You know it's going to be an interesting class when your lecturer basically singles out missionaries from your church for an example....and not necessarily a good one.
I am not ashamed to say that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Today I had the opportunity to stand up for those beliefs and to be honest I was surprised at how I reacted. As soon as my lecturer mention the proselyting missionaries and asked if any body had heard of them, I kinda blurted out "I'm a mormon". It was a surreal experience. All eyes were immediately on me.
My declaration was quickly followed by a new boy in the class who said that he had previously been a Mormon and that he no longer practiced. Of course my lecturer first gave him the opportunity to speak. I was kinda shaking this whole time because I had just opened myself up to a whole lot of criticism. I felt like I was then representing not only myself, but also the beliefs of others in my church. I don't know what would have been said, had I not been there.
To cut a long story short...we basically discussed the pros and cons of missionary work as volunteering work. I was pleasantly surprised that when asked at the end if anyone had changed their opinion on missionary work or at least had to stop and think more deeply before judging missionary work, that particular boy said that "unfortunately it had. (jokingly) I was quite happy with my stereotype."
I personally, as an individual..not representing anybody else, believe that missionary work is a good thing if performed correctly. I hope that before judging me on my beliefs people would at least try to understand them.
I don't want this post to be a big do-da about me but I felt like I needed to get this story down and share it in some way. I will never try to force my beliefs on anybody. We all have our agency to choose what we will, but I feel that I should still be able to share what I believe with others.
I have not been in a very good place lately and have really struggled with some trials. I think that it is in our darkest times that we are really tested. This is the first class of the week that I have been to because I have just stayed home and tried to deal with how I was feeling. I am really glad that I went because I learnt that I do have a testimony and I am willing to stand up for my beliefs. I also really enjoyed discussing differing opinions with a class full of my peers.
I'm sorry if this all doesn't make sense. I just needed to get it out. Thanks for making it through all this text!