Monday, February 4, 2013

Mission Presidents Are Awesome

On Saturday night I had the opportunity to hang out with my Mission President.  (Ten years ago, I served as a missionary for my church in North and South Dakota.  A Mission President is the individual assigned by the church to oversee, inspire, motivate, teach, train, preside over, love and serve the missionaries.)

There are few people in the world that have had as profound of an effect on my life as President Mecham.  He helped teach me and mold who I was during a very important and influential period of my life.  It's been several years since I've had a chance to talk with him.  It was great to see him again and remember what a true inspiration he has been.

I have developed so much respect for this man, and I have always thought he was someone I want to be like.  I thought I would talk about just a few of the attributes I would like to emulate.

He is kind
As a new missionary, I flew into the Rapid City, South Dakota airport and was picked up by President and Sister Mecham.  I remember being terrified because I didn't know what being a missionary was going to be like.  We spent our first night at their home, before being assigned to our first mission areas.  We ordered pizza and just got to know each other.  I remember that he really made me feel at ease.  He made me feel like I had a true friend who was in my corner.

He also made me feel really short.
He takes the time to teach
I remember one time I was really struggling with keeping the missionary schedule.  I worked hard all day and was just exhausted.  I couldn't get myself out of bed at 6:30 in the morning.  He taught me an important lesson, and he did it in a way that wasn't condescending or rebuking.  He simply said, "Let the spirit command the flesh."  He taught me how to overcome that weakness of mine.  And he did it in a way that made me feel loved.

He is in tune with the will of the Lord
As a missionary, I had multiple experiences where I knew I was exactly where the Lord wanted me to be.  One of the duties of the Mission President is to assign a missionary to his area of service.  There were times where I got a call that said that I would be moving 500 miles away tomorrow.  Those times frustrated me until I got to the new area and met the person that only I could touch, for one reason or another.  I was so glad that President Mecham listened to the Lord, and not my whining.

He is fun
One time, my companion and I were dropping off another missionary at the airport in Fargo, ND.  We saw these awesome viking helmets and knew in our hearts that we needed them.
We make this airport gift shop look good
We took them home and decided they were our "zone leader authority hats".  Naturally, all those in our zone understood and recognized the power they gave us.  One time at Zone Conference, we smuggled in our authority hats.  We pulled our Mission President into a side room and showed them to him.  We asked him to wear one for us.  Naturally, he tried it on.  He could have told us that missionaries shouldn't be so silly.  But he humored us and had fun with it.
If he'd have seen this picture, he may have told us not to be so silly.
He builds people up
As a missionary, every time I saw him, he made me feel like I was awesome.  Even now, I get excited to see him, partly because I know I'm going to feel like a hero after talking to him for a few minutes.

There's lots more I could say.  He really is someone I'd like to be like.  But, at least there's one attribute that he has that I have also mastered.  He looks good next to his awesome wife.  I've got that one dominated.

1 comment:

  1. This warms my heart! Thank you for always making me feel amazing.


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