Steve’s Stories: Mission Adventures (Coming Soon)

I served as a missionary for my church, the Church of Jesus Christ for Latter-day Saints for two years in Argentina. Our church is probably widely known for having missionaries all across the world (for countries that are cool with it), probably right after us having the Book of Mormon.

Going on a mission was incredibly hard for me. I hadn’t been too involved or interested in the church for many years before that, where I was mostly on and off. I had a lot of life-changing experiences about a year leading up to me deciding to go, though, which prompted the decision. Being in Argentina wasn’t too hard, but dealing with the strenuous missionary experience was really hard. I had a lot of serious mental illness issues going on, but I didn’t know about any of that by the time I left, and it made the experience excruciatingly difficult. Every day was a huge challenge. Probably the biggest mental problem I had to deal with on a daily basis was my depression. I never really felt good enough or that I was having any effect at all, and generally just wanted to quit and head back home. I stayed, though, for one reason for another, and stuck it out. These days, if I had known about my issues and was diagnosed, I most likely would have been honorably excused for going. That didn’t happen though.

I get depressed a lot thinking about talking about my mission, but one day recently I was talking to some friends about it online, and was trying to think of a few positive stories I had when going. One friend was getting ready to go on his mission, so it spurred me to thinking of what mine was like. I surprised myself by quickly coming up with five stories just off the top of my head, and I started to realize that while I overall considered it a horrible experience for what I put myself through, that there were some bright spots and that I did in fact have an effect.

For the kids I’ve mentored through the years, I have a list of stories by title that is printed on a piece of paper that I show them. If there is ever a lull in a conversation or an interesting opportunity, I’ll pull out the paper and the kids will look at it and I can tell them a story. I knew I had it saved online, somewhere, so I dug through my archives and found it. Turns out, there were THIRTY FIVE stories that I had written down as titles that I could share. Looking through my list this time, I remembered all of them.

I want to start a new series on here where I choose a few stories at a time and share my experiences. I think it’d be fun, and who knows, inspirational for someone. Plus, these are mostly all tales that have never been told (the kids aren’t too interested in them, which is fine), and so they would be going out there for the first time.

The stories cover all kinds of scenarios, in the sense of emotions. They range from funny and heartfelt, to sad and admittedly signs of pride and ego. But they are all real, and very personal. I think it’d make for a good series.

For now, just the list of the stories:

  • No, You’re Not My Future Queen
  • I’ll Just Poop Right Here, Thanks
  • A Slap In The Face
  • Can You Stop Praying? I’m Making a Grocery List
  • What’s Wrong? He Said Disney Movies Are Okay
  • You Really Shouldn’t Say That Word
  • Aguante Los Mormones
  • Don’t Mind Me, I’m Summoning Demons
  • He’s Not Eight … So He Can’t Be Possessed
  • Saying Goodbye: The Hat
  • No BYU For You!
  • I Never Liked Your Soccer Team Anyway
  • That’s So Argy
  • Third Wheel for Three Weeks
  • A Shot In the Butt
  • Panqueques Dibb
  • Well, That Sucks … The Wall
  • The Two-Hour Milanesa
  • Please Don’t Attack the Abusive Ex-Boyfriend
  • Uh, That’s a Big Fire
  • Thanks For the Pasta, Meet You At the Hospital
  • No Speaky The Spanish … But Can I Have My Money Back?
  • I Didn’t Think You Really Would Call Your Girlfriend
  • This Is A Nice Chapel!
  • The Barber’s Blessing
  • Ruuuuuuuuubio
  • Goodbye, Cleo
  • Thanks For the Service, How About Some Lunch?
  • I Love To See The Temple Get Robbed
  • What’s The Matter, Lady? Don’t You Want To Be Happy?!
  • You’re Drunk? Let Me Tell You About Baptism
  • He Asked For Alma 5
  • The Sacrament Meeting Insurrection
  • Dear God, Those Teeth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *