Saturday, February 16, 2008

I have bent for you.

What my mission did for me: (in no particular order)

1. Provided an experience where I felt like I had done something substantially good--something selfless. (important when you have to forgive yourself).

2. Provided an experience in which I could experience both celibacy and happiness and therefore understand what it would take to be celibate. (important when deciding if this is the right option for me)

3. Provided a place where I was surrounded by and loved by men. The fraternity is almost inescapable. It is wonderful to call other guys every night and tell them how much you love them and hear them tell you how much they love you--and it's all acceptable! (important for creating the experiences I felt I had missed)

4. Provided a place where I didn't have to worry about women. Or dating. Or pretending. (just plain relieving)

5. Allowed me to experience the "peak" of the Mormon experience--the Temple endowment and mission rite of passage. (important when looking back with no regrets--I tried it all).

6. Allowed me to do everything I could to change my orientation. My mission let me have the satisfaction of knowing that I had done everything I could to be the perfect righteous Mormon I wanted to be. (so that I could say I did everything and still didn't change).

7. Gave me really cute guys to live with and develop crushes on so that during spiritual experiences, when the Spirit was clearly there, I could also simultaneously feel attracted to men. (important for realizing that God is not offended by my feelings/attractions).

8. Taught me how to love other people. (important for when I decided that being emotionally alone is not good).

9. Taught me how to think about someone besides myself. (important for when I decided that it is not good to be the center of the Universe).

10. Forced me to get out of my comfort zone--to talk to people I didn't want to talk to, and perhaps even harder, to socialize with men in ways that scared me. (important because life can't be lived within a comfort zone).

11. Provided my parents with the joy of having a son fulfilling their dream for him. (hey, they liked it, and there's nothing wrong with that).

12. Taught me to love myself--gave me a self esteem. As I was successful, I started to actually like myself. (important when stopping self abusive habits).

13. Provided me with a constant, high dosage of Mormonism so that I could decide if I wanted to leave the Church or not. (important for realizing that even being completely immersed in Mormonism wasn't enough to fill my needs).

And so I can honestly say that I loved my mission and that I don't regret it at all. It gave me so much that I needed. I never could have come out or stopped hating myself or gotten to the place where I am today without the things that I gleaned from my two year sacrifice. If these are things that you need, you might consider the mission as the place to get them. If not, maybe the mission would give you something else--something that you do need. Or maybe a mission is not for you. Maybe you can get these things somewhere else. I do know that I never could have known that these are things I would get from my mission until after it was over. Good luck you people who are deciding if you should serve a mission!


Peter said...

14. Helped others to find the Church and change and become happy. I watched other's lives improve because of the gospel principles. (important when realizing that though it is great for them, it hasn't happened to me).

Peter said...

15. I learned how to whistle. When you knock for hours and hours, and you don't want to, you do things like learn how to whistle. (important because in life you will always have to do things you don't want to do, and it helps to know how to whistle).

Vanson said...

Awesome blog, Peter.

I think I should consider most of those benefits over the next year if I decide to go.

Right now I am just preparing, so if the opportunity arises, I can serve.

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

I am also glad I went on a mission, for many of those reasons, but for me, mostly because I was able to become fluent in a foreign language, which has become an important part of my career (when ever that starts!)

For me, 5,6,7, and 13 are high on the list of experiences that have helped me realise what path was best for me.

Crow's View said...

You know if you look at what motivates a convert its being willing to sacraface your wants and desires for his. It also means being willing to accept what he wants over what you want. Those people are searching for the truth and it touches them. I think a lot of us who have it have never really felt an urge to find it and grow complacent in it. We need to want it as much as they do before we will ever feel it for ourselves.

Sneakers in Sacrament said...

I wanted to go on a mission, unfortunately i became a casualty of bar raising. To this day it bothers me. A kid i went to high school with partied on weekends and slept around and is currently on a mission. I had a moment of weakness (or possibly two moments), yet due to my attraction it was the end for me. I am kinda glad i dont have to go now, however i am still bitter that the church told me i could not go. It is interesting to get a view of what i missed out on.

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

The lie that GENERAL AUTHORITIES spread that the church doesn't treat people differently based solely on sexual orientation is one that never ceases to anger me.

Why is having homosexual sex a sin so serious that investigators have to confess it to a mission president? It is treated the same as abortion.


Crow's view,

I have no idea how your comment pertained to peter's post. Why do you feel the need to moralise at everyone?

Anonymous said...

I love this post! I can't wait for these things to happen to me!