(This is for all you nay-sayers who accuse me of making up all those mission stories
in order to sound like a more credible Sunday School teacher.)
Being a Mormon missionary is difficult for lots of reasons, but one of the really lame, migraine-inducing, massive-weight-gain-causing (Oh yeah, THAT caused it) nightmares about being a Mormon missionary is that:
1. You do not get to choose you live with and yet
2. You have to stay with that person ALL THE TIME.
Imagine how terrifying and frustrating that could be. Double the terror and frustration you just envisioned. There you have it.
Anyway, I remember taking my first companion (AKA my "trainer") to the train station on the day she was scheduled to return to the U.S. She loved being a missionary and was NOT excited about going home, so it kind of felt like taking a dog to the pound to be euthanized. I was very curious and also excited about what kind of companion was going to replace my trainer with me in Pécs. I knew her name--Sister Pollock--but that was it.
We served together for three glorious months and did not get sick of each other one bit.
I think it was because we were both converts? And because we were both silly. And because we both liked people more than meeting goals set by someone who didn't know anything about our city. We worked out butts off and had tons of fun. That's a magical combination when one is a Mormon missionary.
We visited lots of inactives, made a lot of chocolate rum balls (calm down, they were liquor-free), and listened to lots and lots of Disney music on P-day. It was with Sister Pollock that I learned that missions can be fun! Sometimes.
When I got home, Ashley had been home for a while, and helped me re-adjust to civilian life and such via constant texting. A mutual friend still refers to us as "siamese twins joined at the cell phone."
I like her because she is well-travelled.
Now she has a daughter who "accidentally" calls me all the time. But we all know it's no accident.
This child was thisclose to being named after me, if only my name were easier to pronounce.