Mormon Missionaries and Me
When I moved to Europe, I thought I could leave my Mormon upbringing behind me. I was utterly unprepared for the challenges of 'leaving' and realized very quickly that it is impossible to block such a huge part of your upbringing.
One day my doorbell rang and as I opened it a familiar face stared at me, "Ali, Ali Thatcher?" I knew him; he had gone to my school, and there he stood with his companion. We were never friends, I was two years older, but at that moment we connected as if we were long lost, friends.
Being abroad, I started feeling connected to people I would usually never even talked to at home. I did not become friends with them, or even like them sometimes and yet..there was that connection.
I feel that way about missionaries. I don't want them to talk about religion, but I love asking them how they are, giving them some treats and just remembering my upbringing.
The culture you were raised in is somehow always home. Whenever I see home abroad, my heart melts. Being Mormon is a subculture within the states, my subculture. I no longer practice, my beliefs have changed, and yet I have a spot in my heart for it. I think I can consider myself lucky; I have left and yet I am truly at peace with my past.
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife