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Posted by: flash ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 08:26PM

While I was serving my "best 2 years of my life" sentence as a missionary in the Virginia Roanoke mission (1977 to 1979), I was hoping I could find in myself the courage to just leave and go home.

Every day, I fantasized about ways I could secretly escape and work my way back home to California by some combination of bus, train, or plane getting as far away as I could before my absence was discovered.

I thought about leaving in the middle of the night, while my companion slept, or leaving when he was in the shower and driving the mission car to the nearest out of state airport or Amtrack station. I must have thought through a 1000 scenarios about how and when to leave.

I was so deeply depressed. I was doing that which I hated most of all, being a door-to-door salesman 12 hours a day. And I didn't even want what I was selling. The endless drudgery of being a missionary plus the abusive treatment I received from the MP had driven me down so low, that thoughts of suicide started having a strange, sweet appeal.

To this day, I regret not mustering up the courage to just cut the mission short and disappear.

So my fellow RM's, what stories can you share of Elders or Sisters (or yourself) who were successful at escaping from the mission (or even from the MTC). How did you or they do it, and what means were used to escape. Inquiring minds want to know and I am sure some Elder or Sister secretly reading this thread right now needs some ideas.

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 08:44PM

I'll post my story (again) in a bit. But first my question - - What was it (deep down) that kept you from leaving? A fear of what? Failure? Parents/family/ward shame? Loyalty to those you were serving with? Fear of being kicked out/cut off by family? Nowhere else to go? Fear of god?

It takes a LOT of courage to leave. A LOT of facing "the unknown". I have heard others say shit like, "You are a volunteer! You are an adult! Just walk away!" Easier said than done. My heart aches for you my brother.

So what was it? What kept you there when clearly you wanted out so very badly?

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Posted by: flash ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 09:26PM

My answer would have to be from a 19/20 year old perspective and not one who is now in his 60's with much more an abundance of maturity and courage and has lost his fear of man.

At 19, I was still dependent upon my parents. I never wanted to disappoint them. I never really cared what the ward thought about me. I had no fear of my parent's disowning me.

I had put a lot of effort and money into preparation of the mission so there was the thought of the time and money wasted if I left. All my friends where on missions so I should be on one too.

It did not take long to realize that I had forfeited too much to be missionary such as my education, girlfriend, and car. And there was no ROI from being one anymore.

All throughout my life I was taught over and over and over again that serving a mission would be this wonderful spiritual experience of serving with my fellow young brethren while having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost guiding you to honest seekers of the gospel and testifying to you daily that the gospel was true. You could have angels administer to you to help you in the work and the MP and his wife would be like a 2nd set of parents to you. They would be kind, loving, and willing to lift your spirits when you would become discouraged and downcast.

I was also taught that a mission would be such a wonderful experience, that once you returned home, you would be like a saturated sponge dripping with spiritual knowledge and with wisdom beyond your years preparing you for a dedicated life to the Mormon Collective. Every day of my missionary experience, showed me that these teachings were all lies. Lies that were spoon fed to me from the first time I could form sentient thoughts. Being a missionary was more like a nightmare of being an inmate in some kind of perverted Bad Boys Reform School.

The sad thing was learning that my parents would have wanted me to come home early if they only knew how the mission experience was destroying their son. But since we were told to lie about our bad experiences in our letters home, they never knew until I came home and told them what really happened to me.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 09:40PM

Your description of what we were told the mission would be---you nailed it. Exactly the same for me.

All of what we were fed compounded by the return missionaries in sacrament giving these glorious accounts of their missions and how they felt the guiding hand of the Lord and angels and all. I bought it. Then they always had a slide show in another part of the church after.

That was the sixties I was raptly listening to that. I don't think they do that anymore, do they?

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Posted by: Elder Chueco ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 08:10PM

I served in South America. I really struggled with the language, boredom, and the routine of a mission. I had become pen-pals with a cute member I had met in my previous town. She had moved to the capital outside the mission boundaries. In one of her emails she said that she would like to see me and that was all the encouragement I needed.

During Church I snuck out of then building went home and changed into civilian clothes. I then took a train to the capital and showed up at my friend‘s house.

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Posted by: lapsed2 ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 08:13AM

“ During Church I snuck out of then building went home and changed into civilian clothes. I then took a train to the capital and showed up at my friend‘s house.”

Don’t leave us hanging! Did you go back to your mission?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 08:14AM by lapsed2.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: May 03, 2021 11:38AM

That's what's SO awful about Mormon missionary mirth, for what its worth.

Taught TO LIE... by "the 'church'", for "the 'church'", and for and to the family and friends... It's NO WONDER a missingary will lie to themselves.

Mormonism is a lie. Mormons lie to perpetuate that lie.

The youth are being deluded (becoming adults that lie to themselves)...

At least you WANTED freedom. The truth.

Edited to ad, what the hellO is my comment doing here (besides sitting and looking pretty) when it scold have been down towards the (then) bottom.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2021 11:41AM by moremany.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 09:01PM

What kept me from trying to escape to go home early?

I would have been homeless, booted to the street by my Mom. It was her badge of mormon honor that she had been denied because my older siblings had left the church. She was determined not to be cheated; even expected me to die and had taken out additional life insurance to cover my funeral costs. It took me 15 years post mission to learn that!

But she made it very clear in every letter that I was EXPECTED to serve a full mission, lest I come home in shame.

I would have been dead in her eyes had I arrived unexpectedly from a bus/train station. She loved every minute of her glorious fame from the stake's pin map of the world.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2021 09:16PM by messygoop.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 12:52PM

My Dad actually drove back towards Provo the day after dropping me off at the MTC. My parents got into a huge fight, but my Mom won and they had a quiet long drive through Nevada.

I have never told anyone this: My Dad loved me so much that we were the last two people in the MTC "Departure" room. He was hugging me so tight that a PH prick physically pulled me away from him. "Time to go pops. Let go of your son. He belongs to us now." My Dad cried a lot as I was pulled out of the room.

At the MTC, I was paired alphabetically with an Elder who hated me from day one. He took off alone when walking anywhere (big No-no at the MTC). I am the one who got reported for it. I was told by PH leaders at the MTC it was my fault that we were incompatible.

Also, I witnessed a sexual assault on one of my MTC teachers. The church put my entire district on probation. One more screw up and I was threatened to be sent home. I was also being told to repent for my caffeine addiction to Barq brand of root beer. I still had a companion who went alone everywhere. On the day to be driven to the airport, he got on the wrong assigned church van. Yes, I got hassled by the van driver for not having his "assigned" companion riding in the van. My companion was waiting near the departure gate at the SLC airport.

We were told at the Mission home that if we ever got into trouble, we were on our own. "If you leave your area, the district or the mission boundaries. Don't bother me. Just keep going...far, far away." That set the tone that my MP was an asshat. I never felt supported and most certainly couldn't share anything personal with him~ especially feelings or concerns. He spent the next 2 years berating us, tearing us down and laying guilt for not working hard enough for the lord. He told us that we were the worst, yet I have since found out that we were the top 3 stateside missions for convert baptisms for every month I served!!!

***I had a chance to go home when my Grandmother died. A sibling offered to pay my airfare to return home. My Mom (with permission to call home) told me that she didn't want me to come home. My MP made it very clear that he didn't want me back if I decided to leave. I felt trapped and elected to stay. I had a good companion who supported me either way. Neither my parents nor the MP wanted me to leave.

I had problems with serving 8 hours at church. We were told to show up for two different 3 hour wards, plus two different missionary correlation meetings. I was very hungry and had brought sandwiches for lunch (left in the church refrigerator and stolen by other missionaries). So I asked the sisters for their missionary vehicle and went to BK and brought everybody lunch.

Naturally, I was in trouble. The ZL even tried calling the police and physically attacked me in the parking lot. That nearly got me sent home a 2nd time. I didn't beg to stay, but I just admitted to all the charges against me. He told me that I had broken Jesus' heart as a rebellious disobedient missionary. My punishment was being assigned to the worst elder in my mission. Literally, I sat in the apartment overlooking the bay drinking Pepsi all day long. My companion called his g/f every night and I became delusional about stealing a TV set from the alley behind Goodwill and getting the neighbors to hot-wire the cable line.

When I came home, the mission had faxed a dossier to the new stake president, who I didn't know from a whole in a wall. The being released interview and report to stake council went awry. I didn't give them the "correct" number of baptisms. It didn't really matter to me, but it mattered a lot to them. I was told that I had wasted 2 years of the lord's time.

When my former MP passes on, I will write the big story of how my mission was eerily similar to the baseball baptism days of Japan and England. Yes Virginia, history repeats itself in the Mormon church.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 03:32PM

messygoop Wrote:
> ...yet I have since found out that we were the top 3
> stateside missions for convert baptisms for every
> month I served!!!

And your MP probably credited his abuse for the fine results.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 02:14AM

I had a friend that served an overseas mission.

He developed a tumor in his lower abdomen.

He had 4 months to go on his mission. His father wrote him weekly. Telling him things like; better to come home in a pine box than come home early and deserters are shot.

He came home two weeks early. Weighed under 90 pounds. Had an emergency surgery.

What father would rather see a child die than come home early and get medical treatment?

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 09:14PM

There was one guy from my group of Elders that went home within days or weeks (I forget now) of us landing in Buenos Aires. He just didn't want to be there and insisted on going home. Of course the MP tried to talk him out of it, but next thing I knew he was gone. He was the sweetest guy and on of the few I bonded with at the LTM. I only saw him for a minute when he told me but I was shocked--so unthinkable the idea was to me--but I felt deep down that he did indeed need to do that for himself. His misery was palpable and practically spilling out his eyes.

Years later I ran into him at the Sun Tavern in SLC and we had some laughs. I don't remember a lot about that except he was so happy. Really happy. That was nice.

I like Jaxson's question. I would never have considered going home. The brainwashing and indoctrination had worked like magic on me and so no matter how I felt, how hard it all was, even maddening at times, I was going to do my duty no matter what. Looking back, it was all about family honor. I couldn't let my parents down. I got a very light version of the ole "I'd rather you come home in a body bag than come home dishonorably" although in my Dad's voice I could hear his fingers crossed behind his back.

I only thought I had a testimony. Of course isn't that true of everyone?

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Posted by: lapsed2 ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 08:26AM

“Years later I ran into him at the Sun Tavern in SLC and we had some laughs. I don't remember a lot about that except he was so happy. Really happy. That was nice.”

Have you seen the movie “Latter Days”?

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: May 03, 2021 10:20AM

Oh yes. Was so hard for me to watch. Broke me down. Found emotions I didn't know existed.

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Posted by: celeste ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 09:46PM

I wanted to get out but feared eternal punishment. Mid mission when my mother was in intensive care and asking for me, I had an interview with my mission president. I just happened to mention that I knew I was supposed to stay in the mission but felt conflicted. He told me I was betraying Christ by even thinking leaving was an option. Total mind control. I stayed and my depression kept spiraling until I was pulled out of the mission and sent to clean the mission home as punishment. The MPs wife kept saying finish your mission, go home, get married and have children. Other than that nobody spoke to me. I was sent back into the field and for sure had quite the stigma. There are months and cities and people I don’t remember. By the time I should have said eff this I’m leaving, I was so depressed I couldn’t function except to count the days until I went home. When I see missionaries in my neighborhood, I’m often tempted to offer to pay their airfare to leave.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 10:26PM

> When I see missionaries in my
> neighborhood, I’m often tempted
> to offer to pay their airfare
> to leave.

The sub-reddit /exmormon has an informal program they call the Tapir Signal (after the Bat signal) so that if a serving missionary wants help leaving his mission, those who can and want to help (usually in the city where the escape will take place) can help, either with rides or money or both.

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Posted by: lapsed2 ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 08:30AM

“The sub-reddit /exmormon has an informal program they call the Tapir Signal (after the Bat signal)”

Give us further light and knowledge!!! I’m in!

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 01:11PM

Son-of-a-gun! In trying to satisfy your request, I found out that there is a subreddit actually called r/TapirSignal...

But it's a private community, so there's no way to see what they've been up to or are up to.

"This is a sub for members of the Official Tapir Signal that have volunteered to help out Mormons/exmormons in extreme circumstances.

"###To ask for help, please fill out the [following form](

"To be a volunteer, please fill out the [following form](

"To follow the latest news, please see [our blog]("

There's been no activity at the Blogspot site since mid-2018.

So my enthusiasm in this notion may not be realized in Real Life. So thanks for making me try look under the hood and now I'm left wondering what, if anything, is really going on! I had imagined that all that was involved was an Elder or SM asking the /exmormon subreddit for help and people would just respond there...

If you do go through their volunteering process, please return and report!

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Posted by: Iceman ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 11:06PM

My best friend had several nephews go on missions since the age change. All went to massively overfilled missions; one had 600 missionaries in half a plains state. Their mission presidents would send anyone home who asked or who got sick, no further questions asked. I've heard this same thing from several sources. IIRC, the church and BYU quietly announced a policy that this would have no impact on membership/enrollment. That said, parents and friends may still judge.

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Posted by: Tyson Dunn (not logged in) ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 06:59AM

I can’t imagine a single Plains state mission where 600 missionaries would make sense. My brother served in two midwestern missions due to boundary changes such that his first town and last town were a thousand miles apart. Even within his original boundaries, two of his towns were 600 miles apart.

And they had NOTHING to do most of the time. Winter they would either make phone calls, or if it was warm enough to safely drive their car, they’d go to the mall. There wouldn’t be anyone there except salespeople, but it was better than staying cooped up.

The midwest is so sparsely populated. 600 missionaries is insane.


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Posted by: Iceman ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 09:08PM

This was soon after the age change from 19 to 18. Within a year, the number of missionaries doubled. The church wasn't prepared and so packed missions in the US, especially in the mid- and mountain-west where cost of living was low. I believe at one point, Boise alone had 300 missionaries.

The first district my friend's nephew was in had 16 missionaries crammed into a large apartment. He was made district leader after two months. He loathed his mission, but stayed out of sense of duty, family and naivete.

The logistics of handling 150 teenage males is bad enough; handling four times that must have been a nightmare for even the most believing mission president. (Especially, as you observe, in missions that already had 3x the number of missionaries needed.)

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Posted by: heartbroken ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 10:34PM

Escape wasn't an option for me. When I was just 14 years old and a new convert, I declared that I would go on a mission when I was 21. I would be the first in my family to serve. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be an example to my siblings and never-mo family. I did it to myself.

My mission in Europe was extremely difficult but I would have died before going home.

I only remember two elders leaving voluntarily. Both just walked away after only a couple of months. One toured Europe first and the other just hopped on a plane. One elder was sent home early in disgrace and killed himself. I think about him often.

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 04:55PM

heartbroken Wrote:
> One elder was sent home early in disgrace and killed himself. I think about him often.

A few years ago I toyed with the idea of making a documentary of the lives of early returned missionaries...the good, the bad, and the ugly. I would have wanted to include interviews with families of ERM's who ended up committing suicide to get their take as well. In doing my research I came across quite a few cases. If these guys were anything like me, they were just looking for a little love, support, and a feeling that everything would be O.K. Instead they were probably met with shame, disgrace, and rejection...all from the people they were dependent on. I can imagine their helplessness. Sad.

Although not suicide, I knew a couple of people who died on their missions. One was a friend who was in a car wreck on an icy road in New Mexico. Slid head-on into a semi. Killed him and his companion. The other was my mother's visiting teaching companion for years and a Primary/Sunday School teacher of mine. Her and hubby were on a seniors mission in Africa. Hubby worked in the mission office and discovered that another native missionary had been stealing funds. He reported it, native missionary got the boot. Native missionary went to their home when hubby was at the office and murdered the wife. Slit her throat. Yeah, I think of them often as well.

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Posted by: Iceman ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 10:58PM

I was both physically and emotionally abused on my mission. About ten months in, I considered going home. I didn't for one major reason and two minor ones.

The major reason at the time was that I would shame my parents. I grew up in a truly fanatical east coast ward and though my parents were practically worshiped (despite not being fanatics) I knew that me leaving would have had real consequences to them.

Minor reason one: I believed I wouldn't be able to continue my education at Ricks/BYU. (And I did NOT want to go to college in my home state; still don't like the place, though do enjoy the nearby wilderness.)

Minor reason two: I'd given my word.

PS. Decades later in marriage turned divorce counseling, I learned that I'd spent most of my life trying to get my parents to love me. (This wasn't a Mormon thing, but a "my mom is rather narcissistic" thing and, to give her one break, she had no clue that I was ADHD; the diagnosis didn't exist at the time. Her solution was to ignore me and do a better job with my younger brothers. FYI, my dad tried, but had the wrong personality.)

My major reason still stands, but I now realize my motivations were more complex than I thought at the time. It's evidence of how complete emotional abuse can be. I've also realized that much of my relationship with the church was trying to get love and approval from my parents, peers and others, including God (but not Jesus; I never bought into the Jesus as a friend stuff; I thank my dad for that.)

PPS. In their dotage, my parents served a mission. My father later admitted (just once) that he hated his mission and now understood his sons.

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Posted by: hgc ( )
Date: April 29, 2021 11:47PM

From the day I arrived, I wanted to go home. It never occurred to me that I was a free agent and could have actually just got on a bus and gone home and that nobody could have done anything about it.
As I was approaching my last month in the mission, I got word from the mission president, delivered by a traveling elder, that my father had requested I come home a month early. He was a farmer and wanted my help in the harvest. I was on the train home the next day. When I got home nobody seemed to notice I was early. I gave my return talk in Sacrament meeting and then it was over. It took another 30 years and 2 temple marriages before I finally quit the Church for good.
I have always thanked my Dad, but wish he had wanted my help during spring planting instead of waiting till harvest.

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Posted by: Hedning ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 12:06AM

I ended up getting viral encephalitis, I got to the point where I lost about 30 lbs (I was already fairly skinny) and very weak. It started as flu like symptoms and turned into raging headache and extreme fatigue. I was in a foreign country and doctors there wanted me to return home ASAP, mission president would not hear of it, and locked me up in the mission home until my faith was strong enough to be healed. That did not work. Eventually I got a hold of my parents by telephone and my doctor in the US was the doctor for several GAs, he pulled some strings in the Missionary department, and my MP got called on the carpet, and I got a plane ticket home. It took over a year to completely recover, but every minute of freedom tasted so sweet.

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 03:06AM

Thanks for all who have responded on this thread. I enjoy hearing the stories of those who were able to leave their missions, and those who stuck it out. The topic still triggers me, and although it has been 40+ years, I remember most details like it was yesterday. Seeing the responses from some of the other “old farts” on here, I understand if it still triggers something in you as well.

I have told my story before on here over the years, so for those who don’t wish to read it again, feel free to skip it.

In a nutshell, after high school I went to BYU and hit it off with a fellow freshman co-ed. As we got closer, intimacy grew, and we eventually committed the “sin next to murder”…over, and over, and over again. In the back of my mind I always wondered how I was going to clear this up so I could go on a mission.

After the school year, I did the confession thing and was told I would have to speak with a General Authority before submitting my mission papers. An appointment was set for six weeks later when a G.A. would be in the area. Two weeks before meeting with the G.A., my BYU girlfriend flew into town for a surprise visit and we picked up where we had left off. When I met with the G.A. (Henry D. Taylor). I told him all I had done while at BYU, but he was such a nice, kind, loving old man…I couldn’t bring myself to tell him what I had done two weeks earlier.

My mission call came for the Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission (1976 - 1978). When I showed up in Provo the MTC buildings were fairly new. I was doing well learning Spanish and memorizing, but every day I heard, “If there is something you haven’t confessed to…you won’t have the spirit to guide you…you’ll have difficulty with the language…blah, blah, blah.”

After four weeks, I hit a wall. Of course in my mind it was because I hadn’t confessed to EVERYTHING. So, I contacted my Branch Prez and told him what was going on. He kicked me upstairs to the MTC Prez (Pinegar). I met with Pinegar and told him my story. He told me to write three letters home explaining everything. One to my Stake Prez, one to my Bishop, and one to my father. I told him that “two out of three wasn’t bad”, that I didn’t have “that kind” of relationship with my father, and that there was “NO WAY” I was going to write him a letter or tell him anything. Pinegar said, “O.K., write the other two and I will meet with you next week”.

A week later after I received a message to meet with Pinegar following a G.A. fireside. When I went to his office he was there with the G.A. (Carlos Asay). My Stake Prez was on the phone. He was a great guy. A few years later it came out that he was in a secret 7-year gay relationship (not that here is anything wrong with that). He told me I was loved, forgiven, and to go on and serve a joyful and honorable mission. He said that my Bishop felt the same way. When I hung up the phone I was feeling pretty good.

I looked up at Pinegar and Asay with kind of a “what next” expression on my face. Asay spoke up and said, “Oh, and by the way. We told your father. He approves you staying out continuing your mission as well.”

I immediately thought, “Why the fuck do I need my father’s permission or approval?” Up until that point, all of the money towards my mission had come from ME!! Not ONE DIME from my father!! I was PISSED!!!!!!!!!! I glared at Pinegar and Asay, and under my breath but loud enough for them to hear, I said, “You sons of bitches. I told you he was not to be told.” They countered with some sort of bullshit answer that it was “all good “ because he was supportive of me staying out. That just pissed me off even more until I said, “I’m done. I’m out of here. Do you take care of my travel home or do I?” After picking their jaws up off of the desktop, they tried to convince me to stay. “Who is going to teach those souls in Argentina who are waiting to hear your message?” I said, “Well, I guess they are going to have to hear it from someone else.”

One of the hardest things I had ever done in my life up until that time was telling my fellow district missionaries that I was leaving. We had been so supportive of each other during our time there, and there was a true bond of love. There were a lot of tears as I stood outside the front entrance of the MTC while a van waited to take me to the SLC airport. The Hermanas hugged me so tightly I didn’t think they would ever let go. After five weeks in the MTC, I was out of there.

On my flight home to LAX, I had no idea if anyone would be there for me when I landed. As I walked off of the plane towards the gate I noticed my father. When I approached him there was no hug or arm around my shoulder…just an extended hand to shake and a terse, “You look good…I can’t say I am glad to see you.” The 30-minute ride home he was screaming at the top of his lungs at me. I don’t remember much, but I do remember him saying things like, “How could you do that to a daughter of our father in heaven!?!?!?” I wanted to respond but felt it was wise to sit there and take it. I REALLY wanted him to pull over so I could have kicked his ass…but I had nowhere else to go and was TOTALLY dependent on him. I was told not to ask for anything. If my mother was cooking…I could eat. No use of any cars, phone, forget about school being paid for, etc.

The house was dark when we arrived. It was around 11:00pm. I went to my room, closed my door, crawled in bed, threw the blankets over my head, and spent the rest of the night trembling. The next morning there was a knock at my door…it was my sister. She was in tears and asked how I could do this to the family. I slowly closed the door on her. My mother couldn’t face me for 2-3 days. I had stepped out of the MTC and into a whole other kind of HELL.

Word got out that I was home. After being holed up in my room for three days, I heard a horn honk and my name being screamed out on the street. Looking out of the window…it was one of my best friends. He motioned for me to come down. I bolted out of my room, down the stairs, out the door, and dove into his car. He sped away and a few blocks away he pulled over. He got out and came around to my side of the car. I got out and he hugged me. I collapsed in his arms and he held me until I could stand again. Without his, and my other friends help, I don’t know how I would have made it.

I had a little money left and scraped together some more. I couldn’t afford to buy a car, but I could afford a motorcycle. Being mobile allowed me to find a job. I became less and less dependent on my father. That didn’t make him happy. You know how there are some TBM’s who believe they have to treat you poorly, tear you down, make you beg? That is how he was. About five months later I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That is when he came to me one night and said, “I think it would best for the family if you were to leave.” My mother was out of state and he must have mentioned something to her. She sped home the next day and told me I wasn’t going anywhere. She must have realized that once I left, I would NEVER see them again. This caused a rift between my father and her that lasted for months.

Because of my experiences I have an incredible soft spot in my heart for the missionaries. I realize that although they won’t admit it, most of them probably wish they weren’t on their missions. They are afraid to leave for various reasons but perhaps most out of fear for recriminations of what they would face from their “loving” family.

Those fears are real. I lived them.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 12:58PM

Thanks Jaxson for sharing your story.

Quite touching that your MTC district appeared to care.

I must have been in the Black Sheep group because they didn't seem to give a damn about anyone, but themselves. I actually had nightmares at the MTC that I had died in my sleep and my district had tossed my body in a dumpster behind the towers.

My Mom was elated at my funeral because I had died at the MTC.

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 04:30PM

messygoop Wrote:
> I actually had nightmares at the MTC that I had died in my sleep and my district had tossed my body in a dumpster behind the towers.

> My Mom was elated at my funeral because I had died at the MTC.

From the disgusted looks I received from my family I could see in their eyes that they would have preferred I came home "honorably" in a box than dishonorably alive. It was like they were thinking, "Why couldn't you have just died?"

Fucked up.

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Posted by: flash ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 01:19PM

I do remember reading your story Jaxson. I salute you for having and exercising such courage to tell them where to shove it. I think you should have sued them for breaking clergy confidentiality.

How long did you stay at home after your father wanted you to leave? Did you go stay with friends until you were on your own? Sounds like your mother was the only one who cared about you.

The closest thing to your experience with the MTC leaders that I did was ripping my MP a new one about 4 months before I was to go home.

At my last Zone Conference, I had the usual interview with the Mission President as every missionary did. But as the usual "blame the Elder" one sided interview commenced, the MP became unusually hateful and vindictive toward me because this time he stood up from behind the desk and proceeded to yell into my face saying point blank that "I was a failure as a missionary" as he pointed out my lack of baptisms and the low number of investigator discussions indicated on my weekly reports. A week before this Zone Conference, we had baptized a young couple.

Every Zone conference interview was about my lackluster numbers an produced a similar tirade. (most of the other Elders also had the same experience) But this time was the last straw for me with this GA-wannabe pin head. Too many times I sat through interviews enduring his phony self-righteous indignation and said nothing. This time I fired back at him with everything I had.

I stood up from my chair, leaned over his desk and yelled back into his face, using several colorful metaphors, that he was a effing failure of a mission president for blaming me for things I had no control over and I was not someone who was motivated by his threats. I continued yelling into his face saying that if he was incapable of offering any kind of encouragement, support, or compassion for me or any other missionary who gave up everything to be in this dump of an area, he was unfit to be here, and he should go pack his bags, take his clueless wife and his dumb-ass children, and get the hell out of our lives so someone qualified with Christ-like attributes could take his place. I also told him that most of the Elders despised him and wished that they could be transferred to another mission.

This man was not the kind of man used to being put in his place by anyone let alone a lowly elder.

In all my days there, I have never seen him madder but I didn’t care anymore. He went beyond red faced to purple and began to drool onto the desk. He was so angry he could not speak anymore and I had run out of colorful metaphors.

We stared at each other for a few moments then I turned around to walk out the room. Before I left the room, my last words to him were that I would never speak with him again for any reason.

I walked out leaving him sitting there with his puddle of drool on the desk. I never did speak to him again or send in another weekly report for the remainder of my mission.

After that heated exchange, I went outside the church building for the remainder of the Zone Conference and fed squirrels from a jar of Planters Peanuts. I was drained body and soul and that was the last time I ever took lip from him again.

Any belief I had left of the divinity of the Mormon Church and any belief I had left that God cared about me came to an end that day. I now saw with clarity that the Mormon Church was a bowl of excrement and that I had been fooled and swindled out of two years of my young life, tricked into laying on the "Alter of Forfeit" my girlfriend Kathy, my education, my car, and my freedom. Now what do I do? I have 4 months left. Do I have the strength see this hell hole through? Should I just go home?

I decided to finish the mission so my parents could at least have their bragging rights in the ward of having an RM son. That last 4 months was the hardest time I ever had to go through but my thoughts and desire to commit suicide slowly evaporated. I knew I was going home soon and Kathy was still there writing weekly letters keeping me going.

I do wish to say that had it not been for Kathy's love and her weekly letters & tapes, I would have gone over the edge and terminated myself. Unknown to her, she was the only anchor that kept me tethered to the world of mortality.

My day of release from the "best two years of my life" was getting closer every day. For the remaining 16 weeks, I just did the mechanics of the job. I did not send in weekly reports or care what the members of the branch thought anymore. Mentally, I had checked out.

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 08:33PM

flash Wrote:

> The closest thing to your experience with the MTC leaders that I did was ripping my MP a new one about 4 months before I was to go home.

Great story flash!! I bet that felt great to deliver a knockout blow to your MP!! Leadership treats members like that because they can. You are right, he probably was never addressed like that before. And why?? What is a lowly missionary going to do?? Quit and go home?? Cuss them out?? Nawwwww, 99% of the missionaries are going to sit there and take it. There are those few though who figure out that the church leader is just a man and has no special power whatsoever. Once that is realized, their level of “giving a shit” drops to zero and the church leader is exposed as the bullying pile of goo that they truly are. With only 4 months to go you made the right choice to stick it out to the end. Good job!!

Since I knew there was no way that I was going to get any help from my father, I had to establish my own plan. That plan was to save as much money as possible, not just to get out of the house, but beyond. I lived in the house for around 18 months. I could have left before then but the money I earned would have just gone towards rent, food, expenses, etc. I basically was only in the home to sleep at night.

After 18 months I had saved enough for a car, another motorcycle, tuition at BYU, and to get married. During that time I was casually dating two women. One, a TBM gal who I had met in at school and discovered she lived 20 miles from my house. The other was a recent convert that had moved into my home ward. Things started getting serious with both of them and I had to make a choice. I chose the convert gal partially because she wasn’t raised in the church with a “must marry an R.M.” attitude. I broke the other girl’s heart.

I got married in the L.A. temple and our “honeymoon” was driving back to BYU. We were poor, starving, married students. Our friends were other poor, starving, married students. When my wife would socialize with the other wives, inevitably the “Where did your husband go on his mission?” question would come up. When she answered that I didn’t go on a mission, she was met with gasps and stares. Eight months into our marriage she came to me and told me she had made a mistake getting married…that she had married too young…that she should have graduated from college first…that I had robbed her of her college experience, and……..that she should have married a returned missionary.

I should have divorced her then but I was young, dumb, scared, and “married for time and all eternity”. Instead, our marriage grew in separate horribly resentful directions. For 19 terrible years. Then we got into an argument one day (which was rare because we didn’t speak to each other) and she said “Nobody else would put up with your shit!” It was like somebody had woken me up from a deep sleep. I dumped her AND the church at the same time. Life got incredibly better.

Not long after my divorce I was contacted by the gal I broke up with 20 years before. She too was getting out of a horrible abusive marriage and was contacting me to “close some open doors”. She asked if I ever really cared for her so long ago or if I was just playing her. I told her I had feelings for her that I had never felt with others. I also told her that I couldn’t risk being hurt by getting real serious with her and then have her drop a “I have to marry an R.M. on me.” She chuckled and said, “I had two brothers who both hated their missions. Having an R.M. title meant absolutely nothing to me.” DOHHHHHH!!!!!

We kept in contact and I asked her to pursue a relationship with me. She declined. When I pressed her she said that I had always been the love of her life, she barely survived losing me once, and couldn’t take the risk of losing me again. I fought for her like none other. Eventually I won her trust. We had four incredible fairytale type years together before I lost her. Cancer is a bitch!! That was nearly 20 years ago. **sigh**

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Posted by: flash ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 01:41AM

What an experience you have been through.

I am happy that you got to be with the one you loved but sad to hear that she passed away so soon after winning her back. 4 years is way too short of time. Yes, cancer is so evil.

My last marriage also ended in the death of my wife in 2013. It was a wonderful marriage for 23 years and then one day, my beautiful Malaysian wife just collapsed to the floor dead. No warning, no symptoms of anything. Just died, and only 58. I tried to save her but CPR did nothing. I just had to kneel beside her on the floor and watch her slip away into eternity knowing there was nothing I could do to stop it. So I understand and feel for you, man.

Sometimes, freight trains appear out of nowhere and run us down.

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 04:32PM

Amen brother.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 07:17PM

That is a profoundly moving story, Jaxon.

I'm not going to explain much, but my father was a rising star in the church and never forgave me for telling my family via letters what was really happening on my mission. He blamed me for many, many years for the next oldest sibling's refusal to go on a mission and thereby making the family look bad. Some of those rifts have yet to heal.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 04:21PM

Thanks for your comments.

Yup, "making the family look bad" certainly has it's consequences regardless of the truthfulness. The shame and embarrassment I brought on my family for returning home dishonorably...I paid dearly for that. "Rifts"...oh yeah. I have read comments on other boards of people telling wavering missionaries to come home and eventually their parents/family will "get over it". For me, it ALWAYS felt like the elephant in the room. No getting over that.

When my son went on his mission I mentioned to him that he would be told to only report home a sanitized version of his mission. I told him that I knew better and could handle the good and the bad (I lied. If things would have gotten REAL BAD, I would have gone all-in Liam Neeson mode and rescued him). He shared SOME stuff with me, not everything. But a far cry more real than the rainbows and unicorns emails he was sending to his mother.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 06:51PM

There is so much tragedy is these family histories.

Most of my family is out of the church now and my TBM parents are disillusioned with Mormonism and more interested in their children and grandchildren than ever before. But when the earliest of us left, the parents (and some of the siblings) reacted with considerable cruelty. Now most of us are in various states of ex-Mormonism and, one would think, in a position to be mutually supportive.

The reality, however, is different. The acts of cruelty, the betrayals, remain vivid. How can you trust people who, for whatever reason, disowned each other for years or decades? The truth is that our parents were not there for us when we needed them. And now that the parents want close relationships with us, they evidently can't have them. I hadn't foreseen that, but it is what has happened.

Very sad.

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 07:32PM

I’m feelin’ ya LW.

For years I worked at my relationship with my parents. Just when it seemed there was progress and moving steps forward, they would do something to push the relationship steps back. It was a toxic frustrating pattern. I came to the realization that strangers were being treated kinder than I was, and if “walking on eggshells” was required to maintain a relationship…you didn’t have a relationship.

There came a point where my mother “crossed the line” with me. I had no contact again with her for the last four years of her life. Not long after her death, my father “crossed the line” and I had nothing to do with him for the last four years of his life. Amazingly, removing them brought the same joy and peace to my life as when I divorced and left the church.

One image that I carry with me that “says it all” to me was once, a couple of months after my mother passed away, I drove into town (a two hour drive) to take my father out to dinner and spend time with him. When it came time for me to leave I gave him a hug and told him I loved him. As I was hugging him I could feel something pushing against my stomach. When I stepped back I saw that his arm was between us. He was pushing me away.

Throughout my life from the time I was a small child I have used my parents as an example of what NOT to do, particularly with my children. Should the church happen to be true, and supposedly upon death we are greeted by our “loved ones”, my parents had better not be a part of that group. If so, a lot stronger language from my mouth than “flip”, “fetch” and “friggin’” will be echoing through the heavenly halls.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 07:38PM

Jaxson Wrote:

> I have used my parents as an example of what
> NOT to do, particularly with my children.

That is exactly--exactly--my situation.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 10:41PM


Now it's clear why you work so hard to curry favor with me! My example inspires you!

Pshaw! It's nothing! In fact, it's more than nothing!!

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 11:34PM

Lamb(da) curry?

I think not. You are so full of dark matter that it would probably be unhygienic.

But thanks for the offer!

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Posted by: Phoney Moroni ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 05:41PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
> Jaxson Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I have used my parents as an example of what
> > NOT to do, particularly with my children.
> That is exactly--exactly--my situation.


Same here.

If my Mother did it, I will almost certainly do the opposite, especially regarding parenting.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 05:56PM

I was thinking yesterday after my exchanges with Jaxson that my parents really didn't know how to rear children. Why? Because my grandparents were clueless and, from what I can glean, so were their parents. It wasn't until I had left home and was exposed to non-Mormons and their families that I realized how much more was possible.

I believe the dysfunction in so many Mormon families is partly learned, meaning people are trained to prioritize the church at the expense of their kids; and partly a result of polygamy. Some of my ancestral lines practiced the principle, and the distorted politics and values of those families did great and lasting damage.

My parents rated probably a three on a scale of ten, and their parents were respectively a two and a four. I believe none of them knew what they were doing. The legacy of Mormonism, and of polygamy, is strong.

So yeah, we have to break chains that go back generations if we want our children to escape not only the cult but the dysfunctional family dynamics as well.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 12:58PM

I was in south America when the length of missions changed from 24 months to 18 months.

A new native missionary showed our ward. We learned he was from a small town. We asked if he knew elder X. He said he did and in fact Elder X gave his welcome home talk the week before his farewell.

The mission president happened to be standing nearby and looked bewildered. He had a private conversation with the new elder.

Turned out a few elders just up and went home if they had o sr 18 months.

This was back when missions were self funded and those that had means were able to get home if they wanted to.

I knew another elder that his parents had divorced. Both were in the military. One parent was stationed in Germany. The other went to Korea.

The poor elder had no home to return to. A local ward member got the elder a job. Another arranged an apartment. The problem was the job needed him right away and he had five weeks left on his mission.

He promptly packed his stuff. Moved to the new apartment and started his job. His companion and some ward members covered for him.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 02:03PM

I talked my so-so boyfriend into going on a mission. We had met in college our freshman year and we continued to be friends and were together all the time, but we weren't in a relationship. We talked a lot about him going on a mission. He was already 19+. By Christmas of our second college year, he had decided to go on a mission, then started asking me out on dates, and told me he loved me in a letter. We dated until he left on his mission to Boston on May 7, 1977.

I then went to work at Thiokol. I was an extremely devout little mormon girl, but "different" than other TBMs. I'm just rather shy actually, reserved is what one guy told me who I worked with. They thought I was a snob for a while until they got to know me. I was far from snob. I'm not very social AT ALL.

So I worked with a bunch of men and my boyfriend didn't like it and didn't want to hear anything about work and, yet, I was happier than I had ever been in my entire life. I loved my job. I loved most of the people. I had always been afraid of men and I almost quit this job the first few days. Glad I stayed that first week.

So then at Christmas I got a letter from my missionary that was a contest letter to all the girls they all knew asking for baked goodies. Well, I always sent him some, so this really pissed me off. I talked to him on Christmas. I can't remember what else happened, but by February, I had written him a Dear John. A week later I got a letter from his zone leaders mimicking my letter. I called him and he told me he was coming home. I told him if he came home he'd never see me again. I'm so sweet??????

And now I read your stories and it makes me feel bad for how I acted, but I was like you. Indoctrinated. I believed all they told me. I did go out once when he got back so I could get my letters back. I won't tell you what happened as in the end he deserved what he got.

My disabled brother went on a mission (both mentally and physically disabled) back in 1985. He left the week my twins were born. He really did good with his disability as he had really good normal friends. He came back a total mess. He thought he was gay (and I was married to my gay husband so it isn't like I cared if he was) as they had told him he was. He was teased really bad. Long story short, 2 years after he got home, i found out about him thinking he is gay (as my mom saw me reading the book "Peculiar People") and asked me what to do. I knew a therapist he could go to.

When I saw my brother come off the plane, I started to tell my little 2-year-old boy that he would NEVER serve a mission. He said he would think in primary when they'd sing the song--that he was so glad he didn't have to go on a mission.

You have educated me A LOT about missions. For those whose families turned on them, I am furious. My dad was a tough man! Really tough! He never ever ever would have told one of his children (only the disabled son went on a mission) they couldn't come home. In fact, every time I left home (many times), he'd always come to my room and tell me if it didn't work out, to COME HOME!!!

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 02:08PM

He wanted to know how you could do that to a daughter of God?

The messed up issues we were all taught about sex by our indoctrinated parents and leaders.

Then they told me to experiment with my gay boyfriend to see if he could get turned on and when I'd tell the bishop two wrongs didn't make a right, he told me we had to do it this way (which I wouldn't go along with). Then when my husband cheated on me, it was MY FAULT.

They don't give a damn about their so-called daughters of God. We are just sacrificial lambs, but then so are the men. I think men are treated just as bad if not worse in mormonism as women.

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Posted by: alsd ( )
Date: April 30, 2021 06:30PM

I kind of had a nervous breakdown in the MTC. I was called to Italy, so I was in the MTC for a long time. Hated being constantly told that I was not being valiant enough, not faithful enough, and felt a lot of pressure to go on a mission during my freshman year at USU (from my social group, thankfully my parents never really put any pressure on me). Just one example of me being chewed out: Oaks came to talk at the MTC while I was there. It happened to be on our P-day. All of my district members wanted to take the day and wait at the doors to the auditorium so we could be the first ones in and sit in the front row so "we could really feel the spirit". I wanted to enjoy my P-day, and get laundry done, so said "if the spirit is really there, then it shouldn't matter if we are in the front row or were sitting in an overflow room". Oh boy, you would have thought I had insulted Jesus himself. The entire district berated me for not showing enough faith and not respecting the church leaders. So anyway, when I finally gave up and said that I had enough, my parents were supportive of my decision.

In a closely related ward was a very small ward in New Hampshire. There were three of us who went to the MTC within a few weeks of each other, and it was a really big deal. In the previous ten years, only one other guy had gone on a mission from our ward. So a bit less than a year after I left the MTC, one of the other two guys suddenly up and left his mission. The story that came out is that he woke up early one day, packed a few things, snuck out of his apartment and hitchhiked to the nearest bus station and bought a bus ticket home. He was in Portland, Oregon, so it was a cross country bus ticket. He had apparently discovered that he had been lied to about church history and decided he didn't believe any more. He refused all contact with anyone from church. I was quite saddened by that because I really liked the guy and considered him a friend. I tried reaching out a few times in the following years, but it was like he dropped off the face of the earth. 30 years later and the guy is a ghost. I have tried finding him on the internet and cannot find anything. I am FB friends with his mother, and although she is nice, any inquiries about him and how he is doing is completely ignored.

J.L. from N.H.who left your mission 30 years ago, if you are on here, please reach out!

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 03:48PM

I was keen to go on a mission, because I was keen to marry a particular girl; one of the qualifications demanded of me was to serve a successful mission. So I went. The Italy mission was only 2 years old, and I was called to it, part of the first group to get language training before departing for Italy. But my first city was Lugano, Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino (Tessin). God, what a beautiful place. I was stoked at first about serving there. But all that passed in just a couple of weeks, and I would look across the valleys and see these tiny hill towns and fantasize escaping to there, and still living off my check coming from the states (it was a time of hugely strong dollar, which allowed us, in some ways, to live better than the Swiss). But devotion to my girlfriend kept me serving. My companion, someone who is well known in ex-Mormon circles, and I were hugely successful, the first to baptise in ages, and the first to bring in an entire family since the church had come there.

But my backstory is this: I served in Lugano for over seven months, before being transferred to Torino, Italy. Right after I arrived, my girlfriend met a guy who had been kicked off his mission for leaving a pregnant girlfriend behind. He went home, married her, stuck around until the baby was born, and then divorce the girl and moved to Provo. He was dangerously abusive, but my girlfriend was one who confused abusive male behavior with manliness. My girlfriend became sexually active with him, which blew up in her face after she had to get medical treatment for an STI. Her parents still let her stay at BYU, and her Provo bishop never found out about what had happened. She had kept writing to me, still talking about what we'd name our kids, and things like that. She broke up with the other guy, but shortly afterward she met still another guy, who was equally abusive, and he asked her right away to marry him. After my girlfriend had two wedding showers and a planned reception in her home chapel, her fiance left her just four days before the marriage.

I wasn't aware of all this drama, but was devastated that she was engaged to someone else. And that, sir, spelled the mental and spiritual end of my mission; I just hung out for the next year, going through the most important mechanical motions of getting up in the morning at the prescribed time. But I no longer gave a rat's ass about being a missionary. I would have left, but by that time I had nowhere to go, so was better off just staying on my mission.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 03:51PM

deleted (wrong space)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/01/2021 03:52PM by cludgie.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 03:53PM

There have been several other people on RfM who left their missions. One drove a mission car to the airport and flew home, a great story. The parents of another missionary left the church, and then then drove by the church in his mission town, and told him to go home and pack, and then he just drove away with his parents--an even greater story. There was a guy in Graz, Austria, who just walked away, and was occasionally seen on the streets of the city playing a guitar and busking for money.

Some of you know these stories, and maybe some of them are still reading RfM. Someone speak up.

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Posted by: Perdition ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 05:06AM

cludgie Wrote:
> There have been several other people on RfM who
> left their missions. One drove a mission car to
> the airport and flew home, a great story. The
> parents of another missionary left the church, and
> then then drove by the church in his mission town,
> and told him to go home and pack, and then he just
> drove away with his parents--an even greater
> story. There was a guy in Graz, Austria, who just
> walked away, and was occasionally seen on the
> streets of the city playing a guitar and busking
> for money.
> Some of you know these stories, and maybe some of
> them are still reading RfM. Someone speak up.

Those are great stories. How cool would it be to have apostate parents turn up and rescue their kids. I have no insight to offer but there must have been similar dramatic exits in the French missions in the 1980s and 1990s and beyond.

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Posted by: Perdition ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 05:07AM

Perdition Wrote:
> cludgie Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > There have been several other people on RfM who
> > left their missions.
> > Someone speak up.

Those are great stories. How cool would it be to have apostate parents turn up and rescue their kids. I have no insight to offer but there must have been similar dramatic exits in the French and Italian missions in the 1980s and 1990s and beyond. Anybody know?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 05:13AM by Perdition.

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: May 01, 2021 04:44PM

My parents were both non-members. I could have called home collect any day of the week, asked for them to wire me the money for a plane ticket, and slept in my own bed that same night.

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Posted by: presleynfactsrock ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 09:01AM

My mission comments come from a Mom wishing with all her being that her first child would want and choose to escape from the mission from hell in Haiti. My husband and I racked up her indoctrination to some she received from us in her early years of life as well as some from the church, but then, when we saw the "light" and were not active, we parented allowing our children the liberty of attending church for "social reasons".

We begged our first child to ask to be sent to another place, just not impoverished, damaged, frightening Haiti. But, of course, she would not because she just KNEW, you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is where the Lord had especially chosen her to serve.

My first child and I, due to this mission rift plus other reasons, have a severely damaged relationship. It breaks my heart daily.

Our second child served also, going to South Africa when apartheid was alive and real. Once again we begged our child to ask to be sent someplace safe, only to be met with "never".

I have shared many times on this website the reasons I find LDS Youth Missions, missions from hell and most of all, find them to be child abuse. (I must confess at this point that I myself insisted that my high school boyfriend serve a mission before we could marry. He did. And then wonderful? me Dear Johned him, becoming engaged to marry another, a returned missionary, when my high school sweetheart returned. I feel shame and guilt and disgust for using this behavior as a pawn in our relationship, and deep, deep anger and betrayal to the church for indoctrinating me to act in this manner)

Thanks to all so very, very much for sharing your amazing bare honest mission stories which have helped me further know that I was not off the mark in the least to call, many years ago, youth missions what they are.....


Abuse that no young person should be subjected to in any way, shape or form. At this stage in life these bubbly, naive, hopeful youth should be out on an amazing adventure of discovery..... a quest to find out what they enjoy and love doing, who and what type of friends they like to hang with, and what dreams and passions fill their souls.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 09:10AM by presleynfactsrock.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 12:43PM

Just wanted to state that I keep coming back to read more. These stories still shock me as there always seems to be another one worse than prior ones. It very definitely IS ABUSE.

What I "don't love" are the people I know from my youth who served missions and just played, and then they post things about how wonderful they are for serving a mission on fb. A neighbor from my youth served a mission and just watched soap operas at members' homes or went to movies, played around, in Hawaii. Now brags about going on a mission. The bishop talked her into it as she had had sex with multiple guys and kept going in to repent.

Then she puts a post up about everyone in her family serving missions (her husband, 5 boys, herself, and now her daughter was going to be leaving to Victoria, Canada). How wonderful they all were. Their daughter didn't make it through the MTC before going home, but she never mentioned that on fb.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 03:27PM

I replaced a missionary who escaped. Our mission was in central Canada and the area was way out in the boonies. He was from California. He took the mission-issued truck in the middle of the night and drove to the border. He called from Montana to say he'd left the truck on the Canadian side and he wasn't coming back.

I envied his guts.

I served my whole mission not because I feared the church or the supposed eternal consequences. I feared my parents. And, up until about the last four months, I feared the draft.

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Posted by: PHIL ( )
Date: May 06, 2021 05:41PM

We had a number of vets in my mission.The military was great training for a mission.Stuck in some
wasteland and enduring idiot leaders.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: May 02, 2021 06:21PM

I'm so sorry flash and Jaxson that you lost the loves of your life.

I had the best grandparents anyone could ever ask for. Both couples loved each other SO MUCH and they treated the grandkids like royalty. My parents were also good people. They weren't perfect, but we were never judged in terms of if we served a mission (two brothers didn't and none of the girls). Only two of six of us got married in the temple (and we know how mine turned out). Three of my siblings left the church in their teens. We were always loved. I miss my parents every day. They've been gone 12 years.

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Posted by: presleynfactsrock ( )
Date: May 03, 2021 09:52AM

A very lovely tribute to loving parents from you, c12notloggedin.

Parents who truly try to give love, direction, and care....what not to be thankful for! My Mom did this on her own in my family and if there is a heaven, I know that she should be sitting on a cushionie chair, with her feet up, doing whatever she chooses; this type of behavior I seldom saw on earth as she had so much to do what with being both a mom and dad to us rugrats. She is a hero in my eyes.

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Posted by: Cftexan ( )
Date: May 08, 2021 07:23AM

One guy I knew as a teen just took the mission car and drove home. His dad wasn't upset that he left, but he was about him taking the car. So his dad made him drive back to return it, then he flew him back home. I was very TBM back then, but I still thought that was awesome he left. I was always glad aa a woman i didn't have to go on a mission, it sounded like torture.

I knew another kid walked out of the MTC after 2 weeks. That didnt surprise me at all because he didnt seem the true believing type in the first place.

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Posted by: Cftexan ( )
Date: May 08, 2021 07:27AM

Forgot to mention on that last one. He was actually on American Idol before he went to the MTC. He was going to be in the top 20 or whatever it was back in 2012, but he dropped out to go on the mission instead. Then lasted 2 weeks at the MTC. Gues he regretted his decision pretty quick.

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Posted by: Anon this time ( )
Date: May 08, 2021 09:58AM

We drove our son from California to Provo for his mission to France, and then we headed home to CA.

I'm not sure what he told them, but he beat us home. He was waiting for us at our airport.

Interestingly, many family members (and even the passport lady) had an ominous feeling about him going on this mission.

The day he'd have landed in Paris, the airport roof collapsed and killed four people.

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: May 08, 2021 10:28AM


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