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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Hey I’m Back! Did I Miss Anything? » Hey I’m Back! Did I Miss Anything?

Hey I’m Back! Did I Miss Anything?

Tim - August 8, 2006

I apologize for another missionary post. My brother recently returned from his mission a few months ago, and it has brought back a flood of memories.

One of the phenoma of coming back from a mission, along with getting over the awkwardness, is all the catching up one has to do, especially if one served overseas.

A couple days after returning from his mission, we took the customary trip to Blockbuster to get him caught up on all the movies he had missed. Our discussion then turned to all of the events he’d missed out on, which was perfectly capped-off by him asking, “Who’s Paris Hilton?” Lucky man, he is.

I shared with him how weird it was to get back to the States and find out about all the crazy stuff I missed. Here’s a list of things that I missed out on from December of 1997 to December of 1999:

Titanic–I still don’t understand how this is the most successful movie of all time. Though I did have the Celine Dion theme song memorized–in Guatemala.

Star Wars Episode 1–I had to see it in a dollar-theatre when I got home.

The deaths of Chris Farley and Phil Hartman. I almost had to have a talk with my Mission President after the Farley death.

McGwire/Sosa chasing Maris–Maybe the most-lamented. Much to the dismay of my Nicaraguan companion, every morning we had to go get the Prensa Libre newspaper so I could be updated.

Clinton/Lewinsky–Reading the Starr report in Spanish did wonders for my vocabulary.

Y2K–I did get home before 2000 came, but it took forever to have this explained to me.

Columbine shootings.

JFK Jr. dies in plane crash.

Hurrican Mitch–Oh wait. I was actually right in the middle of this one.


  1. I had a friend who served when grunge exploded. She came home and was really confused. “Alternative music is popular? Then what is the real alternative music now?” I couldn’t say. I told her possibly it was rave music. That required a whole other explanation.

    Comment by Susan M — August 8, 2006 @ 7:27 am

  2. I would hate to date myself by saying that when I got home, I had no idea who “E.T” was. Maybe some of the people reading this don’t know who he is either!

    Comment by Bored in Vernal — August 8, 2006 @ 9:43 am

  3. I don’t think I missed much since I was on my mission in the States, and my parents would often tell me of really big things.

    Most of the things i missed were not pop culture related.

    Comment by Kim Siever — August 8, 2006 @ 11:15 am

  4. 9/11.

    Because I never heard anything more than reports from church members and saw only two or three pictures in a newsweek, until I arrived home, I will forever be as detached from this event as I am from pearl harbor. It’s very strange.

    Comment by Ryan — August 8, 2006 @ 1:25 pm

  5. My husband missed the Milli Vanilli scandal. I think he’s still clueless about it.

    Comment by JKS — August 8, 2006 @ 1:33 pm

  6. It’s funny how long two years can be and how so much can happen.

    Ryan, that is one I hadn’t thought of, and, yes, it would be very strange to think you weren’t there with us in front or our TV’s watching it all unfold. Very interesting.

    JKS, hilarious.

    Comment by Tim — August 8, 2006 @ 1:44 pm

  7. Isn’t this a re-tread of the same thread elsewhere? I’m getting deja vu reading the above comments.

    I was about 1/2 way into my mission. A new elder came into the mission. Almost the first thing I heard out of his mouth was “That Madonna is sooooo bitchin’.”

    Ok, so it was a long time ago.

    Comment by Bookslinger — August 8, 2006 @ 5:36 pm

  8. Ryan stole mine before I could read this:) Though for me serving in L.A., (hard to miss much there!) 9/11 on the mission (the day before transfers, to make it more interesting) provided it’s own surreal experiences. But yeah, I don’t think it’s the same for us as everyone who could see it all unfold that day.
    I was serving directly under LAX in Inglewood and Lennox, so it was weird enough to not hear planes roaring over our heads every two minutes.

    Oh, and I missed both Sydney and Salt Lake Olympics and the whole 2000 election controversy.

    Comment by Bret — August 8, 2006 @ 9:05 pm

  9. Interesting thought, everyone. It is sort of a “Sorry, I didn’t exist then” experience.

    I was lucky enough to return home right before the OJ Simpson verdict. Suddenly everyone’s preparing for riots and I had no idea who he was!

    I wonder about this question from a different perspective: are there some events that you view completely differently because they happened while you were a missionary? For example, I was in Brazil during the ’94 World Cup, which was hosted in the US and won by Brazil. Not surprisingly, I have a different perspective on that even than most Americans.

    Comment by BrianJ — August 8, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

  10. sorry, that should read “…on that event than…”

    Comment by BrianJ — August 8, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

  11. I would have missed England winning the world cup…except I was there. We couldn’t teach, meet with people or talk about anything except the world cup. So being the good missionary I was, I watched it right along with our investigators…it was great!!

    Comment by Don Clifton — August 9, 2006 @ 9:35 am

  12. Bret,

    I was also serving in LA at the time… in the deaf district. Of course during that time I went by the moniker Elder Moore. I remember driving up the empty 405 fwy and thinking

    “Wow, the 405 is empty during the morning commute? This is a miracle of Red Sea proportions”

    Comment by Ryan — August 9, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

  13. Ryan,

    I think I remember you. I was in Gardena for 7 months and saw a lot of the elders there in the Torrance 3rd branch.

    Yeah, I don’t think the 405 has been that empty since it was built! I less active in the ward in Lennox insisted I and my comp call home to help our families feel a little better after the day was over8p What a weird day and a weird turn of events since then!

    Comment by Bret — August 9, 2006 @ 9:34 pm

  14. I asked my dad, “Did I miss any good movies when I was gone?” He said, “No, not really. Oh wait, there was one. It’s called ‘Tommy Boy.’”

    Also, before my mission, email was a rarity (though I did have a Prodigy account in the early 1990s). When I came back, email was a pretty standard fixture. Probably had something to do with Al Gore.

    Comment by gst — August 17, 2006 @ 9:38 pm

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