What a great list. Our two years will be up in August and I believe these
"top 10 things" very much apply to Senior Couples as well.
The first thing I did, when I got back from my mission, was to go to my favorite
Mexican restaurant in Azusa, Ca. Then, the next day, it was In and Out Burger.
The first three things I did after I got home (besides unpack):1. Put on
shorts.2. Get a date.3. Drop out of BYU and enroll somewhere else.
Obviously "Brave Sir Robin" is a throw-away comment. But back to the
list, you have to be careful with #3...reconnecting with old friends, especially
those with bad attitudes and/or bad habits can be very detrimental to your
transition. You want to go back into situations that aren't conducive to
your new-found reliance on the Spirit of the Lord. The same with #4. Old media
habits are hard to break, and can be a big deterrent to living with the Spirit
in your life. Be very careful here. You may have left behind a
lifestyle that was okay to get you to your mission, but could be a hinderance to
living on a higher level of spirituality, obedience and peace. In all that you
do, do things that continue to build you up and lift you up, and you will have
the greatest life possible.
@Robin, and I'm sure you immediately increased the average GPA at both BYU
and Utah upon your transfer. We all support your decision.
There's something that I wished I had kept from my mission routine that I
didn't. I wish I had continued to rise early and read my scriptures daily
and study. I felt like I was entitled to a "little break," and in
retrospect, I can see how that hurt me. Of course, this is my own personal
experience and hopefully, other returned missionaries had the foresight to do
what I didn't.
When you get home, people often feel like they are missing something. Some
describe it as "mourning a loss"--but not sure what they are mourning. I
know that after about a week I was very depressed, and I had no idea why. It
wasn't until I looked back on that time several years later that I realized
that we all were missing the mantle of being a missionary--that feeling and
those blessings that follow those who are consecrating 100% of their time to
their God and their fellowmen. Missionaries often react in one of
two ways: One, some try to act like they are still on their mission, thinking
that if they live the same way as they did as a missionary that the pain will go
away. Two, others react quite negatively and self-destructively, pushing
everything about their missions and the church away from them to try and get
away from the pain. I wish that someone had explained to me what I
was depressed about, and that it was natural and not from something I did. If
so, I believe I would have gotten over it much faster.
Ref: PortlanderObviously you have little respect for opinions
differing from yours. I've observed two returning missionaries
in past months express regret for falling for the mind numbing experience of a
mission. Not only were their families but they were economically impacted and
were unable to attend higher education upon return. Employment was difficult
to find, other than dead-end minimum wage temp jobs. Fortunately
one has joined the military as a means for income and educational opportunities
whereas the other has continued to drift in less than meaningful employment.
I fail to see where the sponsoring organization of their missions
has provided needed support to these folks.
How could serving a mission make you unable to go to college? Not even a
community college? Not a trade school? It would seem like student loans would be
available for such things. Millions use them to go to university. Going on a
mission is way cheaper than going to college. It would seem that even if going
on a mission financially depleted the missionaries mentioned above, they would
have been depleted after a year or so of going to college anyway.
Great list but equally important are the things the family and friends can do to
support a returning missionary. I think we all need to do three main things:1- Value and acknowledge the experiences and learning someone has had on a
mission and how they are different2- Help them make the transition back as
an adult - e.g. coach and mentor them to find work and pick up their college
career (especially for the 20 year olds with no college education) and apply
their new skills in working with and serving people in practical, new ways3- Help them have fun without just focusing on things they "couldn't
do" as missionaries (e.g. what trashy movies they missed)
Ref: Dan76Sorry you feel that way - obviously taking 2 years (or 2 days
for that matter) to put your own life on hold to serve others is a sacrifice of
many things for both the person and their family. However, my own experience in
Japan for two years, though it was the hardest personal challenge I had
attempted at that point in my life, was also such an incredible learning
opportunity. It's true I didn't get a high-paying job immediately
after returning, but I did gain great skills and improved discipline which
helped me get the high-paying job I do have now. Serving a mission may or may
not "pay" immediate dividends that are apparent to those around them, as
you have expressed. However, serving others always "pays" in the long
run and I salute and applaud all who sacrifice to serve missions whether they
are the Mormon variety or not. I also applaud and appreciate those who serve in
the military as my Dad did and several of my brothers. Cheers.
@ BSR I'm in complete shock that BYU was able to survive the loss.
I'm sure they and everyone there were better off. @ dan76 The
"mind numbing" experience. Huh??? sometimes it's ok not to comment
on stories you read if you don't have a decent opinion that adds to the
commentary. Just go the the BYU athletics articles and join in on the BYU
Wear a shirt that says R.M. and get engaged was missing from the list.
They forgot "get engaged"
RE: Getting Engaged:Thankfully my Mission President gave me sage
advice: 10 days or 10 years after your mission, it doesn't matter. Just
make sure she's the right one to get to forever with, and make sure
it's in the temple.7 years later, and already 'a menace to
society', I followed his advice.
The first thing I did after getting home from the airport was going out for a
Burrito Supreme at Taco Bell. I felt much more American again after that.
@jonas, you are spot on about missing the missionary mantle. I noticed a
distinct difference when I was released, luckily recognizing that influence in
my life. It helps to have people around you who understand that, also. It takes some time to figure out who you are again, without having any
specific purpose. If an RM doesn't have a job lined up or school to go to
directly, RM's can often feel lost. Desert Book now has an RM
planner, that looks like the missionary planners, that I think could help keep
an RM into some routine, for those who are into planners. I'll definitely
get that for my future RM's.
Do not forget the good times on the mission. Review you journal and look for
those potential converts you worked with. You made a positive impression on
them regardless of wether or not they entered the waters of baptism. Above all,
remain active in your church work.
#1 (whether you're depressed or not as Jonas suggests) is to live the
missionary schedule the rest of your life. Yes, it gets adapted to your
situation (job schedule, class schedule, family life...), but the intent of the
Lord, church leadership and this opportunity you've had, is to set a type
(model) for the rest of your life.#2 Is to set goals. And honestly,
whether on P-days, or lying in bed at night and just here and there while being
a missionary, you should have been giving 18 months or 24 months of thought to
what you want to do with your life. Here again, the mission has allowed you
time of support away from paid work, needling counselors... something great to
do with your time while you contemplate your options... having encounters with
members and others that might seed such decision making.#3 The most
important goal, while others may be pursued, is the next thing -- temple
marriage. While this may take some time and not rushed into, it should be your
first priority. You should be actively looking just as you spent your mission
actively looking for investigators -- applying the same principles (prayer,
#3 (cont) Others will disagree. I recall President Kimball's advice
courtesy of the card we were given in seminary with his picture on one side and
the advice on the other to pursue in this order seminary graduation, mission,
marriage & family and then education.#4 Be modest (wear/cover
your garments), but get out of the missionary attire! Save it for Sunday.#5 Take some time (very soon after you get home and are released) to go
somewhere and be alone (with the Lord). A solo camp-out would be perfect.
#1.) Kiss the ground#2.) Kiss your mom#3.) Kiss a girl
11. Thank God for the opportunity to serve.12. Thank family and others who
provided support and encouragement.13. Write a letter of thanks to the
mission president and his wife.
Thailand, '8711. Fruit Loops with whole milk, half a box.12. Macaroni and Cheese, with chopped-up hot dogs.13. Apply to
colleges (since it would take a while)14. Organize my notes, pictures and