Serving two by two isn't always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes you find your best friend for life, or you seem like you just got added to their hit list. Either way getting along is an essential part of the mission. I enjoyed reading this post from Hipster RM, that shared advice for getting along.
I will be sending a few of these tips along in my emails to my brother, his current companion seems to be one of these "sweet spirits" as mentioned below ;)
Let’s be honest. If your papers are in or your call has been assigned, the following has crossed your mind at least once: “I really hope I don't have a crazy companion.”
Well, you probably will have at least one. #reality
But every RM has been there and I’ve yet to hear of a a missionary being released for murdering his companion. And by released I mean incarcerated. #youvegotthis
Whether you like it or not, you’ll be spreading the good Word two by two.
But here are a few tips and tricks from some classy RMs on how to deal with those sweet spirits.
“I did have a rough 3 transfers with the same person, and I love the guy but we didn’t mesh very well at all. We taught well, but our alone time was full of tension. I think a lot of it had to deal with me being a bit of a punk, which I’m sorry for. I would think it was me not knowing how to climatize to another’s upbringing.” -Jordan Welch, Montana Billings Mission
“Try to empathize with them, I had a comp with severe depression and anxiety and I probably learned more from him than any other companion because I had to try to put myself in his shoes. Try to see things from their point of view.” -Cameron Dunn, Oklahoma Tulsa Mission
“Service service service.” -Jordan Mills, Mexico Merida Mission
“The end of a transfer(s) will always come. I look back now and realize that my hard transfers weren’t really all that bad but lacked the perspective at the time to realize it.” -Justin Wilcox, Taichung Taiwan Mission
“I’d just say the main thing is is to quit complaining get over yourself and realize you guys are there for one goal and one purpose. And as you focus on the Lord everything else magically falls into place and you will be so busy with work you won’t have time to bicker back and forth!” -Jordan Unga, Montana Billings Mission
“Service was NOT the solution for me. Service just made him hate me all the more. I just did my best to ensure that I wasn’t harboring any negative feelings or thoughts. The few times we had peace were when we found a common interest. He knew I liked to draw and he wanted to learn to paint so on P Days we would paint together. Find common ground (something besides the church)” -Tanner Gilliland, Brazil Joao Pessoa Misson
“When you get into an argument, slowly but carefully switch your position to the side your companion was taking. If they’re still disagreeing with you, point it out. Best experiment I ever tried.” -Michael Lanham, Montana Billings Mission
I agree that service is good, but I had a comp who HATED when I tried to serve her. Once we found something we both liked we bonded. She was the worst, but that was the transfer that I most learned about the atonement.” -Jessica Black, Brazil Fortaleza Mission
“I had on really hard comp we didn’t get along at all but what I wish I did was focus on his strengths one he was a convert so he related well with people. I would say to pray for a way to get along with him and repent for the hard feelings. Trying to see where they are coming from is helpful. Even if you do not like them love them and compliment them on what they do well. Having comp inventory was helpful. When someone talks bad about them stand up for them don’t agree or if someone is giving them a hard time again stand up for them.” -Brock Seymore, Montana Billings Mission
“Serve your companion, make them breakfast, make their bed, etc. You cannot truly love someone if you do not sacrifice for them. Sacrifice your time by doing something for them even if that means to listen.” -John Bottema, Washington Seattle Mission
“My stake president gave me some good advice when he set me apart. He said that I should always try to make my companion a successful missionary. If you’re doing what’s best for them, you’re forgetting what you want and working toward a common goal. And heck, if your companion is successful, chances are you probably will be too.” -Kinsey Bowman, California San Diego Mission
“Just suck it up, work well together, and most importantly work hard while following the spirit. And of course, don’t make it obvious” -Mitch Adams, California Roseville Mission
“Something that helped me a ton was when there was something that bugged me or a concern that I saw in my companion I wouldn’t point it out straight away, I would wait a couple three days (if it wasn’t an obvious problem that hurt our teaching) and see if it was a pattern or if that was really the thing that was bugging me. It gave me time to gather my thoughts and when comp inventory came I had constructive things to say and it made me sound less like an idiot. Other times I knew that the behavior wasn’t anything wrong and I just needed time to adjust to it, if I’d “corrected” them in the moment it would’ve been unnecessary.” -Shane Wood, Montana Billings Mission
“I learned how to stand up for myself with my tough companions, I didn’t teach the way they wanted or wasn’t as cool as they thought I should have been but sometimes you have to stand up for yourself-respectfully! I’ve heard of Elders slamming eachother into walls and breaking doors and stuff and that’s not productive. Make sure that you’re doing what you feel is right and try to work it out as best as possible.” -Emily Ivie, Montana Billings Mission