Elder Peper

My Mission Experience

Manager vs. Leader


How are things going with you? Things are actually going really great with me on my mission. This last transfer has been different for me. It was a hard transfer. I had a lot of stuff to deal with, but I think I got through it okay. I always hate going to a new area and having to meet new members and start over learning the streets and everything. My companion and I got off to a rough start because of a misunderstanding before I came to this area, but it really wasn’t a big deal when I got here. I’m still learning patience…that’s been hard for me this transfer. I’ve been having to excersize my patience a lot over this transfer, and I think I’ve gotten a little bit better with that. I still think it’s one of my many weaknesses, though.

The ward here is really awesome, and I’m getting to know more and more people all of the time. The ward is really young, which is different from Shawnee, but it’s pretty cool. I would say a majority of the people in our ward are OU students. I like it here a lot, but I’m around a ton of missionaries. Which, can be a good thing, but it has it’s many downsides as well. There is a lot of really ridiculous drama that goes on around the mission, and I just prefer to stay away from it, which is difficult to do when you are surrounded by it. Also, I’ve noticed that the mission can be very political. For the most part you have missionaries that came out to do missionary work, but you also have a select group of missionaries whose whole goal in their mission is to climb to the top of the ladder because they think they will be happy with the “power” that they imagine comes with being a Zone Leader or an AP. Those are the types of missionaries who abuse that power when they come into it. It doesn’t happen all that often, I think; however, it happens. I have the audio of a really good talk by Hugh Nibley who talks about the difference between being a Manager and being a Leader. If you can get a copy of that talk, it’s a really good. He compares Captain Moroni to a leader and someone else in the Book of Mormon (I can’t remember whom) to a manager. A leader is someone like King Benjamin who is one of the people and is a servant of the people, like Christ was. A manager, on the other hand is someone who tells people what to do and has a high esteem for himself. It’s a fascinating talk. But yeah, I kind of like to be away from all of the drama and missionary politics, but I’m happy in Norman. Really. It’s not that big of a deal, just more of an observation I had.

Oh, transfers… Well, I’m staying right here in Norman and Elder Evans is getting transferred to Anadarko, which is a really small town. I’ve been there once before. My new companion is Elder Egbert. He’s been out for 6 or 7 months I think. President initially told me that I was going to get a companion who had only been out for 6 weeks, but they had to make a last minute change. I hear he’s a cool guy, but I’ve never met him before. This transfer should be a good one. I’m going to miss Elder Evans, but I’m excited about this next transfer. Elder Palmer is also coming to Norman to be a Zone Leader here, so I will have him as my Zone Leader which I’m really excited about.

Our investigators seem to be doing all right. There are some that it’s hard to get them to keep their appointments, but they are really good investigators. That’s missionary work, I guess. It can be frustrating sometimes, but it can also be really good. Vicki is doing really well. She is going through a really difficult trial right now, but she’s a really strong and faith-driven person. It’s fascinating really.

Well, I should probably get going. Thanks for everything. I miss you guys a bunch and I love you. I will make you a deal. If you don’t tell anyone, I will call you in about 2 and a half months, okay?


Elder Peper


October 11, 2010 - Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper, Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Poor Riley. The “missionary politics” has been going on for years and years. Bill still talks about that and how he struggled with several Zone Leaders because it was nothing but a power trip for them and they loved to have the prestige of the title. Those aren’t truly converted missionaries, because they seem to forget that Jesus Christ, whom they are trying to emulate, never had a “prestigious title” when he was serving his mission on this earth.

    Comment by Denise | October 12, 2010 | Reply

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