Thursday, November 13, 2008
My feelings are hurt and I need to vent
Again I apologize for not keeping this blog updated as often as I should. I am putting the finishing touches on Book Three (as yet untitled) of the Duty Series so that is my excuse (this time). But I wanted to take a few minutes out to express my feelings about something that upset me and made me sad. It wasn't the economy or Proposition 8 backlash or any of the important things that are going on in the world today. It is because I got my missioanry son in trouble with his mission president.
Tommy set up the website before he left but since his email time is so limited on P-Days I compile the emails he sends me to create the 'letter'. I then post it on the missionsite. I have always been cautious to edit what he says (since he is talking to me) but apparently I wasn't cautious enough. He and several other missionaries (along with the senior missionary couple) went on a hiking trip in Ethiopia about two weeks ago. Tommy sent me an email with a lot of details about the adventure and I posted it (almost verbatum) on his website. I also posted the pictures he'd sent on his memory card. Some were silly - like one of him holding a bat and another of him and his companion standing on a rooftop. But I thought they were cute and I was posting them on an obscure mission website - not the Evening News...
Anyway, this Monday when I was emailing with Tommy he told me that he'd gotten a call from Pres. Christensen. The president said he had gotten an email from someone in America complaining about Tommy's website - and the last letter in particular. He had read it and agreed that it was 'over-the-top'. He had also browsed the pictures and felt that some of them showed immaturity. He asked Tommy to remove several pictures and edit the letter about his mountain climbing adventure.
Now, let me say right here that none of my hurt feelings are directed toward Pres. Christensen. I support him completely and in retrospect I can see that the letter wasn't uplifting and that some of the pictures showed questionable judgement. I wish more than anything that I could go back . . . but I can't.
I'm hurt that whoever read the letter and thought it was objectionable wrote to the mission president instead of me (or Tommy). And I'm SICK that Tommy got in trouble over it when I was the one who made the posts.
Tommy was very kind about the whole thing. He said it's okay and he even thinks the president still likes him! I feel very chastened and fixed the website immediately. My brother reminded me that in order to repent I had to go through all the R's of repentance - but I can't seem to get past Regret.
My husband wants me to close down the missionsite all together. I'll ask Tommy how he feels about it on Monday - but there's a good chance that's what we'll do. It makes me sad because I had a lot of fun maintaining it and I felt like it was a great way for others to share in Tommy's missionary experiences. But there is room for error (obviously) and closing the site would eliminate the possibility for future problems. So unless Tommy feels strongly about keeping it - the missionsite will be a thing of the past. And hopefully my guilt will be too (eventually).
There, I do feel better!
I hope something good will come out of the whole experience. I'll try to be more cautious in what I say (and write) and I'll try not to judge others too harshly. We all make mistakes and we can all be forgiven. Tommy forgave me for putting him in an awkward position with his mission president. I'll forgive the anonymous person who - either with good intentions or not - created the incident. So maybe when it's all said and done we're better people!!!! (But I'd still take it all back if I could)