When I received my mission call on December 26, 2009, I was instantly overwhelmed by the reality of a mission. It really hit me, for the first time, that I would be leaving home for 18 months and that I would be preaching the gospel every day as a servant of the Lord. Humbled by my calling, I tried my best to pick the brains of returned missionaries I knew, trying to glean from them as much information as I could. My question for each of them was the same: “If you could serve your mission all over again, what would you have done differently?” I was blessed and inspired by the counsel I received, and I tried my best to take their advice to heart.
Now, as a returned missionary myself, I can’t help but look back at my mission and consider what I would do differently, if given the chance. Every great missionary tries to serve with no regrets, but with age and experience comes knowledge and wisdom that we wish we could have imparted to our younger selves. It is with that idea in mind that I would like to share some of the insights from some fellow returned sister missionaries. I hope that as you serve or get ready to serve, you can avoid common mistakes and be saved from some of the heartache and struggle experienced by those who served before you. It is with love in my heart that I share this advice so that you can serve without regrets and have the best possible experience on your mission.
“The thing I would change is how much effort I would put into personal study in the mornings. I’ve never been a morning person, so it was always a struggle, but I’ve always felt since then like I really lost an opportunity to grow in understanding there.” – Sister Cindy Cluff, Arizona Tucson Mission, 2010
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