Returned Missionaries

Early Returned Missionary Mental health natural solution
Image used with permission from Ashley

Ashley Sargeant had been serving a mission in the Brasilia Brazil Mission for nine months when she was given an honorable release. While serving, she battled with mental health struggles and halfway through her mission, she had a complete mental collapse. Ashley was heartbroken, but knew it was right to return home. On her last day in the mission, her first companion found her, and knowing that she was going home early, took her by the shoulders, looked her in the eye and told her:

“Whatever you do, just don’t stop Sister Sargeant. DON’T STOP!”

On February 19th 2015, she launched a social media campaign titled “Don’t Stop Sargeant” designed to share hope and resources with early returning missionaries and those who are battling mental illness to overcome the stigma that is so prevalent in our culture. She responds to messages from her followers on her website (link above), Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube. Ashley has been battling mental illness for the past fourteen years, but coming home from her mission really hit home and her quest to find answers really began at the end of her mission.

Early Returned Missionary Mental health natural solution

It has been around three years since Ashley returned home from Brazil. Six months ago, she was in an even darker place than she had ever been in her life. In a recent presentation she gave, she said “my brain could not handle it anymore.” At this same time, a friend approached her on social media saying that she would be in town and that she could come visit her. She was excited to see her friend but also in deep need of help at this dark time. It was at this time that her friend Josie Thompson told her about EMPowerplus Q96. When Josie told her about this broad spectrum micronutrient, she said that she had already heard about this from nearly a dozen of her other friends, but she assumed that it was just too good to be true.

Josie said to Ashley: “Before you admit yourself to the hospital, at least try this.” So Lisa Thompson, Josie’s mom, sent Ashley a month supply for free the next day. Ashley was still hesitant that it would work, but within the first couple of weeks, she noticed changes in her mood and she started functioning again. “Within a month of taking it, I started getting out of bed. That is a big deal! The second month it became even easier. I was sleeping better and I didn’t have the desire to kill myself anymore.”

In a recent video, Ashley stated: “I didn’t have this heaviness, this darkness in my brain in the morning that made it almost impossible to get out of bed. I thought a couple months into taking it, ‘This has got to be a placebo effect. This is going to wear off any day now. I’m going to wake up one morning and I’m going to go right back to how things were before.”

Six months later, that hasn’t happened. It has only gotten better.
She says: “It’s not that I don’t have ups and downs and good days and bad days, because we all have those. It’s that I feel like I’ve gone from riding this out-of-control, terrifying roller coaster ride of a life to a manageable carousel ride. And now I can say that I know what normal feels like for me. And these lights have turned back on in my life, in my face — I feel all sparkly inside and I just want to tell everybody about the amazingness of Q96! It has literally changed my life. I feel excited about my future, and I feel a lot of hope.”

mental illness natural solution
Photo of Ashley from a recent interview

With so many people who struggle with this, it is important to remember that this product is not approved by the FDA and is a broad-spectrum micronutrient, not a medication. As such it does not claim to treat or cure any disease. Each individual experience is unique, but we share this story because if it brought Ashley out of such a deep darkness, it might help you or someone you love to find the light and hope that Ashley now feels.

“I’m living proof that this stuff works. I don’t know the science behind it, but I know that nutrition affects your brain. I am now six months on the Q. I can say that today I am a completely functional, happy human being.”
And though Ashley may not understand the science behind this formulation, there is ongoing research being done and over twenty-seven peer reviewed journal articles have been published (to date) on this broad spectrum micronutrient formulation. Is this product right for you or for someone you know? It might just be. Ashley struggled for months of terrifying darkness before she let herself try it. Now that she knows that it works, she wished she would have started long ago.

 

Editors note: To see a list of empirical reports and clinical research on this product, click here. To read about a Harvard Psychiatrist and other researchers who have done tests on this product, click here. To watch a TED talk given by a clinical psychologist who has researched the EMPowerplus formulation, click here. For more information about EMPowerplus Q96, click here. If you are interested in trying the product for yourself, click here. This article was written with permission from Ashley Sargeant and was sponsored by MyQHealth.com.

 

Important Safety Disclaimer: If you are considering transitioning from any medication onto the EMPowerplus formulation, please be careful. Please do not go off your medications “cold-turkey.” This is dangerous and is unwise. However, please do consider trying this method very carefully and with the help of professionals, family and transition coaches. Mental illness is serious and can be life-threatening. Please be careful, but know that there is hope and for anyone who is willing to take the time and make the effort to transition to a more natural pathway. It may take longer than Ashley Sargeant to experience any result. For anyone considering it, we would recommend using the Micronutrient Support coaches who have been trained professionally to coach people in this type of transition. As you consider a lifelong pathway for your health, remember that the former president of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Martin Seligman, has said in his latest book Flourish that there is not one SSRI that is made for a cure. They are all cosmetic, not curative. He said this: “Every single drug on the shelf of psychopharmacopoeia is cosmetic. There are no curative drugs, and no drug is in development that I know of that aims at cure. Biological psychiatry has given up on cure.” [Flourish, p. 46]. QSciences and EMPowerplus Q96 does not claim to cure any mental illness, but it has been proven to have clinically effective results with those who suffer from mental illnesses. As stated above, please be wise and use caution in your decisions about your mental health or that of a loved one.

0 2125
Image via ldsliving.com

Ryan King Ogden was preparing to return home from an LDS mission in 2008 when a question changed his life forever:

Would he come back?

It was a question asked by a member who wanted to know if he would help fix up a local school. Intrigued, Ogden followed the member to inspect the structure.

A ripped, soiled curtain—that’s all that separated a toilet in the back of a school from the rest of the class.

“It just hit me really hard to know that the students, that if they ever need to go to the bathroom, they go in the back corner where everyone can see them and hear them,” Ogden said.

So he did come back. Ogden and his friends had the school fixed within a year of completing his mission.

But little did the 21-year-old from Richfield, Utah, know that fixing this member’s school in the Philippines was the start of humanitarian work that would bring happiness to thousands all over the world.

To the Philippines and Beyond

After Ogden graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, he knew humanitarian work was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

“I just didn’t know how feasible that was; I didn’t know much about it other than just my connection in the Philippines,” he says.

But he continued to visit the Philippines two or three times a year for humanitarian work. Then in 2012, Ogden met Dr. Clark Anderson, a retired seminary teacher. Together, the two founded the non-profit humanitarian group Revive Humanity.

Now, at age 29, Ogden has organized service tours for hundreds of Americans to 13 countries all over the world.

The groups assist communities in need with education, health clinics, building projects, and more.

Read the rest of this amazing story at LDS Living.

The Bonsrahs, Ghanaian triplets, just returned from three separate missions

Here at LDSMissionaries.com, We come across thousands of missionaries through our website and Facebook page and this set of Ghanaian triplets really stood out to us. They reached out to us (and sent us a cute picture) and we just had to publish their story on our blog.

Here is what they said:

“We are triplets and we just finished serving in 3 Nigerian missions. I feel it will be fun and above all we want to share our testimony with the world.”

So we asked them these questions, and got the following responses:

1. What are all your names, left to right?

Dicken, Dickson, Dick (Bonsrah)

From left to right Dicken, Dickson and Dick Bonsrah Ghanaian triplets who just returned from serving missions in Nigeria
From left to right Dicken, Dickson and Dick Bonsrah Ghanaian triplets who just returned from serving missions in Nigeria

2. What missions you served in, and your hometown?

Dicken served in the Nigeria Eunugu Mission

Dickson served in the Nigeria Porthacourt Mission

Dick served in the Nigeria Lagos Mission.

We are Ghanaians from eastern region of the country from a small town named Obosomase. We now stay in Adenta, a suburb of the capital Accra in the Adentan stake and we worship in Adenta Ward.

3. How did your parents, (particularly your mother), feel?

Our parents are not members of the church but our mum was very happy for our decision to serve our Heavenly Father.

4. Share with us your testimony.

“Our testimony is that we know fully and truly that there is a God in heaven and he loves us and the Book of Mormon is also another testament and the prophet Joseph Smith was called of God.

“So we found about the church through our guardians the Opare family. We came to school in their school and through that we became members. We knew everything about the church was true. I loved the plan of salvation. I had never heard of it so when I heard of it I was happy. My parents gave us the consent to be baptized. Like earlier said, our mentor has been the Opare family. I wanted to first broaden my knowledge or testimony about Jesus Christ and his church and I had the desire to share the restored gospel. My mother’s first name is Doris. Dick Bonsrah’s (favorite) scripture is king Benjamin. Dicken’s is also king Benjamin and Dickson’s is Moroni. Dick’s favorite scripture is Jacob 2:17-19. Dickson’s favorite scripture is Mosiah 2:41 and Dicken’s favorite is 2 Corinth 4:8-10.”

We were so glad to hear that they were strong in the faith and that they have returned with gratitude in their hearts and the fire of testimony.

 

Habits make you lose your testimony without realizing

It was a blistering hot day in NYC.

I was 23 and had graduated from BYU two months earlier. Now I was nearing the end of my summer internship at a very fast-paced advertising agency.

From my apartment window, I looked out over the Hudson River where a city that shimmered with opportunity lay before me. The whole world was looking bright, but inside, I felt…cloudy.

I had doubts.

I wasn’t sure where to live after my internship, what to do for work, and worst of all, I went from having a huge support system in Utah where everyone encouraged me to choose the right and where gospel conversations were a norm, to a bustling city where my thoughts rarely fell on the gospel. And when they did, it was mainly questions about Church history. I began doubting whether or not I believed in the Church anymore.

But how could I—someone who prayed every day, hadn’t skipped a day of reading my scriptures since I was 15—have doubts? In my mind, doubts were for those people who had serious struggles in life or who chose paths that took them away from the Church—not for an active returned missionary like me. Right?

It was at this time of great confusion that my friend called me from the airport, en route to his mission. After a few minutes of talking he said, “Zack, you don’t sound good.”

Find out what the 3 Habits are at LDS LIVING.

Watch this incredible video of returned missionaries speaking more than 50 languages!

This video is a compilation from the Prepare to Serve series, where returned missionaries share mission stories, cultural/travel advice, testimony, etc.

I’ve listened to 100s of mission stories…here are 5 of the most CRAZY and DANGEROUS situations missionaries have been in…

*Think these stories are crazy?? Watch a dozen more crazy stories.

*Watch 15 of the Most Spiritual Mission Stories.

*Disclaimer: Missions are one of the safest places for young adults to be. Though many missionaries have crazy stories, you should take into consideration that they are often sharing the craziest experience they had over the course of their mission.

*I should also let you know I’ve heard many dangerous mission stories that strengthen my testimony of the Lord’s care over His missionaries. Many, many dangerous situations have been evaded by simply listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Image via LDS Living

Elders Mason Wells and Joseph Empey received a wonderful surprise Wednesday when Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Brent H. Nielson, the executive director of the Missionary Department, visited the mission companions at the University of Utah medical center.

Both missionaries were injured in the Belgium terrorist attacks when two suicide bombs detonated in the Brussels airport. Shrapnel from the explosions punctured the missionaries’ bodies, leaving them with injuries that required surgery. Fire from the bomb left both Elders riddled with second and third-degree burns on their faces, heads, and hands.

But, Elder Wells and Empey are doing well and recently returned to Utah to receive further medical treatment.

Elder Oaks praised the missionaries for their service, for their faith, and for the examples they have been to people of all faiths and from all over the world as they’ve shared their hope and testimonies in the midst of dark times.

Read the full article at LDS Living.

My wife and I were still fairly new members to the Church, but a couple sat in our living room. They were investigators, willing and wanting to be taught about the gospel. When I felt like the timing was right, I explained temple marriage and what it meant to our young, growing family: eternal love and eternal togetherness. Different from other marriages. Different from theirs.

“How is it different?” asked the wife, with just the slightest trace of concern.

“Well…remember in your own wedding ceremony—didn’t the minister say at the end ‘until death do you part’?”

A tentative nod.

“Well, there it is in a nutshell. The minister was admitting that he could only marry you for the period of your life here on earth. Not for eternity. We believe that only in the true Church can you be sealed together for eternity.”

The couple glanced at each other. “So you’re saying,” she said carefully, “that after we die the two of us won’t be married?”

With tender understanding, I repeated my point. “Well, basically, that’s right. We believe that only in the restored gospel can couples be sealed together eternally. Your own minister conceded the point.”

Only the faintest chill entered the room. Barely discernible. In fact, it was probably just my imagination. We finished the discussion with smiles all around and a promise for another visit.

But we never saw them again.

I was disappointed, but in time I understood. They simply weren’t ready. Perhaps one day someone else would reap a harvest from the seeds we had carefully planted. Meanwhile, we prayed for more missionary experiences.

It would be another decade or two before I realized the mistake I’d made that day—my sin, if you will. I was so bent on scoring a doctrinal point that I had done about the worst thing possible: I told them what they believed.

“Your minister said ‘until death do you part.’ So that means…”

We hate it when other people do that to us.

“Oh, you’re a Mormon. So that means you believe (insert distorted half-truth here).”

It’s the same approach I had used with the married couple, and it’s guaranteed to produce the same instantly negative response. Yes, we hate it when people tell us what we believe, but that didn’t stop me that day from doing it to them.

Read the full article at LDSLiving.

Image via Segullah

A few Sundays ago, I sat at the back of the chapel, twisting in my seat, wondering if I should bear my testimony. For several months I’d felt a stirring to testify of Joseph Smith. But every month, as testimony meeting rolled around, I had an excuse. I wasn’t feeling well, my voice sounded raspy, surely what others had to say was more important.

Unable, however, to deny the prompting any longer, I stood and walked to the front of the chapel. I expressed my love for our wonderful ward then I testified of Joseph. Just Joseph.

I served a full-time mission in Illinois and Iowa, with special assignment to the Nauvoo Visitors’ Center. Every time I stood next to the bust of Joseph and told the story of the First Vision, my heart would kindle with knowing. I would repeat his words from memory, and something would pass between me and the hearer. God’s spirit would sweep over us, our eyes would meet, and I could not look away.

I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me… When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

Joseph’s words could quiet the room. Many nights, after the Visitors’ Center closed, our group of six sisters would ride bikes back to our little house on Main, change our clothes, and take to the pavement. We would walk the streets of Nauvoo. Past the prairie grass thick with fireflies, down Kimball, then all the way to the end of Parley, to feel the cool breath of the river. Eventually we would make our way up Water Street and back to Main, where we would pause at the Mansion House, lean against the white picket fence, and talk of Joseph.

We were encouraged, not just allowed, to read anything in the Lands and Records Office. So we would spend lunch breaks there, asking for journals or personal histories of individuals we found interesting. Real people we wanted to know about. Then we would share what we learned on our walks. Every personal history spoke of Joseph, how he served, what he taught, how he loved. And night after night, our testimonies of Joseph expanded. So much that I began to feel a kinship with him, a closeness almost like family. I knew things I hadn’t known before about his life, his character, the challenges he faced.

I knew how Emma felt about plural marriage, how difficult it was for her. I knew about each baby they lost, how John Murdock asked if they would adopt his twins, only to lose one of them from exposure the night Joseph was dragged from his house and tarred and feathered. I learned the stories behind a number of Joseph’s trusted companions who turned against him, so viciously they would plot to take his life.

One evening, while walking down Parley Street, I thought to myself, I can never turn my back on Joseph. Never. Not after what I know.

Read the full article at Segullah.org.