Look, I loved the MTC, but to be frank, it is not the mission field

29 มี.ค. 65

Look, I loved the MTC, but to be frank, it is not the mission field

The MTC, The Mission Field, and “Follow Your Trainer” If you asked Ricciardi today about what it was like to have me as his companion, I am sure he would tell you that in the two months we spent together I was not humble, and did not buy into his way of doing missionary work. It is true, I fought him on stuff that I now look back with hindsight and realize was my pride and arrogance, and to a degree pure ignorance. The MTC training is invaluable, but naturally it is limited, and when you finally do arrive in the field, best android apps for hookup 40s you actually think you know quite a lot.

In those training sessions mission presidents are instructed on how critical trainers are in the mission field

After all you have spent THREE TO EIGHT WEEKS LEARNING WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A MISSIONARY. I capitalized the words to emphasize a bit of sarcasm. Truth is, you arrive knowing relatively little. Granted, you know more about gospel stuff than ever, but you still arrive fairly naive to what the work involves. So when your trainer tells you “do this, don’t say that, you pronounced “coriantumr” wrong it all gets under your skin. The new missionary would like to feel acknowledged for something, for crying out loud YOU HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME AT THE MTC PREPARING. Here is the deal that every missionary needs to know. Follow your trainer, because it is my contention that the most important calling in the mission field, even greater than Assistants to the President, Zone Leaders, District Leaders is hands down without question the Trainer.

Why? Because they represent your introduction to the mission field, they set the pace of your missionary habits and disciplines. Post mission I worked at the MTC during a couple training conferences for newly called Mission Presidents. I trained once, Elder Degala was my greenie (meaning brand new missionary), and he would tell you today that we did not get along because I pulled a Ricciardi on him, and trained him the way Ricciardi trained me, which was demanding, full of boldness, and it drove him crazy because Degala had spent A LOT OF TIME IN THE MTC PREPARING. Someone once commented “Surely the legendary Elder Ricciardi was an Assistant to the President”.

No. In fact he ended his mission a district leader (which he had been for a long time), never a zone leader, or AP. But here is what is mind boggling…he trained 4 times. Training more than once on your mission is very rare. In fact I only know of one other missionary from our mission who trained three times. Training is the most difficult calling in the mission field. Elder Ricciardi trained 4 times! Why would the mission president not use Ricciardi in leadership positions such as AP or ZL? I’ll tell you why, because every Mission President knows how vital a properly trained missionary is. Trainers make such a huge difference, taking what might have been a mediocre missionary and lighting a fire of confidence and spirituality.

I met so many missionaries who were either trained by Ricciardi or had simply been companions

Our Mission President knew Elder Ricciardi’s personal influence could be magnified by training 4 missionaries, who would train 4 more, who would train 4 more let alone the impact through future companionships of all those missionaries. We all shared the same stories about his stubbornness, boldness, and spirituality. We differed on our feelings of getting along with him or not, but all unanimously agreed Ricciardi served a mission to the maximum extent a mission can be served, with all his might, mind, and strength. Ricciardi was too straight talking and bold (and I mean Italian Bold) to be an AP or ZL. He would have called down hell, fire and damnation on any missionaries not being obedient.