Missionary Fights


While reading Rosalynde’s excellent review at Dialogue of Craig Harline’s (also) excellent Way Below the Angels, for some reason my mind turned to an experience from my own mission when I got into a fight with my companion.

I’m a very easy going, laid back kind of guy. Yes, living with another dude 24/7 en mish was no picnic, but for the most part I was able to get along with pretty much everyone. The one significant exception I recall happened sometime in the year 1978 somewhere in Colorado.

One night Elder Smith (not his real name) and I were out on splits with the local seventies. (Yes, when I was a missionary stake seventies were still a thing.) That evening I did two things that really set Elder Smith off. First, my seventy and I didn’t get back to the missionary apartment until 10:30 p.m. That’s a pretty serious breach of split off etiquette. I honestly don’t remember the circumstances that led to our late return (we definitely had a reason), but Elder Smith was (understandably) righteously pissed about it. And as I think back on it, he had every right to be; there’s nothing worse than cooling your heels in your spartan missionary apartment with some local guy from the ward who desperately wants to go home already but can’t leave you alone until his companion comes back.

The other thing that happened was that I had passed off a family we had recently contacted to the seventies to work with. In my own defense, I was right to do so, as this family clearly wasn’t going anywhere, but Elder Smith didn’t appreciate my passing off one of our contacts, and not experiencing what I had with the family (including some intensely creepy glossolalia!) he had no reason to be understanding of my decision.

So when our regular member compatriots left, it hit the fan, as they say. Elder Smith started yelling at me. I yelled back at him. He came at me and took a swing. I dodged the punch[1] and gave him a hard shove. He stumbled backwards and stepped on his alarm clock (on the floor near his bad) and smashed it. Something about breaking his alarm clock snapped him out of it, and the (mini) fight stopped. He called some other elders in the area and we split with them over night. After that he calmed down and the next day we got back to normal.[2]

I wonder how common it is to have heated arguments like this between companions (whether or not they escalate to actual physicality)? I honestly don’t have a good sense of the answer. What do you think? What experiences do you have along these lines? Are there techniques we should be teaching our young elders and sisters to minimize the chances of such heated experiences?

[1] My freshman year at BYU I had been involved in the Karate Club. Not that a year of experience is that much, but I was very accustomed to standing across from a guy trying to attack me, so it didn’t freak me out when Elder Smith took a shot at me. Just having been in that kind of setting many, many times kept me calm about it all.

[2] We actually got on quite well; this altercation was out of character for us.



  1. I recall an Elder in my apartment saying of my then-companion, “he’s like Satan – wants everyone to be miserable just like himself.” That was nice.

  2. I had one companion who yelled at me every time I looked at her during scripture study. Our desks faced each other so it was a couple of times every morning. She finally built a wall of cereal boxes between us.
    The worst fight I had was at a busy train station. My companion didn’t want to street contact anymore (we had zero investigators so we spent most of our time street contacting). We got in a screaming match in front of everyone over going home or staying out. She ended up just taking off running. We were about 3 miles from our apartment. I followed but couldn’t keep up so I gave up. She got home about 10 minutes before me and when I got home she was fuming. She didn’t speak a single word to anyone for the next 4 days. So essentially I did all the missionary work by myself for 4 days. I was so upset at the time. I feel bad now. She had gone home for a few months for knee surgery and then come back out. I didn’t realize at the time how hard that must have been. I wish I had been more understanding.

  3. It wasn’t a companion, but one of the elders in our district was constantly apologizing for things, 99% of which were not his fault, and it was irritating. He was a big man–he must have had 6 inches and 50 pounds on me. But one day I’d had enough and lit into him verbally. It surprised him and me. Mostly him. I look back now and wonder why I didn’t just let things like that roll off my back.

  4. I never fought openly with companions, but was instead pretty miserable within the companionship most of the time. I saw it as just one of those things to be suffered though as being a missionary. It made me highly aware of what type of person I was (including some of my own weaknesses) and what type of people were easy/hard for me to relate to. Those lessons still stick with me today. (I don’t do well with highly rigid, unbending rule followers – and that was with me trying really hard to be a 100% obedient missionary myself.)

    One of my favorite companions told me that another sister in the mission used to beat her. Punches to the arm, the back, occasionally kicks. She never told anyone about it other than me. We were highly encouraged not to complain about our companions and at the time I thought the silent sister was doing the right thing. Of course, I then lived in terror of being assigned to the violent sister.

  5. A companion took a swing at me. I can’t remember whether he pulled the punch and I can’t remember the trigger (this is more than 40 years ago).. What I do remember is the mission president separating us to new assignments and in the process telling me that while my companion was in the wrong in the immediate instance, there was a reason that I had a new assignment every month. Apparently every companion asked for a transfer. Thinking motes and beams.

  6. Kevin Barney says:

    Thanks for sharing these stories; they’re a window to a little discussed aspect of missionary service. And “Of course, I then lived in terror of being assigned to the violent sister” is kind of terrifying–a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing!

  7. I never had a physical fight with my companions (that’s just not who I am) but I spent a good deal of my mission irritated with most of them. I did not start out low key and easy going despite being rather reserved and very private. Looking back, the mission stressed me a great deal and, to top that off, to be stuck with a perfect stranger in a rundown apartment (I was in Mexico) for a good deal of time was just too much. I spent a good deal of time in the bathroom just so I could be alone. I am happy to say that by the time I was in my last area, I had matured a great deal. My last two companions were irritating in very different ways. The first was gung ho and very self righteous and had a tendency to make fun of my Spanish. Surprisingly, I never got really angry with him but calmly asked him to “knock it off” after which he apologized and we got along great. My very last companion was a brand new elder and he struggled with the adjustment and homesickness. I was sympathetic but we never really connected. But I never got angry with him, either (which is what I would have probably done initially).

  8. I had several mentally unstable (diagnosed) companions that went off a few times. They would yell, I would laugh at them, they would yell more, and then it was over. I’m not sure why I got stuck with them, but you get through it and move on. Missionary life is really isolating and really stressful. I’m surprised more fights don’t happen.

  9. Mortimer says:

    Sister missionaries aren’t usually physical, but can be extremely cruel and catty, fighting with social ostracism, emotional bullying, etc. My friend was placed with the “problem” sister for most of her mission b/c she was the only one who seemed to be able to manage an abusive (w)itch. My friend endured a miserable mission wrangling the cruel companion no one else could instead of proselytizing. She never speaks of her mission. Ever.

    I remember the day my companion stabbed me in the back (socially). I didn’t stop crying inside for two months. Ahhh. Memories.

    A male family member was tagged as the humble-low-key comp who was stuck for over a YEAR with an elder who had the emotional and social maturity of a toddler. Not exaggerating. Undiagnosed something or another. He brought a suitcase of kindergarten-aged toys with him to a foreign country. He was obnoxious, unknowingly insulting, and completely inappropriate round the clock. (Autism-spectrum? Social disability?) Which ever bishop signed his papers deserves an eternity as his 24hr companion. Of course no diagnosis, no warning, and importantly NO training was or is ever given to the poor and unsuspecting companions. Why not send these difficult missionaries home instead of letting another (often passive) missionary take the grenade for the rest of the team? Why not send them to special supervised mission with trained professionals? Or just.say.no.

  10. My companion pulled a few lines out of apostles’ talks to justify her telling me I am going to hell for my inadequacies as a missionary. She was my trainer and I had just come back to the church after being inactive for most of my life due to my family. Let’s just say that approach to training as well as the hitting and tough love was what I consider anti-missionary work.
    I felt so embarrassed on the streets trying to street teach while this girl was yelling, criticizing, and hitting me. Then going up to people saying hey do you know more about this wonderful organization that is true and full of happiness. Don’t mind that we look miserable.

  11. matt w. says:

    I never got into fisticuffs on my mission, but it did happen quite a bit. The Best 6 months of my mission I was with a companion who had fought with and punched his prior companions and attempted to run away. After me, He again punched (TKO) his following companions. It didn’t take me long to figure out he didn’t speak English and had a hard time getting up in the morning. So I moved my clock back and adjusted to his schedule and we only spoke the mission language or his native language. I allowed him to actually teach (his prior companion had limited him to only speaking 30 seconds or less per engagement) and told him I loved him every day (In his native Samoan, this is a pretty manly thing to do. We ended every prayer with “Talofa Ua Oi!”). One day he became very angry at me and told me he really wanted to hit me, but couldn’t. Near the end of our time together, I learned his parents had never written him on the mission, and his father/bishop had told him if he didn’t come home without a wife he would be in trouble. I was a little devious and wrote his parents and told them to write their son or there would be church consequences. They wrote him.

    All in, he and I had 10 weeks straight of baptisms every week. At the time we were the only companionship in our zone having baptisms. That is when I learned I would give anything to have other missionaries have that kind of success. It was a major turning point on my mission.

  12. CS Eric says:

    I never got into a fight, but there were several companions I would have liked to have taken a swing at. I never had any companion for very long, but I set records for longevity with each of them. I guess I was the one who got companions nobody else could get along with. I still remember the counsel my mission president gave me during an interview with the one I disliked the most. “Patience, Elder. Patience.”

  13. RBarney says:

    I had a companion with whom I argued pretty constantly, which was probably more my fault than his. He was Mexican (we were in Mexico), and was rightly proud of his country. I was a chauvinistic American who was confident the US was the Greatest Country in the World, which left no room for any other country to be even be admirable. It led to stupid arguments of which I am not proud.

    The only time it got at all physical was when we walked past a school during a flag raising ceremony. We stopped in the street to show respect, but he thought I should salute the flag as he did. He felt so strongly about it he grabbed my arm and tried to raise it in salute. We surely looked foolish wrestling in the street. As a side note, Mexicans occasionally use/used a salute which is very similar to the Nazi salute. I don’t know the rules for when such a salute is used vs. another which looks much like when Americans place our hand over our heart. I thought it was extremely weird, even creepy. Years later I learned that we Americans saluted the flag the exact same way for decades until FDR changed the practice during the war years (really).

    Later in my mission with another companion everyone assumed we had come to blows because one day we suddenly had serious bruises and swelling on our faces. We had been attacked in the street by four goons (actually policia judicial) who took offense at something (fortunately my companion was a serious fighter due to a pre-mission life which was much more colorful than my own). We assumed we would be separated if the mission president found out about the fight, so we said nothing and let people speculate. Since our mission president was a day’s drive away and no one had phones in 1980, it worked out.

  14. Nauvoo Legionnaire says:

    I had a pretty heated argument with my companion one day. It started over laundry being left in the washbasin, but because we couldn’t stand one another, it metastasised into something much bigger. I had to do everything in my power to refrain from beating that guy senseless.

    It was pretty awkward for a few days after that, but I still wanted to punch him in the face. I still do.

  15. The other Aussie Mormon says:

    A couple of stories:

    In my mission we had an elder punch his companion in the back of the head with a dumbbell in his hand. That led to weights being banned from the mission.

    Prior to my mission, there were some elders serving in my home ward who were consistently aggressive towards one another. At one point, one companion picked up his companions bicycle and threw it through their apartment window. When asked why he did that by the Mission President, he stated “it was either the bike or my companion.”

    And while not a companionship fight, I had an elder in my zone who was out doorknocking and a young man of about 17 responded to his requests to hear the gospel rudely. The kid was smoking and blew the smoke into this missionary’s face. The missionary, who spoke rudimentary English (he was Tongan), grabbed the young man by the scruff of the neck and assaulted him physically. It didn’t turn out well. The police were called, the missionary spent a lot of time with the Mission President, and the church received terrible publicity.

    I witnessed a companion get pushed off the porch of someone’s home because we were not welcome there. And I almost saw two or three genuine fights between people who did not like us knocking on the doors. My companions seemed annoyed at the way we were treated for annoying the people who lived in those homes and so they responded with sass. Next thing we were doing all we could to avoid physical assault. Except for the time my companion took his nametag off and invited the resident to take a swing.

    My mission president made me feel small when I requested a companionship change early in my mission. My companion was driving me mad and I really wanted someone like one of my previous companions. My mission president stared me down, and then stated “your companion has never been so happy in the entire 18 months of his mission as he is right now with you.” I told the Mission President to keep us together!

  16. Villate says:

    Wow, I thought all my companions were great and I loved all of them, but then I had a reputation for being “easy to get along with.” I hope that was a compliment. I was the second companion to a couple of sisters who had had rough trainers. One was emotionally abused and very anxious the first week I was with her. When she realized that I wouldn’t yell at her or call her names or leave her by herself in public places, she warmed up quite a bit. She was a hard worker and it was her dream to be a missionary. I still feel sad when I think of how her trainer treated her. She had a lot of health problems and I sometimes felt impatient with her, but I tried very hard not to show it. I had another companion who had a bad reputation for being lazy and mean, but after the first few days she opened up and we got along very well. We ended up having several baptisms, which is questionable as a sign of success but helped her feel like she was accomplishing something. Last I heard, the people we taught who got baptized are still active in the Church today. The worst problem I had with a companion was the only sister I trained. An elder in our district who had come out at the same time abruptly went home (not sure why, but there was an air of “you don’t want to know” about it all) and she fell into a funk. She refused to speak or do anything. At one point I asked her what I could do and she shouted, “How can I be a good missionary when you haven’t taught me anything!” I had no idea how to respond because I thought I was modeling good missionary behavior and following the rules. She wouldn’t elaborate on what I was supposed to be teaching her. I dragged her along as best I could for two more weeks until I was transferred for my last month (I had already asked for this to happen). I heard she and her next companion (interestingly, the same one who had been abusive to my previous comp) did very little for the next two months, but then she perked up and finished her mission successfully. I don’t have any hard feelings toward her and we are friends on Facebook now for whatever that’s worth. Once I was asked to referee a companionship inventory between two sisters who weren’t getting along, but I don’t think they were abusive to each other. One was trying to decide if she believed in God and hoped that a mission would clear that up. The other was a more straight-arrow type and they were talking past each other. I don’t think I helped them much, unfortunately. The agnostic sister looked more and more miserable as time went on and I’m not sure she stayed the whole 18 months. That was toward the end of my mission and I have no idea how she got along with her subsequent companions. Arguments or disagreements I can understand, but it astonished me then (and still does) that companions mistreat each other. Reading all these stories, I feel pretty fortunate.

  17. whizzbang says:

    I know two sister missionaries who got into physical altercations with their companions, one got knocked out cold. All due to frustrations and anger. I had to babysit elders in my mission, no training, warning or anything. I got these phone calls from the MP to just hold onto them or stuff like that but every one was different but it wasn’t easy to serve with guys who didn’t want to be there or whatever

  18. At the 19-month mark, I got a new companion. I didn’t learn until later that I was the only companion that he hadn’t slugged. This guy was a little wacko. I felt lucky to have escaped him unscathed.

  19. Just last evening, I posted on my blog a story about my last companion who physically assaulted me. She was a little squirt, I am 5’11”. If it had not been so pathetic, I would have laughed. She, during the assault, pushed me, we both fell onto a table in the apartment, breaking it. We contacted an investigator who came over to fix it. I never expected something like this to happen on my mission.

  20. Oh geez. This thread is bringing back bad memories.

    I was also one of the missionaries who got assigned difficult companions. My trainer was emotionally abusive, both to me, to other elders, and even to the local stake missionaries. My third comp was also emotionally abusive, as was my fourth. The fourth, though – he was a body builder. He probably had 75 pounds on me (I was 6′ 1″ and 135 pounds at the time). I wasn’t a perfect missionary by any means, but I did want to be out working, as I felt like I was otherwise wasting two years of my life. He… Didn’t. I asked my mission president what to do about that; the mission president told me a very specific thing to say the next time the topic came up. I said the specific thing, and this caused my companion to start swinging, and keep on swinging. I curled up into a ball on the apartment couch and let him punch himself to exhaustion into my knees and shins. The mission president separated us after that but never bothered to ask me what happened. It later came out that this missionary kept a handgun hidden in his luggage. So all in all, I actually consider myself fairly lucky.

    My last companionship was a threesome. One of my companions was a Tongan who, it later turned out, had gang affiliations. He never hit me, we were fairly good friends, but our other companion said something to him that ticked him off, and he attempted to throw the guy through the wall. I ended up standing between them looking the Tongan companion in the eye with my arms folded.

    I’m glad I went on a mission. But I’m also glad I only had to do it once.

  21. Angela C says:

    I had a profanity-laden yelling match with my first trainee right before we entered a teach for a first discussion with a family that was baptized and became real stalwarts. I even visited with the family after 20 years, and they were still attending church, although they had divorced. The wife was teaching gospel doctrine, and 3 of their 4 sons served missions. My companion and I always laughed about that night and how it just went to show that we weren’t the reason people joined the church. It was a real knock-down drag-out, and I don’t remember all of what it was about, but mostly assorted petty annoyances. I walked too fast and made excuses for the rude behavior of locals. She was bossy and critical, stuff like that. We actually were and are still great friends. But we had definitely reached a boiling point.

    I had a different companion who simply hated me and told me so. She said she was praying for transfers because she couldn’t wait to get away from me. Then she told the president some manufactured gossip about me to ensure my transfer. So that was fun. We weren’t friends then, and we aren’t now.

  22. Mortimer says:

    Matt W., I’m glad for you that your story ended happily. However your story stinks! It really, really stinks. It perpetuates the myth that all difficult or abusuve companionships will work out with the right recipe of forced confinement, patience, righteousness, and cleverness. So many mission presidents think that your story is the norm, that if compsnionships have to be together they will work it out. If they don’t, it’s because they weren’t righteous enough. I’d like to point out how unique your story is in this thread and in the mission field. 99% of the stories don’t end like yours did, but we all feel pressure to be like you-to endure, learn a lesson, turn the other guy around and resultantly baptize record numbers of people. That just isn’t most people’s experience with dysfunctional Companionships. We all hear stories like yours, and I think it sets up false expectations and tricks young pre-missionaries into thinking that simple prayer and patience is how one prepares for a dysfunctional companion instead of empowering themselves with other counseling/relationship knowledge and tools. And we have bishops and stake presidents who send out difficult elders/sisters without worry or warning, believing in super happy stories like yours when in reality, you are an astronomical anomaly!!!!! If you ever tell that story again, it’s important to preface it with a heckuvalotta caveats. it isn’t a pattern for anyone else.

  23. I’m not sure Matt is really obligated to offer all sorts of caveats to his story. Each of us have our stories, and this is his. This is really reflective of life in general. What’s wrong with a bishop or stake president knowing the reality, which includes your and others’ perspective: Missionaries with tempers, MH issues, etc., in many or even most instances can result in significant problems for other missionaries, members, investigators, etc. There are so few absolutes in the world, and it would be hyperbole for anyone to say that no good can ever come out of a situation like those described here. What are the odds? I’m not sure we can use the posts here as reliable, statistically, but common sense would say the odds are not good that it will work out.

    Matt should be truthful about his story, and I’m going to assume he has. I don’t think he owes any apologies or caveats.

  24. My brother didn’t get along with his trainer. Called him homosexual slurs all the time and insulted him. One day my brother was brushing his teeth, saw his comps toothbrush, and cleaned his butt with it.

  25. Michael says:

    I was in a house that normally held 6 elders, but at one point we got a threesome. The third wheel had been almost exclusively in threesomes since he’d been trained. One particular afternoon, his two companions were begging us for a break – just three or four hours so they could sit on a park bench and try to recover. We had a teaching appointment at least 60 minutes away by bus, so we figured travel time would take up most of the afternoon.

    We arrived to find a young man who drove a cab (he had a car! he had a job!) and who had stolen a Book of Mormon from a Marriott hotel, read it, and believed it to be the truth. This extra elder launched into discussions of Kolob, a Mother in Heaven, herbal Amway supplements, polygamy, and how the Diet Coke on the table was against the Word of Wisdom. The bewildered investigator finally told us, “I really thought this was what I needed, that this was the truth I’ve been looking for, but this isn’t what I thought it was. I apologize for wasting your time.” We left his house, walked about a block, and our third wheel Elder loudly announced, “Well, I guess the Lord didn’t want him to get baptized.” I turned and punched him right between the eyes, leaving him flat on his butt in the middle of the street. We happened to be right in front of the home of the Governor of the state. There was a police officer parked right there who saw the whole thing and didn’t react in the slightest. We never spoke about it again.

    But, I got my revenge. This elder was constantly broke, and had taken to selling blood plasma to finance the gifts he was sending home to an alleged girlfriend. I told him that a local research hospital was paying $75 for bone marrow donations. They were, he did, and all the other missionaries in the house considered the matter closed.

  26. i only had one companion that i got into a fight with. verbally. he was insecure about being an uneducated, but talented ballroom dancer. as a result of his insecurities, he over-compensated with a false bravado about everything. i recall one time arguing heavily over his claim that “people who have tattoos cannot get into the celestial kingdom.” after our mission he invited me to “join him in an exciting opportunity to help me get in at the ground level.” I laid into him again. I believe he’d be a trump supporter if I ever looked him up.

  27. The Other Clark says:

    I know a guy who didn’t get along with his companion at all. As he wasn’t that imposing physically, he used knowledge gleaned from the temple endowment to command the evil spirits possessing his companion to depart. Obviously, the rest of their time together was awkward.

    My brother tried to force his companion out of bed in the morning. His companion responded by trying to shove him out the apartment window. He went through the glass, but the window was barred, which kept him from falling all the way out. The apartment was on the fourth floor.

  28. There were plenty of times in the field where people would step to each other and ask if they wanted to fight when tempers flared but someone always chickened out. My only personal experience with getting physical was that my trainer locked me out of the flat in the back garden area (obviously I was in England) as a prank. He thought it was amusing that I was very angry being stuck in a dirty moldy space with a discarded mattress and no way to get out. I pounded on the door until he let me him. As he opened the door, I grabbed a fistful of the front of his shirt, pushed him to the next room into a wall and let him know that if he would never do that again to me. Most missionary fights don’t last long at all.

  29. I had a full on slugfest with a companion, we both got pretty hurt and we trashed our little studio apartment in the process.

    Story: I used to fall asleep by 10 every night, but he was a night owl. He used to wait until I was asleep and then he’d come stand over me and yell to startle me awake. He thought it was hilarious. No amount of logic, asking, begging, pleading could make him stop. So one night I pretended to be asleep and had my heaviest shoe under my pillow. As soon as he got over me and bent down to yell I clocked him on the head with my shoe (what can I say, I’m Latin, and the chancla is an acceptable form of discipline).

    Unfortunately, I didn’t think it through enough. I weighed 130 lbs, he weighed 275 lbs. And he fell on top of me. Trapped, I desperately grasped at some way to get him off of me, and with my other arm squeezed his oompa loompas as hard as I could.

    He picked me up and threw me against the wall, and it was off to the races. We threw stuff, he’d try to grab me and I’d headbutt him, we both threw and landed punches and kicks. We gouged, bit, threw more stuff, pushed each other into things.

    Final tally, holes in the wall, two shattered windows, collapsed table, crushed lamps, and for us we both walked away with black eyes, bruises, cuts.

    We ended up getting along ok after that. I was his last companion, and we ended up getting together after the mission, and now 30+ years later, we’re 2,000 miles apart, but text and email weekly.

    BTW, it’s the only fight I’ve ever been in. I’m generally a very mellow person.

  30. Reading all of the above heartwarming stories about mission experiences has motivated me to share one of mine.

    Towards the last six months of my mission I was transferred into the mission office to be the financial secretary. The rumor was that I was being groomed to be an AP, as one of them was just a month away from going home.

    I was quite unhappy to be in the office and wanted to spend my last several months working in the field.

    There was an elder in the mission that for some reason did not like me and he would always taunt me and try to get a rise out of me. He was always boasting about the fact that he was a black belt or some such nonsense. Physically, we were very similar in size and build.

    One night rather late after our mission singing quartet had put on a show for members and investigators, several of us stopped by the mission office to finish up some work. As I was sitting behind my desk, this missionary and a few others rambunctiously came bursting into the office laughing and carrying on.

    He noticed me quietly doing my thing in the corner of the office behind my desk and he just couldn’t resist the opportunity to annoy me. He leaned over the desk and began slapping my face and egging me on in an attempt to get a response… which he eventually got.

    Something snapped inside me and I went berserk. To his shock and amazement I leaped over the table and shoved him against the wall which stunned him. I then picked him up and carried him across the room and threw him against the upper corner of a metal file cabinet.

    As the weight of his body came down against the corner of the file cabinet, it tore a huge hole in his white shirt and his skin. The wound was over a foot long. Blood began shooting all over the place.

    As they rushed him to the hospital I felt quite numb and pondered what had just happened in disbelief.

    A few days later I was transferred back out into the mission field.

  31. I might mention that after that experience, the last several month in the mission field were wonderful. I was a Zone leader and we had a huge success and set a record for number of baptisms in my zone.

  32. We had bunk beds in our mission.I had a companion who had the top bunk. We were both over 6 feet tall, but he weighed about 50 lbs more than me and had served in the army. Every night, he would reach down and start punching me with his pillow. It was fun and games to him but really annoying to me. One night, I decided to do something different. When he reached down to punch me, I grabbed his arm and pushed myself out of bed as hard as I could. He came crashing down off the bunk. That made him mad. He started wrestling me. I am not a great wrestler by any means, but at one point I felt his balance shift, and I managed to pin him against the wall, head down. Just at that moment, our landlady pounded on the door, “Elder XXXX, you leave Elder DD alone!” He didn’t feel that was fair since he was pretty stuck at that moment. I decided that our landlady’s attention made it safe for me to release him and go to bed. We were able to laugh about it the next morning.

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