Monday, November 26, 2007

Rainbow Discussions

When I served in the Canada Toronto Mission I always remember fondly that we used the rainbow discussions. In my field our mission president M. Russell Ballard was a stickler for us learning them one hundred percent word perfect. I remember I wasn't very good at memorization so this was a daunting task. If you didn't know them perfectly he assured us that we would never become a senior companion. I had been transferred to CTM from the Rome Italy Mission. My ward in N. Las Vegas was supposed to help me pay for my mission. I was a member one year and two months when I was called. I had saved about two thousand dollars but most of that was gone by the fourth month of my mission after clothes, suitcases, food, transportation to the LTM, etc. They were suppose to send me $160 a month. I actually got desperate about the six month when no money arrived. I couldn't even afford to eat. My companion Giorgo Dal Pozzo carried me for a few weeks but then my mission president contacted the missionary committee. He was a very generous guy whose family owned a shoe factory in Verona, Italy. He was also the most charismatic elder I ever met. He worked with me diligently on my rainbows every morning.

Thomas S. Monson felt impressed to transfer me up to Toronto where there were a million Italians. There were six Italian elders but one had become a mission assistant. I was assigned to ethnic areas around Toronto. I never got to work with any of the Italian elders as companions. When I was in Italy I passed off two discussions and the baptismal challenge. When I went to Canada I had to learn them in English which boggled my mind. I was depressed that I had been transferred and arrived in Canada at the end of winter in March 1976. I immediately got ill and suffered pneumonia like symptoms. My feet had holes in them from my cheap shoes rubbing on the backs. I was a physical and mental wreck.

No one ever worked with me on learning the discussions. My companions expected that since I was out seven months that I should just know them. After five months I just gave up. The straw that broke the camels back was when I was assigned the Elder I knew from Las Vegas that I mentioned in an earlier post. He screamed and hollered at me about learning them. To shut him up I buckled down and learned them all of them. I met with the assistant. We went through them and he picked random concepts and I gave them to him just about word perfect. He concluded the session and congratulated me on passing. As we began to leave he stopped and said oh I forgot give me this other concept. I choked and couldn't remember it. He told me you will just have to do it again in a few weeks.

I said to myself forget it, if that is the way you are going to be, I can stay a junior companion the rest of my mission. After that I never tried again. True to Ballard's word I remained a junior companion for two years. I always remember how Elder Andy Fredericks was given some slack his last two months and made a senior companion. I actually questioned the assistants who laughed in my face when I asked if they were going to let me be a senior companion. I heard Fredericks giving the discussions and it was worse than when I had failed. I knew down in my heart that they didn't really want to see me succeed or I would have passed earlier or been given mercy like Fredericks. It is amazing I guess that I had many people I worked with join the church since I was only a junior companion. Today I would have probably been a senior my first two months and possibly gone on to be a mission leader like my mission president in Italy kept telling me before I left there.


John Draper said...

Can you tell me what the six discussions were back then and what "color" each one was. Thanks. This will help me write my book.
-- john draper

John Draper said...

Do you remember exactly what the 6 official discussions were back in the Rainbow Discussions days? What was each discussion about and what "color" went with each discussion? I've been looking all over the internet, but I can't find it.
This will help me with the book I'm writing
-- john draper