What is the dumbest thing you did on your mission?

About half way through my mission I was serving as a district leader, and one of the companionships in the district were not getting along all that well. We set up a tradeoff where we would go to their area and I would spend part of the day with the senior companion and my companion would spend part of the day with the junior companion.

Soon after we got there the junior companion and my companion set off for their work. They seemed to leave in a hurry. The senior companion seemed to delay as if he had something to say but did not know how to say it. After a few moments, with great compassion and insight I said something like, ‘what’s up?’

After collecting his thoughts he asked, ‘Elder Nielson, what is the dumbest thing you ever did on your mission?’ What a question. I saw right through it.

‘What did you do Elder?’

He told me that he had bought a car. I couldn’t believe it. What kind of car? How much did you spend? What do you expect to do with this car? How do you expect to get away with this? These questions and more rushed into my mind and came out sorta like WHAT?!

He took me out back of their place (it was a rented duplex) and showed me the car. That is him in the picture. It had no plates, no insurance, and they had been using it whenever they went anywhere for days. I couldn’t believe it.

I told him he really couldn’t do this, and unless he found something to do with this car I would probably tell the mission president. We called around and found a place to store the car until after his mission. Imagine that, finding someone in rural Georgia that didn’t mind having a car parked at their place indefinitely. Go figure.

This was a pretty dumb thing to do. So, what’s the dumbest thing you did (or heard of someone doing) on your mission?

I made a post recently about a dumb thing I did on my mission involving practical jokes. You can read that here.


9 Responses to “What is the dumbest thing you did on your mission?”

  1. 1 Nick April 17, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    I served in a part of Buenos Aires that was pretty dangerous. A missionary had been killed the year before, and robberies at gunpoint were quite common. One evening after dark my companion and I were walking down the street when we were approached by a young man in his 20’s, who repeatedly motioned with his eyes down to his jacket pocket. Something in there was pointed right at us and looked like it could have been a gun. It also looked like it could have been a finger. We were trained to immediately give the robber any money we had to avoid any trouble. My companion gave him a twenty. I said “Muestramela!” or, “show it to me!”, meaning, the gun. He kept on telling us to give him our money, and I kept on telling him he wasn’t getting anything until I saw proof of a gun. He soon drooped his head and walked away.

  2. 2 Wade April 17, 2006 at 8:11 pm


    This is a funny one! I have to tell you, this post has brought a veritable flood of memories back to me. Thanks (I think).

    As for the stupidist thing I ever did on my mission: I’ll probably have to save that for the golf course some-day (I’m not sure I should publicize it so widely). Nevertheless, you’ve reminded me of a few experiences.

    First, I was in a Zone with an elder who purchased an old (extremely old at that) Chevy. It didn’t run; didn’t even have an engine I don’t think. But this elder was so proud of it. I can’t remember if he bought it from a member or not? He had his parents send him some money so he could pay to have it stored in a storage lot (folks in Colorado Springs aren’t as accommodating as those in rural Georgia) :).

    Second, my third companion purchased a motorized scooter/moped. He and another elder in our zone purchased them from a local member. Needless to say, I took part in cruizin’ our area on a moped for a full day once. I barrowed the other elder’s moped and my companion and I went ridin’. I have to say, although it was highly against the mission rules (we justified it as being synonymous with a regular bicycle) it was really fun. I’ve got some pictures of that day – I’ll try and post them on this thread.

    So, I’ll have to say the moped incident was probably the stupist thing I did on my mission that I will divulge in this forum. (Take note: I was not an apostate missionary despite my moped day – my mission president knew me well and called me as a Z.L. for my whole second year).

    P.S. Would you call wrecking your mountian bike on a steep hill and breaking your collar bone “stupid” (this story to be shared in a future post).

  3. 3 Wade April 17, 2006 at 8:14 pm


    You’re officially NUTS; Either you are crazy, or extremely courageous/brave.

  4. 4 Nick April 17, 2006 at 9:40 pm

    It wasn’t brave, just really, really stupid.

  5. 5 Eric April 18, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Nick: glad to see you are still alive!

    Wade: What is it about guys and our ‘ride’?

  6. 6 Eddie April 18, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    Too funny. I wrote about a dumb thing I did here.

  7. 7 Anonymous April 20, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    Chasing down a guy who snatched my wallet. I finally cornered him and thought, uh-oh, what next.

  8. 8 Ryan April 20, 2006 at 2:00 pm

    I was looking at a map my companion was holding just before needing to exit the freeway onto a round-a-bout. The angels never worked so hard as the day they all piled up against the side of our little toyota corolla like the Dallas Cowboy’s offensive line trying to keep it from skidding off the road through the concrete K-rail and down the embankment.

  9. 9 human11 May 4, 2006 at 1:23 am

    I always tried to keep my nose clean on my mission 😉 but a couple of my companions did some stupid stuff.

    My new senior companion who had been transfered from another area a few hundred miles away didn’t want to miss the musical missionary event they had been planning for months in his last area. He called the mission president and asked if we could go. “Uh huh, okay.” then he hung up the phone. Without missing a beat he told me, “He said we could go.”

    To make a long story short, we went, but the truth was that the mission pres told him not to on the phone that day. When we got back, the APs were waiting. My comp was made a mission secretary where the pres could keep a good eye on him.

    Another of my companions got feed up with the street urchins asking him for money. One day, he was drinking a soda in a very public place (lots of people around) when a small boy tugged at his sleave. “Go ask your dad for money” was my companion’s response. When the kid didn’t go away immediately, he dumped the soda he had been drinking all over the boy’s head. I was furious.

    I don’t have any car-related stories though. We travelled everywhere by bus or on foot.

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