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Does the question, “How are you adjusting?” drive you crazy? Does the place where you served your mission feel a whole lot more like home than returning home? If you are having these feelings as a returned missionary, just know that you are not alone.
I was sent a letter from a close friend a few weeks before I returned home that changed the way I looked at leaving a mission. Some of the following suggestions will begin with excerpts from the letter from my insightful friend. These 13 suggestions are intended to make your transition easier.
1. Don’t Forget, but Move Forward
Letter Excerpt :
“You have felt the pain of an ending to a mission you loved so dearly. As you know, there is a timing and order to all things. There is a reason missions are fixed in length; they are to be springboards, not resting stops. You came on a mission to leave a mission. You came on a mission to serve the Lord, to become specially trained and return to the world.”
Know that people will not fully understand what you have experienced, because they did not walk with you every step of the way. Nevertheless your charge is not to try and explain but is instead to remember.
Heed the Savior’s admonition to remember. Remember what you learned, remember what you witnessed and gained. Use these lessons to move forward. Be content with the new opportunities for growth Heavenly Father has now given you as a returned missionary. The years after your mission should be just as fulfilling as those you spent on a mission, just different.
2. Give Yourself Time to Adjust
Adjusting to life at home does not mean that you revert to how you were before you served. Absolutely not! Hold tight to the ground you gained as a missionary.
- Each returned missionary gets used to being home at a different rate, so be patient with yourself.
- Allow yourself to feel the emotions you feel, and do not be too hard on yourself if you feel a little out of place for a while.
- Know that the Lord is mindful of your situation as your life transitions.
3. Choose to Be Happy Where You Are.
“You join those of us who do not wear a black name badge with the Savior’s name. A badge is not required to be counted as His.”
Happiness is a choice. Just as you had to choose to be happy as a full-time missionary, you must continue to choose happiness as a member missionary. Keeping a grateful list of things enhances your ability to see the good in your life. Coming home may be difficult, but know that gratitude can help you account for all the blessings being given to you.
President Thomas S. Monson said, “When we encounter challenges and problems in our lives, it is often difficult for us to focus on our blessings. However, if we reach deep enough and look hard enough, we will be able to feel and recognize just how much we have been given.”
Read the Rest at LDS.net