Man, it's nuts to read all of these experiences of service and how closely they all resemble what I went through. It's was no different for me either.
I got baptized at 18 and the elder who studied with me was a very close friend and father figure. I did not like service, I mean come on, who really does? I did not want to pioneer, hell I didn't even want to be a JW but I saw the light at a convention and that was it for me. I'm an all in or all out kind of person and so I bit it and got baptized. I really did believe it was the truth 100%
My friend the elder was the PO of our hall and I really looked up to him. He seemed like Jesus himself in many ways. Never ever did anyone wrong and I still believe that about him. He's very sincere and loving. So I followed his lead and when he encouraged me to pioneer after hs I did. I didn't want to but it seemed like what Jehovah wanted from me. I gave up a 4 year MIT scholarship too.
I used to hate pretty much every minute of FS. I all too well remember "Let's hit this RV right here by the hall so we can get our time started...." then we'd drive straight to McDonalds and eat crap. Then drive a million miles away to the edge of the territory for another RV that was always known to be not at home because they worked during the day! Come on. "Maybe they'll be there" was always the justification. I had a good buddy who was my pioneer partner. I should mention, I auxiliary pioneered for about a year prior to going full time (back then 1991 or so it was 60 for AP and 90 for regular). My good buddy, Lawrence hated service too. He never said anything but I could see it in his eyes every day and by his actions. He always drove and it was the slowest driving ever! Always from one edge of the territory to the other for each RV. We rarely did walking territory if he could help it. Rainy days and snowy shitty days (which we very often had here in our lovely little corner of NE Ohio) were ever more dreadful.
I was young, full of energy and life. I worked a part time job three days a week but I put in nearly 40 hours in those three days. I would get up on my off days and go in service ALL day to make my time. It was dreadful and exhausting and I always was depressed and felt like something was wrong with me. I mean, I was doing God's work! I should be full of joy shouldn't I? I should be overflowing with happiness at being so privileged but I wasn't, ever. Once in a while it was nice to have an upbuilding conversation with someone, or to genuinely help someone with a positive thought from the Bible. I tried very much to focus on these types of conversations with people.
God forbid, sorry ladies, if there were sisters in the car group. Nothing but a very backhanded gossip session all day long.
We had so many crazies in our congregation too. Just severely mentally unbalanced. But was it them or the bOrg that made them that way? Personally I think it was lack of sex! I know it nearly made me mad and eventually put me right out of the Truth.
Sorry for the incredibly long and boring post! Fun to reminisce.