So I left the Mormon church 3 or 4 years ago, officially removed my records and everything. However, unlike what most people have said, I have been able to keep a few of my mormon friends. My two best friends in the whole world since 6th grade (we are all in college now) are both still active and practicing mormons. One of them, lets call her Kendra, informed me a few months ago when the age limit for female missionaries was lowered that she was thinking about going on a mission. All I could say was that's a really big commitment for her to be thinking of making. She assured me she would only apply if she felt it was the right thing to do and the convo was over. You see, I'm not one of those ex mormons who hates all mormons and wants everyone else to know they are doing something wrong by being in the religion. I simply discovered that being mormon wasn't for me, so I've been able to stay good friends with these two girls based on our mutual respect for different lifestyles. They both have a fairly worldly sense of humor which has made it easier.
Anyways, I'm going home for Christmas in a week, and I will get to see my two best friends. I can't wait, however Kendra just informed me today that her mission call should come sometime this week. This is the first time she mentioned it since our last conversation and I don't know what to do. I'm worried, like most friends that I have seen, that she is going to go on a mission and change. She's going to come back and not be able to be friends with me anymore because I'm not Mormon or even a little bit Christian. I don't believe in any religion or any god. So far in our friendship this hasn't really been a problem but I'm worried that when she goes on a mission and gets that deep into mormonism that this is all going to change.
Does anybody here have any words of advice for me, or maybe have been in a similar experience? It's killing me to think about this and I need to know what other people think.
I feel very much the same way as you do about leaving the church. I actually value my Mormon upbringing in many ways, but was very happy to find out it was all just fiction.
I had no idea the church lowered the age limit on women missionaries. I'm noticing more and more older adults being pressed into service and now lowering the age limit on women is showing that it isn't as easy to sell the church as it once was before the Internet.
I do think sadly that you are right to be concerned that your friend will change and your relationship will change. Even if you were still Mormon people coming back from Missions are very different. I will say that Mormon's seem to have an easier time with people who don't believe any religion than those who join a different religion. To them it seems like you are taking a break, but if you join another religion it looks like a complete betrayal.
I don't have any advice on how to get through that except to say that life moving forward always changes anyway. I have two friends from High School who I've kept in contact with over a lot of years. I have absolutely nothing in common with either of them. Change is inevitable. Support her goals and ask her to respect your beliefs. Send her some packages on birthdays and Holidays and don't expect anything in return and then you've done all you can do.
Devil Bar Kokhba
my brother is on a mission right now. his letters are uber tbm. however, the communications I've had with him personally have been met with respect on both sides and it' s clear he still loves and accepts me despite my leaving the church over 4years ago. since your friend has a relationship foundation with you outside the Mormon box,I suspect she will still hold you in high regard and continue to value your friendship. Hopefully time proves that case. good luck.