The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

Sally Aldrich ’19, Abroad Columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






When I imagined my time in Cuenca, Ecuador, I imagined my biggest challenges being the language barrier, the complete change in diet, and whether or not my family had good wifi connection. I did not, however, imagine that my biggest challenge heading into my junior year abroad would be living with Mormons for a whole month.

A Quick Disclaimer: I have no religious ties to anything. Not because I don’t believe in a greater power or force out there in the world, but just because, like any good millennial trying to ruin religion for everyone else, I’ve never been presented with a reason to believe that there is a God or that She/He/They are influencing my life in any way. This also doesn’t mean I don’t respect other religions, I honestly just don’t spend much time thinking about it. My grandma would probably think I need salvation.

Anyway, my family being Mormon did not affect my time in Ecuador for the most part. While nobody in my house drank coffee, my host mom still had instant coffee stored in the back of her cupboards for guests. She still talked with me about daily life, her opinions on TV shows, the rise of Ecuador’s economy, and international politics (she’s a Bernie fan, so we got along just fine). She asked me to sit in when they had missionaries come over for prayer; for someone who’s prior knowledge about Mormonism was from a hit Broadway show, I actually found those nights very interesting.

Things got a little funky towards the end when they had missionaries from the United States come to our house to explain their church to me, and I realized quickly that they thought I was converting. At that point, it was my last night, and I sat through those two hours pretending to convert to Mormonism because it was honestly nice listening to people who had so much faith in something. Maybe it makes me a bad person for pretending to convert (something my host mom still thinks I did to this day) but if I hadn’t been so open to hearing about their way of life, I don’t think I would have connected with my family very well.

I guess this story is my roundabout way of saying that in order to capitalize on your experiences while studying abroad, especially if you plan on living with a host family, you have to let go of your preconceived ideas, and open your mind to new ideas and new ways of living. Isn’t that what going abroad is all about? I mean, I don’t think you need to go as far as pretending to convert to another religion, but I did come out of it with my very own, English/Spanish Book of Mormon, signed by the Elders and Sisters in Cuenca, and what more could I need?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

The Dickinsonian strives to provide a forum for lively and respectful discussion among members of the Dickinson College community. We reserve the right to remove any comments that we do not adhere to our community standards.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    News

    Dept. of Theatre and Dance Turns College Farm to Dust Bowl

  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    News

    Film Showing Highlights Experiences of Latina Performers

  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    News

    “Our Graduates Will Build a Better World” President Margee Ensign Inaugurated During Homecoming Weekend

  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    Life & Style

    Porcupine Visits with Dickinsonians

  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    News

    Experts Claim Republican Party Is Not Racist, Believes in Science

  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    News

    Rose Walters Award Recipient Talks Climate Change, Human Behavior

  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    News

    Call-in Hosted to Support Susya

  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    News

    Dickinson Flies Flag at Half-Staff after Las Vegas Shooting

  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    News

    Performer Ponders “Queer Response to Climate Change”

  • Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador

    News

    Chess Grandmaster Challenges Students

The student news site of Dickinson College.
Letters from Abroad: Book of Mormon from Ecuador