Saturday, June 18, 2005

24th day of the mission

Over at Times & Seasons, Rosalynde has bravely posted her journal entry from the 24th day of her mission. As I publicly called for a contest for the worst entry (before having a chance to peruse my journal), and as Rusty has already bounded into the lead with his classic entry, I guess I'll have to reluctantly add my own.

I should mention that my mission journal was written down in much the same way as the Book of Mormon. No, not through inspiration, but rather without any punctuation or capitalization. I have attempted to divide the entry into sentences to make it slightly less annoying for the reader. But if the entry sounds rambling, you should keep in mind that it is all one stream of words on the page.

Rusty’s entry may have crying in it, but it can’t compete with mine for whiny teenage angst.

Friday 13 Sep 96

Rained briefly today but was only a harbinger of nothingness. [I should point out that “nothing” was, besides its literal meaning, also my code word for not receiving any letters from a certain female.] Felt weak in shower like I had been fasting all day. I liked the feeling, especially since I didn’t have to starve myself to feel it. [It is an odd coincidence that I just mentioned this on my blog the other day.] The Coke I got from [Elder N] yesterday seems to reinforce my soul. [I don’t know what that means. Elder N procured some caffeinated Coke Classic for me, as I was coming to grips with a 2 liter a day addiction to it.] I am afraid I will have to go through withdrawal syndrome this time since I didn’t have any symptoms when I came into this place. And I’m afraid the caffeine-free Coke will never taste the same again but the real stuff tastes great for now…

I seem to have found a kindred spirit in [Elder N] since he doesn’t seem as sold on the whole mission thing as everyone else (but more than me at times). He is a rollercoaster of spirituality and he takes a lot of things personally and he hates the “politics” of this place but he takes it a lot more personally [wait, does he take things personally?] because I really don’t care at all. As I always say, apathy is my only virtue, like a foot in the pearly gates. I don’t even know if that has a scriptural reference. I might never see them [the pearly gates] for that express reason.

Will I wait forever? Rain, rain never tells me anything anymore. It used to be my only oracle. Don’t you know my weakness is my only talent, my only pleasure now? Will I always have to wait in vain? [too much Bob Marley here?] And horrible coldness that burns my bowels and melts my brain, waves over me in a revolting sweep of separation. [Ooookay…..] Will Isaiah 52:8 mean nothing forever? [I looked up this scripture, and I have to say, I have no idea why I mentioned it.] My new theme word, my new life is nothing, nothing, nothing.

Thumbing through my mission journal, I realize it could have been worse (but not much!). Fortunately, the stuff I write about gets more interesting and less navel-gazy once I finally get to South America. I was a ridiculously prolific journal keeper; I have five college-ruled notebooks packed with entries (most of them, hopefully, better than this one). After my first week in the MTC, I didn't miss a single day until I got home, and I often wrote over a page a day. I think it was only the journal that kept me sane through those two years. Sadly, I haven't made a journal entry since, probably because nothing since has seemed quite as interesting.


Rusty said...

Oh, Ned, that is good. You were sure poetic. Pretty much the opposite of me. The best way I express my feelings is by saying stuff such as "dude, I totally felt the Spirit!!" Yours is quite self-important, though it's tough to beat the crying. Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I will do a post requesting the MOST embarrassing mission journal entries anyone can come up with. That would be awesome. I'm sure I have some worse ones in there. What do you say?

Rusty said...

And by the way, it appears that we went into the mission about a week apart. Where did you go? I went to Guatemala.

NFlanders said...

Yep, Rusty, it is some pretty mortifying stuff. At least I can cower behind my anonymity.

Regarding a contest for most embarrassing journal entry period, I can only say BRING IT ON! I mean, this is just what I got from a random day, who knows what gems are lurking in there? I am sure I can rustle up something even more embarrassing.

I went to Argentina. We probably went to many of the same meetings at the MTC.