. That was his biggest goal. In my final interview he predicted (wrongly) that I would someday attain a leadership position in the church that far exceed him. He encouraged me, however, to try and be the best home teacher I could be. Home teaching was a passion with him.

"he immediately called me to the mission home (a 24 hour train ride away for me!)"

There was NO location in the mission that was a 24 hour train ride from the mission home. I served in the two furthest locations from the mission home and the longest distance was a 12-hour, non-stop bus ride. This is just another re-telling of history to fit your version of truth to cast blame for your own sins away from you and onto others.

Was President Queiroz a perfect man. No. He made many mistakes and did things that were very unfortunate. I was one of those who suffered immeasurably because of his human weaknesses. In my last area I had a companion who was, literally, suicidal. He talked about it constantly and confided that he had attempted suicide a half dozen times prior to his mission and had not disclosed this to anyone.

I tried so hard to help this Elder, who was an otherwise extraordinary young man. The work was going so well in our area that President Queiroz sent another pair of missionaries to assist us. That was the opportunity my companion had waited for as now he could vanish without leaving me alone and he did.

Upon going to sleep that night I never saw that Elder again. The next morning I awoke to find him gone and a telegram arrived shortly thereafter from President Queiroz instructing me to return to the mission home immediately. I caught a bus and traveled all night long, arriving in Port Alegre about 6 AM. I took a cab from the bus station to the mission home where I waited, as instructed, for President Queiroz to arrive.

When he did he, about 9AM, he walked right passed me into his office as if I was invisible. About noon he left his office for lunch, walked right passed me again, and left. No one else in the office or mission home would talk to me so I knew something bad had happened. I thought, based on my experience with him, that my companion had killed himself. President Queiroz returned from lunch and again walked right past me as he went into his office, closed the door, and did not come out for any reason.

His day ended very late that night and he again walked passed me. I stood up and said: "President, you wanted to see me and I am here, can you please tell me what has happened." He stopped, looked at me, and pronounced that I knew what had happened, that I was responsible for what had happened, and that he was not ready to talk to me yet. He then left. I was completely devastated, now certain my companion had killed himself.

That turned out not to be the case, fortunately, but my life would be altered thereafter. After a few days of this I confronted him and demanded to know if my companion was okay and what I had happened. He said my companion had gone home, that I knew very well why and what I had done, and that he was going to make arrangements to have me transferred to another Brasilian mission, one with an American mission president, since it was obvious to him I did not like Brasilians.

WHAT!?! I asked him if he had read my letter to him from a month or so earlier where I had asked for his help to assist my companion, where I had told him that I saw him as a second father to me, and he said it was a lie that he had never received any such letter. Over the next week President Queiroz not only refused to talk to me or tell me what it is that I had done, but he ordered me locked out of the kitchen and provided me with no companion and instructed all missionaries in the mission home to avoid me.

During that time I did not have food to eat and would cup my hands under the bathroom sink to get water to drink. As an American and unable to drink the water in Brasil, I became deathly ill. I sent a letter to my former companion, now back home, and told him what had happened to me because of whatever untruth he had told the President. I reminded him of everything I had done to try and help him, to comfort him, to lighten his burdens. I also told him that his reasons for leaving were between him and the Lord, but that he would have to answer to the Lord for having destroyed my mission.

When I reached a point where I thought I might, literally, die, I left the mission home, alone, and took a bus to the only local member that I knew well and also knew where his family lived. His wife answered the door and when she saw my skeletal self she began to cry and called for her husband. I collapsed in his arms. They fed me and then he took me into a room to ask me what had happened. I told him everything. He called the Stake President who rushed over to the house. I was too weak to repeat everything so they put me into a bed where I fell asleep.

The Stake President spent the night on a sofa, I would learn when I awoke. I was fed breakfast and then had a short talk with the Stake President, a man I had met many times before, knew well, and who also spoke fluent English. He said he would accompany me to the mission home to talk to the President and that he would not leave my side for any reason. He assured me no further harm would come to me under any circumstances.

Upon arriving at the mission home I learned a few rather miraculous things. The letter I had sent to President Queiroz almost two months earlier now, the one the President said I had lied about, arrived the day I had left with postmarks from all over the place. That same day, a letter from my former companion had also arrived for President Queiroz wherein he recanted whatever story he had told the President before going home, admitting that he knew President Queiroz would never allow him to go home (he had that reputation) unless he had invented a horrific story.

He told the President I had tried very hard to help him and begged him not to do anything to me because of his own lies. President Queiroz now realized he had made a terrible, horrific mistake and then learned I was missing. He sent all of the missionaries in the area out to look for me into the night and stayed at the mission home the entire night.

When I arrived the next morning, the Stake President and the other member of the church with me, President Queiroz was in tears and so relieved I was not harmed. He was immediately confronted by the Stake President who told him "you will not be permitted to talk to this Elder alone. I will be there with him at all times." President Queiroz told me he had received the two letters and now knew what he had done was wrong. Sobbing, he begged for my forgiveness. He begged me to give him an opportunity to make things right.

After a few hours of intense discussions the Stake President talked to me alone and said it would be my decision what to do. The Stake President was prepared to call the Brethren in Salt Lake and I asked him not to. I told him I wanted to finish my mission where I had been called to serve. He agreed, but he also made as a condition to his agreement that he would regularly meet with me to insure all was well and he did exactly that. I was never told what it was I had been accused of.

Over the years I struggled with the idea that a mission president could have done to me what President Queiroz had done. Whatever accusation was made against me, whatever he thought I had done, could not justify his actions. To my mind, if whatever it was I was accused of was that bad then I should have been sent home, after having been given an opportunity to defend myself, of course. That none of that happened troubled me for many years, I must admit.

Was President Queiroz perfect? No one is perfect. Did he make many mistakes? He did and so did I and so have I throughout my life. All these years later do I still bear the scars of that experience? Yes! I also bear the joy of the many miracles that I personally witnessed during my service. I bear the joy of the precious friendships I made during my service. I bear the joy of having learned to love and be loved by the kindest people I have ever met.

President Queiroz was an imperfect man, but I also knew him to be a good man who loved the Lord. I learned so much from him I could write an entire book on his wisdom. He made a mistake and it was, admittedly, a very big one, but he accepted responsibility for it, asked for forgiveness, and that is what he is entitled to.

More than 30 years later, through countless trials, I still know the church is true and am grateful for the opportunity I was given to serve as a missionary in the Porto Alegre mission. I am certain I know who the missionary is who wrote this hit piece on President Queiroz and I am pained to have inadvertently discovered his post while searching for information on the death of a Sister missionary (my keywords brought me here somehow) and to have read its untruths.

I am also happy to correct the record, while not trying to exonerate President Queiroz from his obvious imperfections. I have overcome many obstacles in my life and my ability to overcome them was learned at the hand and by the guidance of President Queiroz. He was good and imperfect man who did the best he could and I know I am a better man today for having known him.

I have never gone to any mission reunions, precisely because I was not ready to see President Queiroz, but I know I have forgiven him, finally, and somehow this ugly post has helped me to arrive at that much needed point. So to the former missionary that wrote this post, thank you for helping me to finally do what I have tried so hard to do all of these years. You may have saved me.

name: Just a Man - 04/16/2015

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Loren C Dunn's Guilt and Shame Tactics

10/31/2002 - I am someone

I had personal experience with that on my mission. I guess all missionaries do to some extent, because whenever the GAs came to speak (even at the MTC) we were instructed not to tape record it. But specifically, Loren Dunn came to our mission not long after I arrived and was still a trainee. He called a special zone conference. Before he started, everyone was warned that they could not tape him. A few times, with a quick glance around the room for recorders. I turned mine off (feeling a little jipped - I knew something spiritually wonderful was going to be coming from this giant and I wanted to be able to hear it again) dutifully.

Then Loren proceeded to rip all of us missionaries up one side and down the other because we were one of the lowest baptising missions in the church (I think we were in the states the lowest at that time). He threatened, ranted, raved, (For example, I'll never forget one part of his tirade- he said in a quiet voice that the Lord had revealed to him who the most unworthy misssionaries were and then in very loud and angry voice that "Lord god of israel had shown them to him" and that if they wanted him to, he could stand them up in shame and hand them plane tickets home." At that point, most were afraid he was talking about them because anything- sleeping in 5 minutes, not opening your mouth to everyone you saw, etc., could be a serious offense according to the stuff he had told us earlier in the speach.

He also told us if we didn't baptise monthly (mission average was 1 per missionary per year) that we would fail the Lord, and then he would be sure that we "failed in life" and "failed in eternal life". Lots of hurtful things were said that day. It wasn't until I studied my way out of the church 10 years later, that I was finally free of the crap his emotional and spiritual abuse left in me- and I was actually a good missionary- left on my mission in love with the church, ready to serve, baptised several times the average, and served in leadership all but a couple of months my entire mission. But because of him I still felt I had failed and was haunted. When I returned from my mission I had gone from being in love with god, to being afraid of him. I wish to God that I had taped the times he visited the mission- that guy was nuts. He even had us doing a door approach that consisted of "Hello, we are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has sent us to you to tell you that he wants you to be baptised. We are having a baptism next saturday at 7pm, will you accept Jesus challenge to you to be baptised?". This was supposed to work because the field was white all ready to harvest (which is why we were such failures, if the field was white ready to harvest it must be easy to baptise, which can only mean we sucked) and he didn't want us wasting time on those who didn't have the blood of israel, and supposedly those with the blood of israel would respond to the spirit when we gave this Spiritual Giant's version of the door approach and accept.
LOL- can't believe I did that and can't believe the crap I swallowed for that guy.

BUT the worst of it is when I was dealing with it all years later, my folks wouldn't believe it was as bad as I said- and I had no proof because like an obedient idiot, I never taped it.

____________________

I had a mission president in Chicago that had us listen to mind washing tapes as we layed in bed to go to sleep. - 10/25/2002 - anon

Paul H. Dunn was my mission president....

07/02/2002 - D. Perkins

...in the New England Mission in the early 1970s. All the missionaries were just transfixed by his greatness, and especially his great, interesting stories in which he was invariably the hero. Of course, it wasn't until a few years later that the truth came out --- thanks to an inquiring Salt Lake Tribune reporter --- who checked up on some of the dates and the like --- and proved beyond a doubt that many of Elder Dunn's stories could not possibly be true. Of course, rather than admit the truth, the LDS heirarchy simply put Brother Dunn on emeritus status, which quickly and effectively killed the scandal.

Agony in Argentina

05/31/2002 - Arco17@yahoo.com

I served in the Argentina, Buenos Aires South mission from 87-89. I served under Presidents Abad and Aguero. Abad was the quintessential gentleman and Nary had a judgemental bone in his body. His service was ending just as I was arriving and fate couldn't have been crueler. Pres. Aguero had the short man's disease; he had to outdo the world. He was a native Argentine and was going to prove his worth to the Salt Lake Bretheren. Little by little the luxuries of the mission were replaced with hardships and menial petty rules.

He had the spirit flowing through him! My senior companion (another native) was determined to be noticed. We walked instead of taking buses and worked till 2 or 3 in the morning all to stack our hours worked. My companion required that he fill out my weekly report so that our reports matched. He rarely wrote less than 75 hours per week worked and always doubled or tripled our discussions. For Zone conference, we were paraded in front of the zone for our model work ethic and were praised by the president as the ideal missionaries.

Next came the baptisimal fiasco. The AP's planned a zone wide gathering where each set of missionaries (20 or so) would bring every interested convert for a big fireside type inspirational and baptisimal. Sensing the arena mentality, I opted to tell no one, but knew I had to drag at least one unfortunate soul out.

The AP had recieved direct inspiration from the lord about the seating layout (I kid not), in fact he let us all know that he had recieved revelation on most of the details of the promotional show and none of our suggestions were needed.

The seats were placed in rows with one seat behind the other so that no two people could sit side to side. He felt that this would only distract the potential baptisms. It was to be an hour long discussion with testimonies and teaching, with a final push to have a community baptism. The belief was that all would rush to be baptized as they saw their fellow brothers and sisters taking the plunge, and that there would be a sort of obligation if others were doing it.

About 70-80 people were packed in the small church, in this alienating seating arrangement and treated to a 3 hour marathon of crying testimonies and endless drone. As I looked at the kind, loving Argentine people on the verge of madness and dismay at the cultlike techniques employed, I felt a shame like never before. I truly hoped not a soul would give in to this transparent manipulation.

Finally the AP stood in front of all and challenged every person present to be baptized by raising the hand as indication of readiness and willingness. The place went stone dead silent and not a hand went up. He challenged again and nothing. After a long uncomfortable silence he asked again and a brave 9 Yr. old boy tentatively raised his hand in acceptance. The whole place cleared to the baptisimal room thankful that one brave kid spared them any more discomfort and agony.

The whole affair was a monumental flop. I was estatic to see the smug, self righteous AP eat every stupid word he had said that night to us "lower caste" missionaries. Mostly I was ashamed with the most unchrist like and impersonal method utilized by these "inspired men of God" to bring souls unto him. It was then that I realized a mission was NOT to convert and fellowship, it was about numbers!

Stupid Mission President Motivational Tricks
Elder David Letterman Live a the MTC

Lisbon Portugal Mission, circa 1975-77: We had a 100% Missionary Award that each Elder earned by memorizing all of the discussions. You had to recite them to your DL and then have a sort of oral board with the MP, where he spot-checked you on different parts. When you passed you got a certificate, and the Mission wrote a letter to your family letting them know the good news. When my nevermo dad got his letter, he had no idea what it was all about. I doubt he gave a rats' ass, either. He probably muttered something like, "That's nice, Punkin."

At my last Mission Conference, however, I was voted "The Most Trunky Missionary." I got a model 707 as a prize. I was so proud... - 05/31/2002 - from ExMoron

The Arizona Tempe Mission, 20+ years ago, gave certificates to Elders that got the job done. If you baptized two people you got a certificate with a blue emblem, five got you a red. If you were a Wilford Woodruff you got a gold sticker and a trip to the Temple! WOW. - 05/27/2002 - Tom

I served in the Ireland Dublin Mission 1987-89. If you baptised 5 people, you got a specially-made necktie featuring the mission "rod of iron" emblem. My mission president sometimes would have the elect rodders sit on the stand with him when he would conduct meetings. There were 20-30 guys with the rod of iron award. I had zero baptisms, so I received the "piece of shit" award. There was no necktie for that. - 05/27/2002 - Makurosu

In our mission, the prez bought a hand sickle, spray-painted it gold and awarded it each month the the highest baptizing companionship. It was named after that retarded D+C chapter on the field being white and ready to harvest and he who thrusts in his sickle with all his might..blah, blah, blah.

I would just sit there and wonder if the prez and everyone else realized how off base it all was. I mean, if the church is true we should have to motivation to teach and baptize for the gospel's sake. - 05/27/2002 - brainbutter

In Australia the Prez ran an incentive for 2 months - - - a boomerang for the baptizing missionaries. Woohoo!!!! - 05/27/2002 - curious

My mission president had this WILD and CRAZY idea that the motivation for teaching the gospel was the gospel itself and "your concern for your lost brothers and sisters," which is the best and right motivation if you really believe it.

Of course my mission president was also a bit of a clown and had a "past" couched in the 60's, one of the truly and genuinely good, understanding and accepting TBM's I've ever met.

I loved when he would come back from Area Conferences bitching about how stupid and disingenuous the "star on the forehead" mentality of other mission presidents was. - 05/27/2002 - marty_klyman

Don't Send That Letter Home

04/14/2002 - anon

Missionaries are not the only things getting sent home at the discression of mission presidents these days. Missionary letters are also subject to their scrutiny as to whether they are worthy to be sent home or not. No kidding.

My little brother recently came home from a mission in a country where there is a significant threat of violence against the missionaries. In order not to upset their parents, the mission president told the missionaries not to write any negative comments about the persecution or threats they might recieve. He actually had the missionaries sent their letters home to the mission office first for his approval. He would screen them for content and have the missionaries write the letters over if they were not up to his standards. Some months he would sent about half the letters back the the missionaries for another revision. But what bothers me the most is that most of the missionaries quietly complied with this outrageous overcontrol and violation of their privacy. I mean parents I could believe. But girlfriends???

Can you imagine writing to that special spirit back home planning a temple wedding upon your glorious return, knowing that your mission president is going to read and censure every word?

Bankrupt Mission President

10/31/2001 - anon

Fortunately I never served on a mission but I did briefly work for a stake president who was selling his business to an associate so he could be unemcumbered while serving as a mission president in Europe. And of course he had a to have a clean financial statement to go since you know the Lord would never call someone who had just declared bankruptcy to represent Him!

The reason I'm posting this is because I think the M.P. grossly took advantage of the employee he was selling the business to. I was brought in to be the comptroller for the business and it was evident what had happened. The M.P. had two different business, one a small manufacturing concern and the other a sales company. The manufacturing business had constantly been in the hole and the M.P. had siphoned off as much money as he could from the successful sales firm to prop up the manufacturing business. In order to keep the manuf. biz from going totally belly up he pretty much drained the sales company of its liquidity. Then, when the call came to be an M.P., he closed down the manuf. side, leased his patents to another company (making sure he retained some royalties)and then sold the sales company to his associate for a lot of money down and then sizable monthly payments which were going to the M.P. for the duration of his European sojourn.

Result? It didn't take long for me to figure out that the M.P. had stuck it to his associate. We were sending several grand a month to this guy in Europe while we struggled to keep the sales company afloat. While the M.P. managed to avoid bankrupting his manuf. business, the associate eventually had to bankrupt the sales business and himself personally. Returning from his mission in glory, the M.P. then went to a neighboring state, set up a sales company pushing the same products he did before and was back in the chips, his associate (a returned missionary) taking the fall for the M.P.'s prior business misjudgments.

Mission Presidents Own Kids Can't Stand Him

10/26/2001 - anon

I escaped, years ago, from Utah and the whole Mormon hoax. I worked hard at school, married a tall beautiful Lutheran girl from Canada and got a good job. We were able to buy a house in a nice neighborhood where, I thought, no faithful tithe paying Mormon could ever afford to live. I had it made, until the church bought the house next to me for a mission home!

I have watched several mission presidents come and go every three years like clockwork. They make fine neighbors because they have plenty of cheap labor to keep the grass cut and the yard in shape. They travel all the time and they don't make much noise.

I have not been able to stop the constant visits, but it is rather amusing to play the role of the mildly interested long-range investigator and coffee-table philosoher. It keeps me just about as close to the church as I want to be and it keeps a constant stream of cookies, casseroles and greeting cards flowing. I no longer have to fake ignorance about the church, I can now claim to have been a serious investigator for over a decade.

My kids play with the mission presidents kids. These families of mission presidents are remarkable for their rigidity and the latent anger and resentment in their children over control issues. But most of the time they endure silently and present a positive face to the public. The most recent mission president is really something else. He and his wife might have had a stable family before The Call. But once here they seem to think that they have been released from all the pleasant duties of parenthood. Their children have suffered miserably. Their college age girl may have had plans to attend BYU before their arrival and nothing about being the mission president's daughter (200 eligible young missionaries?) kept her here. Their high school age daughter didn't last a month before she headed back to Zion. Geting up at 5:00 a.m. for Seminary didn't sit too well with her. Next, the younger children became incorrigible. They had one of the sister missionaries called to be the mission nanny to take care of these brats. (Imagine paying $375.00 a month to be a nanny!) That didn't work and the little kids had to be shipped off to relatives. Finally their 8th grade boy ran away from home and turned up at a friend's place. It gave them quite a scare for a few hours. Now he is back in Utah.

I don't know what this mission president is doing to his kids but they can't stand being around him and everyone of them has left home. I can only speculate that the constant pressure to be perfect and live the gospel to the letter of the law is too much for them. Children need attention and perhaps the mission president and his wife have become so obsessed with the missionary work that they are not giving their kids anywhere near the emotional support that they need. It must have felt like hell to them or they wouldn't have all left.

A Dour, Joyless, Brown-nosing Asshole

09/20/2001 - anon from Germany Frankfurt missionary, 1974-76

About four months into my mission in Frankfurt Germany a little brown-nosing businessman from Utah was assigned to be the next mission president. Among other uplifting changes he instituted, he added a section to our weekly reports that required us to state whether we had received any mail from members of the opposite sex living within the mission boundaries and whether or not we wore our temple garments night and day. We then were asked if our companion had received similar mail and wore his garments night and day.

I'm now ashamed to say that I answered these questions about myself, but I at least had sufficient backbone to refuse to answer them about my companion. My standard responses were, "I don't read my companion's mail," and "I don't check my companion's underwear."

He hung a sign in the mission office reading, "This is a business office. Please conduct your business with the least possible interruption of the work." His idea of motivation was to tell us that he would be submitting a "blue report" on each of us to Salt Lake at the completion of our missions and that the contents of this report would follow us for the rest of our lives (is this actually done?).

Once when he came to our city to interview the missionaries he told us that due to a big push for more missionaries by the church, he had been told that he could have more missionaries assigned to his mission. But he had declined "because we had the fourth highest number of baptisms per companion pair in Europe" and he "didn't want to ruin the numbers." I almost fell off my chair. Here's a guy who presumably believes that the church offers the salvation of souls to converts and that more missionaries means more converts, yet he was willing to sacrifice souls for the sake of his baptisimal numbers!

The man was a dour, joyless, brown-nosing asshole.

A Nazi Mission President

07/20/2001 - simcon@wans.net.

I was in the Frankfurt, Germany mission from 1978-1980. I believe that one of the previous posters is talking about the same MP I had. He was a German and had served on the German side in WW2 (Ten to one he was a Nazi!)

Anyway, he made us wear businessman hats from October through March. Nobody but older men wore businessman hats. When he walked into the room he expected all of the missionaries present to stand up in honor of him. (This was discontinued when a visiting GA told him to stop it). And like the previous poster said, he tried his best to get us to buy a cassette tape, for $15, of "acceptable" songs sung by some of the office staff and was upset when we told him we weren't interested. I learned later that he had used mission funds to buy recording equipment and he needed the money from us to help pay off the debt. What a nutcase.

PS I would very much like to hear from the previous poster from the Frankfurt mission. My e-mail is simcon@wans.net.

Sending Missionaries Home Early is a Disgrace

07/11/2001 - SLDrone, a former mission president - from recovery bulletin board

I will always believe that these young people who serve missions are some of the best people that walk the face of the Earth. If you can judge a tree by it's fruits, then I would have to say that in general the caliber of young people serving missions is a plus for the collective. I have an incredible admiration and love for those missionaries that served with me, almost as if they are my own sons and daughters.

So it is with that preface that I tell you what it was like to send missionaries home for transgression. I had an occasional elder come to me with a belated confession (something that happened before their mission that they never confessed). Why do they come forward later? Because a mission is harder than they ever imagined, and they become convinced that their lack of success is because of their own faults, of which they must be purged. This is part of the heinous manipulation put upon these young people from a lifetime of mind control efforts beginning at their mothers knee. For the record I never perpetuated this manipulation, I didn't have to, the attitude that "I have to be better, I'll never be good enough" was already well engrained.

When I was a new mission president and the confession was of a "serious" nature I would dutifully call the area presidency and discuss the matter. They would look for my recommendation but essentially any decision regarding sending home was out of my hands. In ever instance I plead with the GA's to let the elders stay. What was my motivation for them to stay? First, I loved them and so I guess I would miss them, second, I wanted to save them from the embarrasment they didn't deserve by going home early, third, I felt that I could help them work through their repentance while continuing to serve.

Even in the most egregious confessions (usually something like having sex with their girl friend after they'd been through the temple and just a night or two before they left for the MTC) I believed that the blood of Christ was adequate to wash away the stains of the truly repentant, their attitudes of repentance being obvious by their unsolicited confession. I saw no need in humiliating them and disappointing their families. I saw no good that could come from such heavy handed and consequantial action against such great young men. And so I would beg the brethren to let them stay in the field and let me help them work through their feelings. I was unsuccessful twice in my pleas for mercy. After that, I quit reporting serious confessions to the brethren. I handled them myself. I made sure the elders understood it was a serious matter, and a couple of times I even told them I'd called the brethren, and amazingly they had given permission for the elder to stay.

And you know, an amazing thing happened. It was often these missionaries with the "tainted past" that really made a difference in the mission. I'm not talking about just baptizing, but about being mature influences, a little less naive and judgemental of others, more comforting to other missionaries who were struggling. I will never regret protecting them from the wrath of their Church. Like I said, I love them.

There is a phenominal shame in going home early. Young men become a pariah, their sins are speculated upon, magnified and guessed and gossiped about for months on end. The parents are treated as if their son had died. The social consequences pale in comparison to the psychological consequences. These young men, already laboring under a great burden of guilt, have now uterly failed a lifetime event. How can they recover from that, their pride and ego intact? They have been scared for life. And why???, because they are human living in a world of inhuman expectations.

Not every mission president is an overbearing, brown nosing oaf looking to be a general authority. In fact, I would say that of the dozens I know, only a small handful would fit in this category, but they are out there wreaking their brand of terror and guilt. It is a disgrace for which they and the Church should hang their collective heads in shame.

____________________

Thanks SLDrone

07/20/2001 - anon

Thank you SLDrone for those inspiring remarks that have uplifted me and renewed my gratitude to one of my favorite companions. My mission president, a native Japanese man, was probably a good decent person but I never felt that I could trust him with anything that might result in the disgrace of being sent home.

I had a problem on my mission. It started when I was assigned to work with the most incredibly miserable and depressed companion. He would not get out of bed or speak to me for days and days. He would cry for hours at a time for no apparent reason. I would leave food beside his futon and he ignored it, although later some of it would be eaten. He drove me crazy. I had to leave the dark cloud that hung over our apartment just to pray. I put up with this for four long hot months.

One day I ran across K. She had been a golden investigator way back but she had not been baptized because she did not want to upset her parents. One thing lead to another and soon we were in love. We didn't go all the way, but we did indulge in some pretty heavy necking. She became my secret companion and she had very creative ideas about converting people. We started this brat English program in a big apartment complex and we organized a missionary baseball team. Subsequent missionaries mined these well-planned programs for many months, if not years, for converts that eventually numbered in the dozens. For the time I rode an emotional roller coaster of nightly lust and daily guilt so intense I thought I would die.

Then I found out another reason why missionaries shouldn't date. It was so cruel and unfair to be separated after only 3 weeks together.

My next assignment was about two hours away and K. started to show up at church there where her parents, who had friends in their local ward, wouldn't know she was attending. She never spoke to me and left me only one short note warning me that my new companion was very suspicious. He was a native Japanese missionary with a bad reputation for being a heartless machine. But we got along just fine. Too much work was far preferable to idle despair. Minor miracles blessed us; things like being able to memorize 10 pages of Lesson Plan in 5 minutes, or getting run over by a bus and not being seriously injuried, or finding good people to teach.

After one month I recieved the call to be a Senior companion for the first time and a DL to 8 of the top new missionaries in a new area that was being opened up. It was a dream come true for the kind of guy who was trying to make it up the ladder to AP. But I was so guilt-ridden by this girlfriend that I doubted my ability to even function independently. I felt entirely unworthy to even be a missionary and the only rationalization I gave myself was that I wouldn't hold a good companion back. I would sacrifice my soul and face the fires of hell trying to be a better companion than I had experienced rather than go home in disgrace because I couldn't carry the burden of my sins.

I told my native companion that I couldn't accept the assignment. "Why?" he inquired. In this unguarded moment I let her first name slip out. One word.

Damn! I thought to myself, now they will find out about everything and I will be on the next plane to Utah.

He looked at me narrowly and informed me that he was entirely aware of my unchaste liason with K. He explained that my sense of unworthness caused me to be humble and to realize that I couldn't do it myself. So I had come to rely on the Lord. And this reliance coupled with a willingness to work was what made us successful and would allow me to succeed in the next assignment. "What do you want?" he asked me. "Excommunication and disgrace?" "Forgiveness?" "I am your Branch President and I officially forgive you. Do you feel any different now? Of course not. The church can not forgive you, only the Lord. Now go get packed, and don't keep the Lord waiting."

"By the way, do you want me to call K. and give her the bad news or would you rather do it?" I let him call K. I said good-bye to her forever the next morning at the train station. He eventually married her.

I have never been entirely free from the dictated feeling that maybe I got away with something and that one day I will face a severe penality for what happened in Japan many decades ago. One stupid question in the temple recommend interview is always irritating to me. This in spite of continued success in a variety of church and career positions over many years.

Ultimately I came away from this experience with much ambivolence and distrust of organized religion. I am still active and I think a church can do much good. But I revolt at some of the claims that our church leaders aways know best and other authoritarian nonsense that trickles down to us. If the church leaders can't trust the judgement of mission presidents with common problems, then they ought to try running the missions themselves.

____________________

My mission president was a retired enlisted man and one of the biggest jerks I've ever met. For the six longest months of my mission I was stationed in the office with him. One morning, before leaving the apartment to report for duty, I got a call from a member who worked with us in the office part-time to help out with landlord negotiations. He had a quick errand that he needed me and my comp to run (since he didn't have a car). I made the crazy assumption that this brother had already approved everything with the prez. Oops!

So my comp and I show up 15 minutes late, which means we missed the daily status/prayer meeting entirely. Since nothing positive ever happened in these short meetings, I was just thinking how cool it was we had an excuse to miss one as we entered the office and the personal secretary got a funny look on his face and said the prez wanted to see me (since I was the sr. comp) ASAP.

I went into the office where Master Sergeant Butthole closed the door and proceeded to ream me a new one at the top of his lungs for over ten minutes. I lost count of how many times he said "at 8:30 a.m. you're #1 priority is your mission president!" I tried to explain, but instead of calming him down it just made him madder and just caused him to yell at the sweet old man who was just trying to help out some dumb American missionaries for free. I felt so guilty and wished I'd just taken the blame myself.

I had so many more problems with him before being transferred back into the field that--even though I hadn't lost my testimony yet--I knew that if the GA buddies whose names he loved to drop ever invited him to join them in the red seats in the tabernacle that I would leave the Church.

As I re-read my mission journals, I'm amazed that I not only survived those six months but stuck it out for the rest of my mission (almost another year) and managed to keep coming up with enough rationalizations for everything that I actually returned home with my testimony still more or less intact (assuming he wouldn't became a GA).

That was a long time ago. I don't go the Church any more (for plenty of other reasons), and he still can't figure out why he isn't a GA. What a beautiful irony!

I served as a missionary in Sydney, Australia 1983 through 1985. I served under President Watts after the infamous Loren C Dunn/President Wright days. During the 1976-1980 Sydney Australia baptised upwards of 1,000/year. To do this the mission President had Day of Pentecost discussions where people where frequently baptised after only one discussion. These mission Presidents had missionaries come to peoples homes and ask if they wanted to bless their home. The Aussies thought the missionaries were fanatics and they had the reputation of sticking their foot in the door and forcing their way in. Needless to say this made if very difficult for missionaries who came after. Less than 10% of the people who were baptized remained active during the 1976-1980 timeframe and the baptisms declined to 200-300 a year during the 1983-1984 timeframe.
- 10/01/2000 - Elsewhere

My son was on a mission is Australia. After he had been there for about a year, he called home very early one morning to tell us that he was having problems with his thyroid. He told us that the MP refused to let him go to the doctor and kept telling him that he would be alright. He kept getting worse and finally a sister in his ward, who was a nurse told him to go to the doctor and she would pay the doctor instead of the mission. He also informed us that morning that he had lost around 40 pounds, was so sick that most days he was unable to leave his apartment. When I arrived at work, I called the missonary department of the church, and was asked if I would be willing to call back at 2 pm, then there would be a conference call between the brother at the church office, the MP and myself. During the call, the MP agreed to let my son go to the doctor. Less than one hour later, the MP called back, said that he had spoken to the church doctors in SLC, and that my son would be on the next plane back to Utah.

A little more than 24 hours later my sone was home. It appears that the MP not only spoke to the church doctors, but also the church lawyers. His refusing to let my son go to the doctor could have been grounds for a huge law suit if my son had died. He was home for 7 months and finsihed his mission in Texas, where they send all of the "broken" missionaries. - 07/17/2000 - anon

Our mission president had several teenage sons and the second one was a wild one. When his father was released after three years they had a reception to welcome his replacement. They told the new president that J. Golden Kimball once said he'd "Rather go to hell than to Georgia in July."

The new mission president gently replied that he felt so thankful to serving the Lord and he didn't feel that way at all. The second son answered, "That's because it isn't July yet." - 07/15/2000 - anon

One of my Mission President's had a cleanliness fetish. I remember two particular instances where he had stepped way over the line of propriety in the name of cleanliness.

The first time was when we arrived in Amsterdam. He welcomed us as we entered the mission home. The sisters were shown to their room by his wife, and he walked us upstairs to the bunkhouse they had set up for the elders. He showed us the facilities, (shower and water closet were in seperate rooms!) When showing us where the toliet was, he started in on how to urinate.

"Elders, when you have completed your task here, I don't want you flipping little drops all over the floors and walls. Sister L******, shouldn't have to have the housekeeper come up here to clean this bathroom after every group of of elders. Just take a square of toliet paper, and dab the tip. Drop it in the toliet and flush. That's all you need to do!"

The second time was at the second set of Zone conferences we had after coming into the country. He stood up, and excused his wife and the sister missionaries, and then said the AP's had a very important topic to talk to us about. We then received a 30 minute lecture on the importance of using adequate amounts of toliet paper, to prevent skid marks in garments. They then proceeded to explain the true and proper way of wiping.

After the AP's were done, Prez L stood up, and said. "Elders, I don't want to get anymore calls from members about having to deal with your dirty clothes anymore. (Very few public laundries in the Netherlands, and members were volunteered to wash our clothes each week...bring the dirty ones to church on Sunday, and pick up the clean ones on Thursday at the church, right after Relief Society.)

Needless to say, he left a lasting impression on a lot of us! - 07/10/2000 - Broederboy@aol.com

My mission president in Germany was a real piece of work. The missionaries were strictly forbidden to have American armed services members buy anything for them at the PX including food. Yet, the MP would fill up his pantry every two weeks. When he arrived in Germany he was appalled that his car was a VW Rabbit. He said he was the Misson President and couldn't be seen driving it. So he got an Audi instead paid for out of the mission fund that we all had to pay into upon arrival. He redecorated his home again with mission funds and bought his visiting daughter-in-law a fur coat. The mission fund eventually dried up so he sold all of the cars in the mission, outlawed any music except Mormon Taberlacle Choir and then had any missionary that could carry a tune come to the office to make a recording of "fun songs" (he also had a couple of solos) then offered them to missionaries as approved music for $15 a piece. Once we had a zone conference in which we were going to visit some castles (hike up to them and take a tour). It was July and hot but we had to wear missionary attire. He showed up looking like a white trash used car salesman complete with white shoes, checkered sport coat, open collar, colored shirt and lime green pants. He made it clear that the reason he could dress like that was because he was our boss and he could do anything he wanted. One of the AP's was from Germany and knew someone who worked for BMW and so he and the MP set a buisness selling BMW's to Americans in which they could buy them cheaper but the MP got a kickback from BMW. All sports were forbidden except for the MP and office staff who played soccer every Monday. He told one of my companions (who was a zone leader at the time) that the GA's just had to make him a GA so that he could have more control over the German Stake Presidents and they would have to do whatever he said. He was psychotic but made me see the church for what it is...the biggest scam of the last two centuries. - 4/17/2000 - anon

Back in the late 70's I had a mission president in Hong Kong who was actually a great person. He was well respected by all, both missionaries and members alike. His only problem was he couldn't pick his AP's worth a damn! I had entered the mission field extremely nave about human nature. I actually thought members of the church, and especially missionaries, had integrity, loyalty, and were trustworthy. I even thought they (we) lived spiritual lives, receiving guidance from the Holy Ghost in all we did. Boy, was I wrong! About four months into my ordeal I was assigned as junior companion to a thickheaded native elder serving as District Leader. He didn't have a clue about spirituality, and had no leadership ability or people skills of any kind. To make a long story short, try as I might, we just didn't get along real well. There was also another companionship sharing an apartment with us, also made up of one American elder and one native Chinese elder. They weren't getting along real well, either.

After a couple of months of this, my naivete came up hard against reality in the form of two AP's whose initials were Elder M. and Elder V.

In our mission the alarm clocks were set for 6:00AM. One morning at about 6:00AM and 10 seconds there was a loud knock on our front door. On the other side was AP Elders M & V, and on their way they had picked up and brought the Zone Leaders. The ZL's were looking rather sheepish, like they didn't really want to be there. I always thought it was a rule in the Hong Kong mission not to be out after 9:30PM, or to be out before 6:00AM. It must not apply to AP's and anyone they choose to drag around with them.

Upon entering our apartment, the AP's made themselves at home. We got dressed, had our joint Gospel Study, ate breakfast, then had a short goal setting meeting before hitting the street. At least that's what we thought we were going to do. The AP's took that short goals meeting and turned it into a four-hour mental whip lashing. Then they decided the apartment hadn't been cleaned properly, so we proceeded to perform a very thorough cleaning. After being thoroughly embarrassed, berated, humiliated, and made to feel lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut, I think we finally got out just before or just after dinner that evening. The end result? We American elders learned how to look Elders M and V in the eye put on a big smile and lie through our teeth! "Oh yes, everything's great in our District. We love our companions. The mission work is going great!" All while I tried very hard not to throw up!

I never did trust another AP, and often looked twice before believing a ZL, too. Upon returning to the States and re-entering BYU I soon ran up against the same idiocy (again) in the form of Branch Presidents and Bishops (see The Foyer, BYU Bruhaha, 08/10/1999 - KJL). Not long after that I took up brewing beer as a hobby. It is much more fulfilling.

- 05/27/2000 - KJL

Our new mission president was an older Samoan guy who had lived in Utah for many years and he did not have a very good attitude towards us American missionaries. One morning right after we got up, about 6:00 a.m. he took us over to the church gym. He set up a chair on top of a table so we could reach the support bar holding the basketball standard. He told the 8 of us working in the mission office at the time that if we could do more pull-ups collectively than he could, he'd let us go anywhere in the mission, do anything we pleased, get up whenever we wanted, etc. But if he could do more pull-ups than all of us put together, then we'd have to "work or little asses off" and do everything he told us to do with no complaints.

I did about 10 and a couple of the others could do no more than 6 or 7. I think our grand total was about 30. The Samoan MP cracked off 50 pull-ups as easily as if he was peddling a bicycle down a hill. Then he let go with one hand and did another 20 with only one hand! Finally he did 20 more with only the other hand.

He told us that if we had more faith we would be able to do more pull-ups and be able to tract more hours and convert more people. It was as simple as that. (I guess Pres Kimball could do thousands of pull-ups?) Something about the guy scared the hell out of me and I never relaxed until I was on the plane back to America. - 05/10/2000 - Faith and Pull-Ups

After 4 months of my mission in northern Cal I had lost 30pounds and was having a lot of intestinal problems. Some days I was to sick to leave the apartment. I decided to return home so I called the Pres. to see what I needed to do and how soon I could be home.He was very upset that I wouldn't take his offer of working in the mission office and living in the mission home. I told him I could wait till transfers in 1 1/2 weeks he agreed, but the next morning I got a call from him saying I was going home the next day because He didn't want me being a bad influence on the other missionaries. So the next morning the AP's picked me up and we headed to the airport on the way we stopped and picked up the Pres. The AP's were in the front and the Pres. and I were in the back seat he proceded to tell me of a covenant he had made to the Lord when he started his term as Pres. "none of my elders will leave the mission until there 2 years is up"(how nice of him to covenant for me:)well I said sorry and that I was going anyway. He then asked me if the Lord asked me himself to stay would I? I didn't respond right off so he proceeded to tell me how he was the Lords Representitive and that he was asking me to stay. I said Well the Lord would have to heal my illness but then I would... your blessing didn't heal me. the rest of the ride to the airport was very quiet.

One more thing He liked to brag about his wealth, he claimed to have sold his home to Larry H. Miller(Owner of the Jazz)when he left to be the "Prez". - 04/06/2000 - Doug L

This isn't a story about a mission president but it is a story about my old branch president which I always thought was strange and funny.

My older brother and I went to the same Midwestern state university several years apart. I joined the Church while in college and the branch president was one of the professors. As it turned out, nine years before he had been my brother's academic advisor. When my brother met him the first time as a freshman they went through the stock interview--what do you want to major in, when certain required classes would be available, etc. Then, out of the blue, the BP asked my brother if he was virgin! My brother was so taken aback by that rather unexpected question that he momentarily didn't know what to say. He did tell the guy that he wasn't a virgin and I guess it was left at that. The guy had a couple of marriage-aged daughters and there were only 100 Mormons in a 100 mi radius so perhaps he was just scouting for them.

When I was a member there was another Morg who was a professor in the engineering dept. This guy was so santicmonious that even some of the GAs would probably be put off by him. I will never forget an elder's quorum meeting where he very confidently said that it would be useful to study such things as geology since we'll need to know that stuff when we make our own planets someday! I thought they came in a kit of some sort! -03/30/2000 - anon

My Mission President told me that I didn't have a testimony because I told him I didn't think it was right that the MTC records telephone call conversations. - 03/25/2000 - anon

My second mission president was a big businessman before being "called to serve." He began micro-managing everything in true big business fashion. It got to the point where our time was pre-determined for us and broken down into 15 minute increments. Not only this, but assignments became pre-determined for which missionary would cook which meal which day, which missionary would clean which part of the apartment which day, and so on ad infinitum.

To add insult to injury, he was obsessed with statistics and performance, of course. At the monthy zone conferences, he would repeat the old saying that 20% of the missionaries accounted for 80% of the results, then added that in our mission it was more like 30/70, so we were doing better than most. Perhaps he thought he was being motivational, but I for one was among the many who hung their heads in shame, for, work as hard as I might, I knew which percentage I had been pigeonholed into. - 02/01/2000 - drshades

I remember being totally disgusted that my MP took his family waterskiing. I though, "what a hypocrite" we can't swim but he can. I believed he was as set apart as I was. - 02/01/2000 - anon

Comment Section

I was on a mission at the age of 72, so I could see what some of these young missionaries were doing. So what some did was way out of line, the way they are crying about how mistreated they were, let them join the army, then they would understand hard work. I'm sorry to see what they put on this site to discourage others, also I think the ones who run this site is using the Missionaries to put their unbelief's and disgusting, attitude out to the public without themselves saying how they feel. I'm sure they will be sorry one day and wished they had not put stumbling blocks in peoples Paths. - 11/30/2014 - Coradean Camery

__________________________________________________

I can give personal witness to what a jerk Loren C. Dunn was. For some reason that I won't go into, I had to have a personal 1 on 1 interview with him before going on a mission, probably due to sinfulness, that I felt I had repented of and was assured of by the proper priesthood authority.

I had joined the church barely 2 years before and was still in the learning phase about the gospel. Well, I was stunned at the cheap "used car salesman" tricks and intimidation I went through with him but finally resisted and came out of it with his (apparently reluctant) approval to let me serve.

He also came to the LTM in Provo and with his usual darkly overbearing intimidation and accusations, left me with doubts as to whether I could serve. Again he came down to my mission and followed the same pattern, telling the other missionaries not to think too highly of missionaries who were older and had served in the military (like me) prior to the mission. (same things he told them in the Provo meeting). He told them that it was they who had been born under the covenant who were the Lord's elect and would be his leaders. Lots of other crap abounded in those meetings too.

Now for the good part.....!!! If I hadn't been convinced of the truthfulness of the restored gospel before I was baptized at age 22, I would have let this complete ass of a megalomaniac chase me right out of the church. My patriarchal blessing is one of the most wonderful things that ever happened to me, and has helped me to get over the damage to my self image and self worth done by people like this who should know better than to act as they do.

Many wonderful servants of Christ have also helped me over the years to look past the errors committed by human beings......even those who are called to higher office in the church. It's a fact that the gospel is true and the Lord's church was restored to the earth along with the word of God in the form of both ancient and revealed scripture. No pompous ass in or out of the church can detract from that in my humble opinion.

I hope those here who have had their own lives and testimonies damaged by overbearing idiots who exercised unrighteous dominion and ecclesiastical abuse upon them may be able to rely on The Lord Jesus Christ and get past all of it and be healed. - 09/01/2014 - Wishing all the best. - Happynow

__________________________________________________

You all obviously didnt become men on your missions. You all obviously werent converted personally to the Gospel on your missions. Get a testimony of the church or at least try the right way, try to sacrifice a little because it wasnt easy for Jesus Christ you think that everyone should do your laundry for you?. Youre wrong and it is the greatest oppurtunity in our life to serve others even if you dont believe you would have grown a little bit and had a good attitude if you had become half of a man. I sure hope you can come back and clean from the things you said about men that have sacrificed a thousand times in their lives what you sacrifice. Grow up and become men. - 01/03/2014 - COME ON

__________________________________________________

It was supposed to be the best time of my life and it started out that way. I had worked with the missionaries in my home town in Northern California so I felt the spirit. The MTC was strange so intense, spiritual, sometimes forced spiritual, some guilt for being normal didn't bother me that much I sort of believed what I believed and let the BS roll off my back. It all changed when I got to Seattle, I was excited and the area was beautiful and so green. My mission president made a bad impression right off the bat. The comments about being committed to the work and having an eye singled to the glory of God was interpeted so differently as I would come to know. I was misreable with my first companion becasue of all the restrictions. We couldn't talk to or socialize with any other Missionaries without breaking the rules. P days weren't our own, we were micromanaged so we couldn't know where our friends were. At mission conferences we couldn't talk to other elders, old companions. We were to enter the chapel and sing then listen and leave without talking to anyone for any length of time. We could talk to memebers and investigators. I was miserable and it gave me a lot of time to think and study the gospel which I have since coming home left. Besides discovering the untruths taught by our leaders, they keep the true history secret. They leaders that are supposed to be inspired aren't led by God, this Mission President I was under wasn't called by God I know a few worthless Bishops that weren't called of God. My President was a prick from hell, he has no love but for his future position as a GA. - 06/12/2013 - Heavens Gate

__________________________________________________

I have no way of knowing how many of these accounts are completely accurate as told. Some almost certainly are; some have likely been distorted in an effort at self-justification. I do not know which are which, and I don't see much point in pursuing the matter. This I know, though: Every one of the people who wrote these is hurting. Humans are humans, and we all make mistakes, and sometimes we go very far into destructive behavior before we either wake up and change, or continue until we are completely miserable human beings. I speak of both types of people here: some of those who made these entries and some of those about whom these entries were written. However, here is the inescapable fact: either Joseph Smith really saw the Father and the Son, or he didn't. By corollary, either the Book of Mormon is what it says it is, or it isn't. And there is only one way of really knowing the answer to those questions: by asking the Lord in prayer. You can intellectualize and analyze and debate and argue (and doubt) all you want, but you'll never get the real answer until you hit your knees with real intent to know for yourself. And to be able to do that, you have to believe that there is a true God, and that He is interested in your happiness, and believe Him enough to trust Him. That's all I really have to say, except that I hope each of you can find your way to inner peace. - 05/21/2013 - blackhawkswincup2010

__________________________________________________

I have read a lot of interesting comments here. As is often the case, they seem to speak more about the people writing them than about the people they are attempting to describe. I know I have a lot of problems myself. In the end, I can only hope that I will have done a little more good than bad in this life. I hope someday the people that I have offended will be able to forgive me. - 11/17/2012 - Spectator

__________________________________________________

Well this is a party pooping party now isn't it? - 05/18/2012 - Ryan

__________________________________________________

I have read many of the stories posted here. I fully understand the challenge of serving a mission (performance pressures, food, companions, health issues, leadership styles). All i can say is that i was a rebellious young man that found peace and happiness in learning to endure. Thanks to the trials i was able to change for the better. - 02/11/2012 - Changed man

__________________________________________________

I have read the above stories most of them come down to imature people complaining about imperfect people. Some of them are pure fiction. The best advise I ever received about the church came from a very inactive member. It has got me through some tough times. He said remember "The Church is true the members are not" On my mission I was blessed to serve under two great men, I didnt always agree with them but they were called of God, not to be perfect but to do what they felt was best. - 02/02/2012 - London South

__________________________________________________

Does anyone remember the Brotherhood of Angels - a secret missionary society formed during the reign of Mission President Spackman in New York. Does anyone remember how the authorities from utah converged on new york and threatened everyone with excommunication if they ever spoke of what really happened in the woodside chapel? - 01/08/2008 - anon

__________________________________________________

I served in Brasil. Our native mission president had obvious favourites amongst the missionaries. I was definately not one of them. He ritually burned, embarassed and belittled me and other missionaries whom he had selected. It's true that I didn't baptise all that much but it sure wasn't for lack of effort, prayer, fasting, work, and obedience. I worked my butt off for the full time. My "interviews" with him were nothing but criticism and comparison with other missionaries. There were other missionaries who he only complimented. In my final interview before going home he gave me about five minutes where he made me feel like all my efforts weren't accepted by the Lord. I've had seriously harsh, hypocritical experiences at BYU too. All these things add up to make the maintenance of testimony extremely difficult. I don't know what the hell I believe anymore. There ought to be some way to reprimand corrupt lds "leaders." - 09/28/2008 - ticked

__________________________________________________

PEOPLE WHO WROTE SUCH UGLY THINGS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY ARE NOT JUSTIFIED AT ALL. THEY KNEW NOT JESUS, THEY JUST KNEW HUMAN TEACHINGS. ONE THAT TRULY KNOWS GOD LEARNS THAT NOTHING IN THIS PATH IS PERFECT, NO ONE IS. HUMANS CHOOSE FROM THE BEGINNING GOOD AND EVIL, IT'S OUR CHOICE. WHY THERE'S POVERTY, SICKNESS, TROUBLES, KILLINGS...? GOD GAVE US THE WILL TO CHOOSE TO DO RIGHT OR WRONG. EVEN WHEN WE CHOOSE TO DO RIGHT, NEGATIVE THINGS WILL COME AS PART OF LIFE. GOD IS NOT TO BLAME. SOME WILL SAY AFTER BAD EXPERIENCES, " HEY, I DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD ANYMORE! " BUT DEEP IN THEIR HEARTS THEY KNOW IS NOT TRUE. THEY ARE JUST MAD AND FILL WITH BITTERNESS 'CAUSE THEY BELIEVED THE WRONG THINGS. PLEASE, READ THE BIBLE, IT HAS THE BEST EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE OF GOD WHO SUFFERED EVEN WORST THINGS. AND ALSO, CHRISTIANITY IS HISTORY, NOT ONLY A SPIRITUAL BELIEF. - 09/19/2008 - Believer

__________________________________________________

it's unfortunate that most (if not all) of you don't understand the first thing about the religion you are (or were) a member of. Maybe one day you will grow up and possibly start to comprehend. - 09/08/2008 - you are all quite sad

__________________________________________________

Well my mission was no pleasure cruise either and it did take me some years to figure out what that experience was all about. But all of this railing on other people, even if they were your mission presidents, does absolutely no good. If you feel you have been wronged, seek to forgive. Man, do you all know who was wronged the most? You got it, The Savior. Did He call down the powers of Heaven and curse all who spit on him, drove nails through his body, mocked him, and inflicted more pain on him than we could ever understand? NO. He simply asked His Father to forgive. I know how you feel about mission presidents who are whacked out but that's their cross to bare. Yours and mine is to forgive and do the best we can. Peace to you all! - 07/09/2008 - Gene Wraydor

__________________________________________________

ive read all the letters about past mission presidents and the unfortunate experiences they had. its hard to believe these stories eventhough i dont doubt some are true. all i can say is that the church has to be true or some of the mission presidents and missionaries would have destroyed it a long time ago as well as some of the g.as.

my mission was not a happy one, the misson was hard, the people were the most crudest vulgar people id met anywhere up to that time[except for the members.] my mission prez was a good man a rich lawyer his wife was sweet but sort of a pain , she was obsessed with manners. their children were real brats that most of us would have loved to terrorize if given the chance. iam sure that being grown now theyre both active wonderful people. the missionaries in my mission were wierd and difficult in my opinion to endure. but inspite of that babtisms were accomplished.

having said all that and much more negativity that i could say, iam glad i went. and i was the worst missionary there i lived on the edge. could i do it all over again i wouldnt pay attention to the political b.s of the mission. i would just shut my mouth ,obey all the rules both spirit and letter and try to be the best i could. i would offer the church to the people ,if they didnt want it that would be fine. iwouldnt worry if the prez was unhappy with my performance or any visting ga. i would respectfully tell them i was doing my best.

as i said i culd say much more negativity about everything in my mission. but during my mission i saw the church change lives for the better, it gave them hope and fufillment that nothing else could have.

as for my bad experience . i accept a lot of the blame for that. - 03/08/2008 - c-man

__________________________________________________

those are some pretty interesting stories. it's funny when you really think about these people in these stories, what kind of people are they really? many of the stoies seemed like someone had a bad experience with someone then decided that the church isn't true. people like this are always looking for someone or something to blame their promblems on. just to "get out", it's soooo sad. i've seen it happen many times before. those people NEVER had a solid testimony to begin with. if they did they would realize that people aren't perfect but the church is. these people have some seriuos issues to attend to. stop blaming others for your misfortunes and get on with life! - 03/27/2008 - wow!

__________________________________________________

I served in Perth Western Australia and have nothing but admiration and respect for the man under whom I served. My experience as a stake missionary in Sydney was completely different. When President Eral C. Tingy was released Elder Loren C. Dunn replaced him. Dunn proceeded to scared the snot out of his missionaries and forbade missionaries to dine with members. I remember being in a meeting with Dunn one balmy Sunday morning. It was 105 degrees and the bishop's office had no AC. The bishop asked Dunn if he would like to remove his coart. Dunn replied "no thanks, I'm fine. People freeze to death but I've never heard of anyone sweating to death". The amazing part was literaly not sweating. The rest of us were in our shirts and were drenched. He required the male msiionaried to wear their suit jackets at all times as the tracked Sydney streets in post 100 degree heat.

The obeideint missionaries wore their coats like a burka. He had the missionaroes terrified and convincced that iff they only read their mail on their day off, and fasted often God would bless them with baptisms. What happened was the missionaries lost weight from hunger and heat exhaustion. Later when I was a full time missionary in Perth Elder Dunn was the Regional Representative. He came to talk with our mission and said exactly the same sacry things he said in Sydney. I was petrified because he said "if you do not do absolutely everyting to warn each and every Australian in your area that they must repent and be baptized their sins will be on your shoulders". I was shaken because I was serving in the heroin infested red light district of Perth. We had sailors from all over the world engaging in all sorts of sexual activity and drinking themselves into stupers. I went to speak to my Mission Pres who told me "don't worry, Elder Dunn has a habit of overstating things that only he thinks is correct". In the very same meeting he repeatedly warned us not to record his comments. At one stage he began talking about spiritual transformation. He asserted that as one begins to become more and more like Christ one's whole appearence begins to change and "eventually takes upon the very appearence of Christ". It was an erie moment becuase he raised and stared at his hands while he said it. After I left for my mission in Perth, Elder Dunn's cousin replaced him as Sydney Mission Pres.

The new Mission Pres's name escapes me now but he was suddenly released early and sent home in shame. Apparently he was advising the feamle missionaries not to marry when they got home because they would be his wives in the after-life. One of them wrote a letter to her father who was a stake pres. He informed the GAs and they took action by replacing him with Joseph Wirtlin. The disgraced Mission Pres used to have them kneel and pray for confirmation that they would be his wife just like Dunn had investigators pray on the spot for confirmation that they should be baptized. It has always seemed strange to me that you cannot find anything online about this contraversial wife hungry Mission Pres and his disgraceful beliefs and behavior. - 11/10/06 - Cal

__________________________________________________

What good does it serve to focus on the these things that are posted if they do not offer a chance to feel confidence in your salvation. If any of you saw this last conference, one of the talks was about not letting the actions of another keep you from the blessings of the gospel. Please respect that there are many who do not have all the answers for you. You must learn to know what is right for you, and have faith in that. I am saddened that so many of you had bad experience. Know that one day, when you are older and the events of your life play before you as you begin to pass; know that you were an impact to this life, and it was up to you what you focused on. Do not remain idle in regret and frustration. You choose your destiny, and the perspective you have on this life, and the works that you do. You decide to believe someone, or decide for yourself. I know that no one is perfect, and that I do not feel bad about it. I also know that I will not let someone tell me what, or who I am. I know who I am, and that I continue to change because I am not yet perfect. It is as simple as a decision to laugh at how foolish I can be. What else should I do in this time of trial? If you follow your heart, you will be fine. Forget these things that set you back and focus on gaining understanding. - 10/06/2007 - anon

__________________________________________________________________

Post your story or comments in this text box.

Name or handle:

E-Mail - leave blank to remain anonymous:

-

Home - Site Map