Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Missionary’s Plight…

Dedicated to my dear missionary friends.  

If you’ve ever been on a missions trip or lived overseas, whether short term or long term, you are forever ruined. You now see the world in a whole new perspective. You are now in a special “class” of a select people group. Not to say that this “people group” is better than others, it’s just… different. The true test in identifying this group is observing them when they come back home to the good old western world.  
The following are some common identifiers:

1. “Toilet paper? What’s that?”

2. “That food you left on your plate could feed 5 children in the 3rd world!
In which you may respond, “then ship it to them!”

3. “What do you mean you have to stop at the red light?”

4. “You paid how much for that flat screen TV? You’re definitely going to hell.”

5. Dinner conversation consists of the weird things they’ve had to eat including chicken feet, pig intestines and unfertilized duck eggs.

6. Food poisoning is nothing.

7. Every other sentence begins with, “well when I was in [insert whatever country it was].”

8. They can sleep through any noise, in any position, in any place, including flights where they’re snoozing before the cabin door even shuts.

 9. “What? You don’t carry anti-diarrheals in your purse too?”

10. “It’s all gonna burn anyway!”

Okay, so maybe some of these are a bit extreme (sort of), but I’m allowed to poke fun since I’ve had a few experiences myself. However, usually I leave my comments to an inner monologue rather than making the awkwardness known. Though if one of my missionary friends is in the room, it’s fun to read each others minds and know exactly what they’re thinking.  

But in all seriousness, no matter how long the missionary is home, and they become accustomed to the American lifestyle, they will forever have those random flashback moments. You never know when they might occur. Like walking out of a restaurant and automatically looking for a street kid to give your doggy bag to. Or washing the utensils in your kitchen drawers before using them because roaches probably crawled on them. Or all of a sudden freaking out that you’re driving on the wrong side of the road. Yes, we are forever ruined, but I hold these random moments dear to my heart, no matter how weird it is to others. And of course, my all time favorite is…

“Ah dangit, I flushed the toilet paper again!”

Luckily it’s okay, our pipes can handle it here. 


  1. So true Michelle. Very well written too! We're so glad to have you back here in the states. Thanks for your insight.

  2. HAHAHAHA!! I totally identify with the whole "AH - i just flushed toilet paper down the toilet again!" Line :-) Lol ...
    I love you Michelle Lenk! Thanks for blogging so consistently lol