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Continual Improvement One night I learned the hard way about my pig-headedness regarding Ricciardi’s methods

Continual Improvement One night I learned the hard way about my pig-headedness regarding Ricciardi’s methods

He then asked me the deadly question

We had just finished teaching a young couple and on the bike ride home Ricciardi wanted to discuss how the fitnessdating lesson went and what we could do to improve. Ricciardi always wanted to review “how we did” right after a discussion and I often struggled with that because for most of my high school years I felt I was good at most everything I attempted. And now I found myself in a foreign land, granted I did not have to learn a new language, but there are areas I served in where I literally could not understand a darn thing people were saying. To complicate matters, Elder Ricciardi was learning English on the fly himself. One time he wanted to “tactfully” tell me I had not done the best job in a discussion we had just taught. Here is how it was conveyed to me: “Elder Humphrey…how you say…the discussion was…let me think…what you say to them…how you say…very terrible…yes, thank you, you much very terrible”. Sorry, but I was already down about how bad I was at missionary work, and on top of that his version of tactful feedback was “much very terrible”? I am sorry, I can only take so much abuse from the general public and now I have to hear broken English feedback? So you can appreciate my constant avoidance of his “very much tactfully wonderful” observation and feedback (which is what we called it back then). During the meeting with the couple we had just taught, I had totally messed up and made a very stupid and insensitive comment about the Catholic Church AND the Church of England, so I knew his desire to give feedback was an undercover exercise to tell me that I left a “very much terrible” impression upon our investigators that night. So I replied “no, don’t need to talk about the discussion, I felt great about it”. He again tried to gently nudge me into a conversation as we got on our bikes. I took off like a rocket, I was in pretty good shape, and I felt that a good half mile distance would be the ticket. Forgetting he was Italian (they are bike riding maniacs) he caught up in no time and again attempted to give feedback. I became childish and started saying “sorry, can’t hear you, I’m busy right now thinking about life”. He finally stopped talking, and our bike ride to our flat (aka apartment) for the next 30 minutes was peaceful. When we finished companion prayers, I jumped in my bed and turned away from Ricciardi so he wouldn’t attempt another “feedback attack”.

He turned the light on and came over to the side of my bed to talk

Thoughts on “Caring Enough” I warned him “Elder Ricciardi, I don’t want to talk about the discussion”. He said “I don’t either”. So I sat up. Ricciardi replied “I want nothing……. What he said next I was not expecting. He said “Elder Humphrey, there are two reasons missionaries get along as a companionship. In other words, they are doing what is right together. HOWEVER, the second reason Missionaries will also get along is if they are both doing the wrong things together, as a companionship. Not getting up on time, not studying, breaking mission rules. Because if you believe that you are trying to do what is right, then I am the one choosing what is wrong, and I need to change so we can be one…goodnight Elder.

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