Monday, March 17, 2014

Becoming a Person I Never Thought I Could Become

Before I relate the events of the last seven days, I first need to thank those of you who e-mailed me this week. The words you wrote were exactly what I needed to hear. I can tell you with the utmost assurance that all of them were divinely inspired.


On, Monday evening, something happened. Elder T began to once again mentally abuse me. One of the ways that he tries to manipulate people and he especially uses it with me because he has seen that it works really well on me is trying to guilt me into doing things. And he was trying to do that to me right then. But instead of slowly being guilted into doing what he wanted me to, I held fast. And I felt a little bad because it seemed like I was just being stubborn, both to myself and to him. But eventually he wore down, and he started telling me about how he had an extremely hard time growing up and about how the Gospel helped his life so much and that that was the reason that he came on a mission. And so I told him about how it was hard for me to work with him when he was so critical of me and he apologized, and so I thought everything was going to be fine. Because now we were on the same page.


However, as had happened every time before when I thought that we had worked things out and I gave him the benefit of the doubt, I was mistaken.


The next day, when we did our extra hour of companion study for my training, he began to criticize me, and many other things, and so I took a mental step back and just let it pass over. But he could see that I was beginning not to listen and so he got upset. And yet again, he began to lecture me about the same things that he always does, and he started to destroy all of my confidence that I had had about everything the night before.


So I just sat in my chair, and stared at the same spot, praying in my heart "what should I do?" I knew what I wanted to do, and that was call Elder G, but Elder T always indirectly tried to make that solution sound like the worst possible thing, because he didn't want me to do that, and I knew that if I tried to use the phone, he would get upset. So I prayed and asked "Do I need to run outside and call Elder G?"


I felt the confirming feeling of the Spirit, and so after summoning all the courage that I could find, I finally stood up, firmly took the cell phone, and ran outside to the top of our apartment building. I called Elder G and told him "I'm in trouble."


I told him what was going on and he asked if I had already called the Mission President, and I was kind of astonished. It hadn't occurred to me that this was that magnitude of a problem. He told me that he'd call me back and to wait for his call. That's when Elder T found me. So I ran. And I hid behind our apartment building and waited. Elder G finally called me back as I was running back up the stairs after having been found again and told me after I saw Elder T riding away on his bicycle to call the Zone Leaders, and that he would call President Yamashita because Elder T was probably going to find a phone so that he could call them first.


The Zone Leaders told me to sit tight and so I went back into the apartment to wait for either the sister missionaries or Elder T to come back and that Elder G was coming to talk to us both. Elder T came back first and then proceeded to tell me all the things that I had done wrong in the situation, and that they would never believe that something was actually wrong because he had never done anything to physically hurt me. But he told me that I could lie all I wanted and that I could convince them that he did everything, but that it would all be on my head when judgement day came.


After that I was really nervous. I knew that I couldn't exaggerate anything. What did not help was that throughout all of this, he was so calm. Ridiculously calm, because he didn't really care what happened. He doesn't care about anything really. He just pulled out his iPod touch and started watching anime.


We waited for an hour, and then they finally arrived. Elder G wanted to talk to Elder T first, since he had talked to me on the phone, so I was alone with Elder P.


"So, what happened," Elder P asked me. I told him about how everything had gone while I'd been here in Fuji. How I always tried my hardest, but how I always was beating myself up because I always thought everything was my fault because that's what Elder T kept telling me.


After a little while, Elder P said "that sounds really familiar."


Elder P has a lot of problems that make it really difficult to do missionary work, he just does some weird things, but now everything made sense. What was happening to me had happened to Elder P before, he just never could do anything about it. All my worry about what Elder T had told me when he came back instantly vanished.


When I got to go in to talk to Elder G, I told him everything. Start to finish. And we talked about what we should do, and he asked me some questions that he had after talking to Elder T and we both came to the conclusion that something was really wrong with Elder T.


Luckily, the next day, I got to go on an exchange to Numazu. And so we got to talk some more, and talk about what needs to happen. And it was so nice. I wish I could tell you everything that we talked about, but that would take far too much time. But he did tell me that he knew I could do it and to keep up everything that I had been doing. And that he cared about me a lot.


Through the following days, we haven't done much in Fuji. Elder T mostly just continues to watch Anime, and I sit in the front room and study, and I thought we would just be able to hang on until transfers next week. Because he obviously doesn't want to do missionary work, and I psychologically can't do mission work with him because that just makes everything worse. But today we had an appointment with a member and things went from bad to really bad. As we were walking from the train station to his house, he started tearing me down again. Telling me that it was all my fault that things were as bad as this and if I had just chosen to do missionary work that everything would be better. That I was going to just suffer my whole life because I was just taking the easy way out. That I was letting everybody down. And then after the appointment his words got more hostile, more doubting, more accusing, until I just could hardly stand it. He uses my own words and even the words of men of God to try to destroy me.


I prayed and prayed for help. I knew that I was doing the right thing. He is destroying this ward and the people in it, but now I am his scapegoat and I have to take all the blame. Then we came here, to the internet cafe, and I saw the words that everyone had written to me and I knew I was going to be alright. That I have been transformed from the somewhat selfish, somewhat proud, somewhat downtrodden teenage Alex Mueller I was a couple of years ago into someone who is strong in faith, hope and charity. Whose patience is so much greater than it used to be. And even, dare I say it, much more humble than I used to be. Because I know through whose power I was transformed this way, and it is definitely not my own.


Throughout all of this, I stayed silent. I knew that anything I said would be used against me, and that if I lashed out at him in rage then I would be stooping to his level and that I would just have to bear it. I only have to last one more week. And tomorrow I have another exchange with Elder G, and I have asked him to give me a priesthood blessing. I know the Lord will provide for me, and that even as I am forced to listen to words that jab my heart like poisoned needles, he will bear me up.


He says he cares about me, and about the ward, but he does not. I wanted to trust him, when I came, but he betrayed my trust over and over. I still love him. I still care about him. I want to see him change, to be happy. But he is determined to be miserable, and also to make everyone around him miserable.


Please. Pray for me. I will need it.


-Elder Mueller

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