“Finally!” I think to myself as I am driving in the car “this is finally happening!” The continuous reading in my scriptures, holding meetings, inviting others to participate, and continually petitioning the Lord to know if this was an acceptable way to magnify my calling as a ward missionary has paid off. I look back in my car and look at the people that have come together to make this a reality with me. I am toting Devin and his “little band” as I have dubbed them, three 16 year-olds chilling in the back of my car awaiting our major debut. I then proceed to check my rear view mirrors 1,2,3… I count in my head. “Yep all the cars in the convoy are accounted for.”
We are currently traveling the desolate roads that lead to the middle of nowhere, also known as Tooele county. As we continue our drive there is a light layer of snow across the whole landscape “absolutely perfect.” I think to myself, the temperature was not exactly what I was hoping for. The forecast was claiming high twenties, low thirties; I was reading mid-teens on my cars thermometer, which was a little troubling. As we continued our drive my uneasiness began to grow. The way we were going began to get foggy, the thermometer began to drop 10, 5, 0, until it stopped at -5. “Not today I prayed silently, I’ve come too far to have it be frigid cold!” Although everybody in the car was excited at the prospect having the fog, we were wondering if it truly was going to be that cold all day. How long could we possibly last?
I was optimistic, it was early in the morning, there was a good chance that it would at least get back to mid-teens as the day progressed. I was praying silently that it would be a bearable temperature. Not long after that we came out of the fog and almost instantly my thermometer began to rise once again 10, 15, 20, it got all the way up to 28 by the time we reached our destination. “Thank you so much” I prayed silently again as a stream of relief and comfort came over me.
As we parked our cars in the giant clearing in the shrub infested no mans land that is Tooele county we began to go to work. Everyone opened their trunks started putting on their gear, and distributing the guns to those who needed them. As all the hustle and bustle was going on, I grabbed my leadership staff, Richard and Shawn, and reviewed our plans. They were going to lead the Neftil side (the side made to resemble the Nephites) and I was going to lead the Limti side (the side representing the Lamanites.) I made sure they understood what they were supposed to do in order to let the game run smoothly. Once that was established we went out and placed the bonus objective flags and returned to brief everyone on what was going on. (*game objectives and context are placed in italics at the back of this essay.)
Once the briefing was over, we took an opportunity to pray, we then went to our respective starting positions. The Neftil starting inside the overrun cement structure that is known by the air-soft community as “The Outpost” and the Limtis at an area a ways off from there. I set my watch for 45 minutes and we commenced the scenario! The battle went well, the Neftil proved very effective at repelling the Limti attacks and did very well at retrieving the bonus objectives with very little casualties. The fight was absolutely epic! As we gather together at the cars to talk about the AAR (After Action Report.) Charles begins to ask questions, “So is the Book of Mormon all about war or something?” Of course I was delighted by this question. We took this opportunity to explain to Charles what the Book of Mormon was and answer his questions, Cardon the friend who brought him graciously said that he would give him one when they got home.
When I tell people about my sport, as I am sure many air-softers have experienced, you often get comments such as “Why would you do something that promotes violence?” “Couldn’t you do something more productive with your time?” A lot of people don’t consider it to even be a sport. As I have talked to my friends I have played with, I wanted to know what their thoughts and feelings were. My friend Mike has remarked “I enjoy the fact that we are able to take this sport, show people that it is so much more than shooting guns at one another. I love the spiritual aspect that we are able to provide people a place were they can come together and have fun.” Along those same lines Shawn has commented that “I love that we can pray together, as well as play together. No one feels uncomfortable. Even though some people don’t pray, I still feel that part makes it overall more comfortable for everyone in attendance.” There is also a lot of life skills that have been identified that airsoft can teach us” Mike also remarked “I have noticed how these games has helped people become better leaders through all the organizing and getting people prepared to play.” Cardon said, “That he learned a lot about the importance of communication and going through the chain of command on the field has helped him in his employment and how he was able to utilize that to help resolve concerns at his job.”
Air-soft presents an opportunity for people to participate in an experience that is full of variables and opportunities that help them grow and progress. It is a sport that is constantly variable unlike games such as basketball, and football that have regulation size fields to play on, a certain set number of players per team, and an objective that is always the same. Air-soft has no specific amount of players per game. When playing in a place as diverse as Utah, the field that you play on can be anywhere from rugged desert, to shrub filled plains, to wooded forests. It can be catered to a huge variety of purposes, utilized to teach a large group of skills, and provide a great atmosphere that helps everyone teach, learn from, and uplift one another.
What different activities have you used in missionary work? Share your stories with us! Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
TO organize your own Events here is an overview for air-softers:
Plight of the Neftil Overview
The idea of this scenario is based off of stories and themes that come from the book of Mormon it is set as if the Nephite and Lamanite societies ( due to the fact that words change over time they are now known as the Neftil and the Limiti) still existed in the 21st century and are still fighting each other. In order to create these scenarios I have taken common themes found in Alma chapters 45-63 to represent each army, there is 3 main things for each side that is prevalent throughout the parts of the scenario. For the Neptil they generally had the better military hardware, they were on the defensive, they were outnumbered. The Limti is the opposite they fought with “all manner of weapons”, they were the “instigators of offense.” They were always on the offense, And they always outnumbered the Neftil by a lot. Also as you read these stories you get a very clear view on the importance of life to both armies the Neftil cared a lot about their people the Limti not so much (at least their kings didn’t seem to.) I have taken these themes and put them into playable scenarios (I will describe the things that carry over to each scenario here and the rest of the details are found in each scenarios folder.)
The Neftil are always defending in order to give them something to defend they will have a certain amount of civilians that represent their civilization the Neftil will receive different objectives during every single portion of the scenario, every objective will have a certain number of civilians tied to it, if they complete that objective they save that number of civilians if they don’t achieve it then they lose those civilians and it takes away from their running total which rolls over into the next portion of the scenario (lets say the first scenario we start them with 1000 and they don’t achieve something then they lose 250 civilians on day one then on day 2 they now have 750 civilians etc.)
Lives & Respawns
Both armies had a very different view on the priority of life and the Neftil would constantly take time to heal their wounded so they will have medics to keep their soldiers alive (standard medic rules apply.) however they were also outnumbered at each game day the Neftil Players will only have a total of 3 lives when a Neftil is eliminated on any game day and lose all 3 lives the next game day of this operation they will now be on the Limti team. They will usually always be limited to one fixed spawn point and possibly a backup that only goes active if the original one is compromised.
This is the Neftils biggest advantage they will have no limit on what type of weapons are allowed to use they can use any AEG, GBB, pistols, shotguns, whatever.
The Limti really only have one objective and that is to eliminate the Neftil from the face of the earth the intelligence in this operation is one of the greatest assets this team has since the Neftil are on the defence they can only react to what the Limti’s do the Limti team will be informed of every objective the game will have to offer before the game starts whereas he Neftil will receive some of them as the game progresses.
Lives & Respawns
Keeping with the theme the Limti always had the greater numbers and in this they will always have unlimited respawns, and multiple spawn points that they can come from their ability to be flexible and the ability to spawn close to objectives will be a huge asset. Also they will gain any number of Neftil that they kill so on day one we will give them 1/3 of everybody but as they eliminate Neftil players (lets say the get 3 on day one.) on day two they will get 1/3 of all attendance +3 then if they get 4 more during day 2 then on day 3 they will receive 1/3of attendance +7 etc.
The Limti will be limited in what they are allowed to carry most of them will be using pistols and shotguns with every 3rd person allowed to have an AEG or a machine gun or sniper rifle (something that can be their “Ace in the hole” to subsidize the firepower a bit.)
Part 1 Defence of Gideon
Scripture Background: Alma 49 defense of the city of Noah
Time Limit: 45 minutes
Location: The Outpost
Setting: The Limti and Neftil have been locked in a state of cold war for the past couple of decades but all that is about to change the Limti believe that a recent injustice that has taken place was carried out by citizens of the Neftil nation although there has been no hard evidence to confirm their claims the loose relationship between the 2 nations doesn’t take much to stir up old memories of hatred. In retaliation the Limti have ordered an attack on the city of Gideon the Neftil have received word of these attacks and are prepared to receive them!
For this first scenario it is important that the Neftil start with a solid base of players since whenever they are eliminated they become a Limti at the next game day we are going to start them with 2/3 of all that attend the Neftil will receive 2 medics for this scenario and will have a total of 3 lives (standard medic rules apply limb hits can be healed chest or head is a death 30 second bleed out time.)
Repel the siege on Gideon
Save as many Civilians as possible.
The Limti will receive 1/3 of everybody in attendance and will have unlimited respawns, medic rules do not apply to the Limti
Seek to eliminate as many civilian objectives as possible
Eliminate as many Neftil soldiers as possible.