Many early return missionaries have a lot of worries, but wondering if they’ve “done enough” doesn’t have to be one of them.
If you could ask an apostle of the Lord any question, what would you ask? This is exactly what young adults of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were able to do on September 15, 2019. Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Seventy held a live Face to Face event, answering questions and discussing hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In this worldwide broadcast, one individual asks the Church leaders how to deal with intense feelings of disappointment, judgment, and loneliness after returning home early from serving a full-time proselytizing mission. Elder Christensen and Elder Soares are quick to assure this individual and others in similar situations that their experiences are not worth any less than those of other returned missionaries. “Don’t worry about being less or more than anybody else because you served less or more than anybody else,” Elder Soares says.
Both leaders encourage us to seek peace from the Lord. “Don’t worry about coming home early,” Elder Christensen counsels. “Look forward with faith, look to Heavenly Father, and many years later you will see the blessings of your service.”
Returning early from a mission can feel like a heavy burden at times, but God accepts our sincere offerings of service to him, no matter the circumstances. Further, the simplest actions of Christlike love can soften hearts and lead others to accept the restored gospel, even years later. Remember that our purpose as missionaries doesn’t end after our missions, no matter when we return home. “To come home early from your mission might be for your learning and growth,” Elder Christensen explains. We may not always see the end result in this life, but blessings will come from our sacrifices.
—Brittany Passmore, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY ABHIRAM PRAKASH
Find more insights
Read more about how to show love to early return missionaries in another Latter-day Saint Insights article “Back So Soon?” by Maryssa Dennis.
Hear the story of Oliver Granger’s journey to find joy in his service despite a lack of success in Elder Terence M. Vinson’s talk “True Disciples of the Savior.”