Feelings of shame, disappointment, and fear often fill missionaries who come home earlier than expected. Choosing how you want to feel about an unexpected outcome can bring the relief and comfort needed during those times.
Listen in to Learn:
- Why coming home earlier than expected is totally fine
- How you still can grow and learn even at home
- What kind of thoughts and feelings may help the anxiety surrounding your transition home
Free Training for Preparing Missionaries: Change Your Mission with this One Tool
Free Video Series: 3 Tools to Help RMs in Their Transition Home
Free Guide: 5 Tips to Help Any Returning Missionary
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0:00 Hey, what’s up everyone? It’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission podcast episode number 96. Early returned missionaries. Hey, I’m Jennie, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next. Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here. Today, we’re gonna be talking about early returned missionaries. And I gotta be honest, when I was writing that out, typing it out this outline, I was like cringing, I was trying to think of like, so many other things that we could call this episode. But what I finally decided was that I wanted to call it this so that it was more searchable. I actually not sure I totally believe in this idea of being an early returned missionary. And I’m going to tell you why in just a minute. I want to be able to dive into all of the ideas and topics and maybe some things for you guys to think about. If you have come home earlier than you expected, that’s actually what I wanted to call this podcast episode. But I wanted people to be able to find this resource. And for it to be searchable. I don’t think many people search for coming home earlier than you expected. But I actually think that’s what we should start calling it. So before we dive into all of that, I definitely wanted to be able to remind you guys of a couple of things. First of all, right now, because April is the month of my birthday, I am running a giveaway where I am giving away an Amazon $50 Amazon gift card every single Friday for the month of April, for everybody who writes a review and follows my podcast on Apple podcasts. And I did have one mom reach out this week. And she’s like, which one’s Apple podcasts. And it’s just if you have an iPhone, that’s just what the purple one is called with the little microphone on it. So all you have to do is go there, and follow and rate and review the podcast and you will get entered for the drawing at the very end of April. And as I’m looking at my calendar, more likely will be the first week of May, that episode where I will announce a winner out of every one that’s entered for the giveaway for someone to have a full 10 session package with me, which is pretty amazing. Honestly, these this package or this program, that I run for missionaries before they leave during their mission and after their mission is completely transformational. So if this is something that you’re interested in doing, getting for completely free, all you have to do is just go fill out a quick little review. So I totally forgot last week on the podcast to even read the review, I just announced the winner. And so I made sure she got her Amazon gift card, but I totally forgot to read the review. And so I wanted to do that here. And then I’m going to announce the winner for this week. So this was last week’s winner she says this podcast is not just for missionaries. Although I started listening to this podcast to help my daughter deal with the stresses of preparing for her mission. I have found that it has really helped me to Jenny’s thoughts are geared towards missionaries and their struggles, but I learned something I can use in my life every time I listen. Thank you for being here, Jenny, you are making a difference. Thank you so much for that really nice review. And that is what is awesome I feel like about these tools is they really do apply in so many areas of life and so I’m glad that they are helping you too. So the winner for this week is Andrea underscore 170 170. So congratulations, you have won an Amazon gift card. And go ahead and just shoot me a message on Instagram. My Instagram handle is at Jenny dot the LDS mission coach, send me a message and I will get it and I will make sure you get a $50 amazon gift card and then you can also if you don’t have Instagram, go ahead and just shoot me an email Jenny with an IE Jenny at Jennie dildine.com. Send me an email Hey, I’m Andrea underscore 170. And I will make sure that you get that $50 gift card. Now let me read Andrea’s review. This has been so helpful to me as a mom of a missionary. It has given me tips and tools to try to help my missionary navigate the challenges of missionary life. Thank you. Thank you. You’re so welcome, Andrea, thanks so much for listening. And I’m so glad you are here. And I’m so glad that these tools are helping you and your missionary. That’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to help. Okay, so let’s dive into early returned missionaries. And while I’m recording this podcast, it is like hailing sleeting sort of snowing. So why does that happen in April? Can we be done already? Such a downer. But spring will come eventually. Right? And then summer. Wow, it is really coming down. Okay, let’s dive into this other stuff with early return missionaries. And like I said at the beginning, I don’t even like calling it this. But I wanted to make sure that it really stuck out and that it was searchable. As we go along, I hope it becomes very clear that I don’t actually think that anyone who comes home sooner than they expected, we should call an early returned missionary. And I’m going to give you a lot of reasons why. And you might tend to agree with me might tend to disagree with me. But I just think there are several more useful ways for us to think about it. I really like to think about it that a missionary was coming home sooner than they were expecting. And I’m pretty sure even when you get your mission call, it says it is expected that you will serve for a blank number of months, right. And so what tends to happen is we have an expectation of the way we think it’s going to work. And then sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, which is the way most of life is and what we’ve done with missionaries, though is we’ve added so much story and drama around the fact that we come home earlier than we expected. And so I would really would love to speak to all of that today. Now, here’s the other thing that I really kind of have been putting off recording this podcast only because there’s a lot here. There’s a lot that we could talk about. There’s a lot of opinions about this. And I would like to just say first and foremost, I am no expert. On this particular topic. Have I worked with lots of return missionaries? Yes. Have I worked with missionaries who’ve come home sooner than they expected? For sure. Have some of them stayed home? Yes, do many of them have other emotional things going on for sure, like anxiety and depression and stuff like that? Absolutely. But I am not going to pretend that on this podcast, I’m going to be able to cover every single aspect of what it’s like coming home earlier than you expected, I am just going to share kind of what my experience has been in working with these clients, and hopefully give you something to current kind of work from and a way to hopefully, think about it differently. And to feel a little bit better about a situation that you might be in or one of your children might be in. The last thing I want to say before I jump into maybe some tools and some ideas and some strategies is that I feel like for a long time in the church, that it was thought of as bad. If you came home earlier than you were expecting. I remember actually I will never forget my brother in law telling me that he would have rather come home in a body bag, then come home from his mission. And I do think that that is sort of like a unsaid kind of current that runs underneath a lot of the service that our missionaries are doing and I can attest to the fact that one of the biggest concerns of preparing missionaries that I work with is that they might come home earlier than they wanted to. And so I’m hoping that because of COVID and some of the way things are changing, that we as a whole as a church and as
9:49 members of this faith and in our faith tradition of having people go out on missions that we can start to change the narrative around that and I hope to be a part of that. solution to start talking about missionaries who come home sooner than they expected, in a different way. Okay, so I, I hope things are changing, and I hope that we can all start to think about it in a different, a different light. Okay, here’s what I like to tell people who email and say, What about my missionary who came home sooner than they were expected? What you need to know is that what a missionary who comes home earlier than they expected, usually kind of deals with is the same things in many ways as what a returned missionary who serves a full 18 months or a full 24 months, or even a service missionary, when they their time of service has come to an end, there is a common theme or a common thread of certain things, that just because you’ve been in a different environment, because you’ve had a different way of life, because you’ve had a different way of thinking because you’ve had a different way of feeling that you are going to experience several things. And that is the case across the board. So many times when a missionary mom emails and says, I sent her daughter’s home earlier than they were expecting, can you recommend some podcasts? I say yes, 100%. Go back and listen to every podcast that I’ve recorded, specifically for returned missionaries. Now all of these tools are going to help on this podcast, hopefully, and in a lot of different ways. But start with just the returned missionary ones, because those struggles are gonna be the same across the board. So let me talk about those first. And then what I find with missionaries who come home earlier than they were expecting is there sort of this added level of thoughts and emotions that are sort of piggybacked on top of what we would normally see for return missionaries in general, let me share with you some of those things, I see a loss of fulfillment. returned missionary often feels like they have no purpose. A returned missionary often feels like they’re not keeping up on their habits properly, they are tying like their worth to those habits, they’re worried that they’re going to like regress in some way that they’re worth is going to regress in some way, if they are not keeping up on those habits. Often what I see is some social anxiety, or a myriad of other emotions associated sometimes guilt, something like that, because they’re not anxiously engaged, quote, unquote, anymore, or they feel like they aren’t, again, mentioning this, where they’re worried they will digress or lose what they’ve gained on the mission. I’ve heard RMS say that they’re worried that people will not see the change in them that they feel like they really changed and they’re worried people will not see it, or they even worry that they haven’t changed. And there’s a lot of lack of self trust, also, sometimes a real big decline in confidence because their worth was tied up in doing and now they don’t have the same things to do. So their worth and their confidence starts to go down. So that is a list of things just for returned missionaries in general. And I actually decided to pull some of these questions and answers that I got from returned missionaries who have served and then they want to hop on a strategy call for me, there’s just a short like 10 or 12 questionnaire thing that they get to fill out. And so I wanted to read some of these to you so you could hear it from their own mouth. And this one says, I have been struggling to know my purpose as an RM, as I’m far away from friends, not in college and without a job or calling. And then I asked what do you hope to accomplish with coaching, it says figure out how to how to feel more fulfilled and purposeful in a basic day. And then one of the questions is, what’s your biggest fear? And this person said that I’ll sink back to my habits before the mission. And then I asked what is the thing you most want to change about your life? And this person said, I want to make better habits regarding how I spend my free time. Okay. This one, this return missionary, and one of the questions What is your biggest fear in life uncertainty and not growing as a person? This one says, I got home a couple of weeks ago and I want to improve my daily schedule and increase my desire to keep serving others and turning outwards. And they hope to set up time management skills so they can do the things that they think they they need to do. It’s just interesting to me that it’s so focused on the daily schedule and the outward doing. And they, this one says what is the most upsetting issue pressing on you right now getting distracted. This one says, What is the most upsetting issue pressing on you right now feeling confusion about my next steps and lack of fulfillment, also a fear of reverting back to who I was before my mission and losing the changes and habits I’ve made. So hopefully, that gives you a little bit of an idea of some of the things that I’ve seen with returned missionaries in general. So if you come home earlier than what than you expected, you’re going to have all of that. And then we’re going to add to it a few other thoughts, and feelings, and emotions. Let me tell you some of the additional thoughts and feelings that we find when someone comes home earlier than they expected. So maybe they’re thinking I could have done more, they have a ton of judgment about themselves. And they worry a lot about judgment from others, how other people are gonna see them, they start to maybe think that they’re weak in some way that if they were stronger, if they had done things differently, that they would have been able to stay on the mission. Some of them feel like they didn’t finish, like they didn’t finish the race, that there was this end goal. And they didn’t get to it, that they bowed out early. So that also leads them to believe that maybe their offering was not sufficient. That it was an offering, but it wasn’t a good offering, or it was a bad offering. A lot of times what I see is sometimes a resistance to what is true a resistance to reality, many times these missionaries, the transfer for them to go home happens so quickly, that they’re left sort of reeling a little bit and trying to make sense of what happened. And so there’s a little bit of resistance to actually being home. They sometimes believe that they’ve failed, and they sometimes believe that they’ve disappointed god. Okay, so that’s a few things that I’ve seen with early returning missionaries. Now I’m going to give you some tools to sort of think about things maybe a little bit different. And hopefully give you some tools to feel a little bit better about all of this. So let me read you some of the strategy call answers, you know that these missionaries gave me if they came home earlier than they expected. I said, What is the most upsetting issue pressing on you right now? This one says, I feel like I’m going insane a little bit. Everything I do stresses me out. I want to be social and get back into life. But I hate putting myself out there because it’s stressful. I feel like a disappointment. Because I didn’t serve the 18 months. I feel like on my mission, I didn’t have a voice and no one listened to me. This one when I asked why are you interested in coaching this one says I’m still struggling with some things since returning home quote unquote, early from my mission. I’m working really hard and it’s not actually exactly my self worth that I’ve lost. But I can’t figure a lot out and I’d really love some help. That says I want to consistently look back on my mission in a positive light while being true to myself. I want to continue growing and thriving and taking care of my mental health long before I get a slump or at least be more prepared when they do come. So this one where I asked what is the most upsetting issue pressing on you right now it says the fact that I still feel unsettled about my mission. And I might be jumping into saying the best two years phase when I don’t feel honest about labeling it as a good experience.
19:21 This one says I returned home early from my mission after serving for about five months due to medical reasons it was very quick notice that I was leaving so I didn’t really have time to process it and feel like I’ve really just been hard on myself since that happened. This says I feel judged most of the time and just don’t really know what to do with my life right now because the only thing that feels right to me is staying home. But I can’t figure anything else out past that. This it says in number three what do you hope to accomplish with coaching I want to start moving forward with my life and confidence and no this is what I’m supposed this is what is supposed to be happening. I want to feel good about my decision to stay home and not care if people judge me, I also want to keep the gospel a big priority in my life. This one with what is the most upsetting issue, I’ve been in a weird Limbo ever since I got home and haven’t really felt like myself. So I want to find purpose and what I’m supposed to be doing right now and become a better version of myself. And this was a person who actually, you know, sometimes missionaries will come home for like a 12 week little hiatus to get their mental health in order, and then sometimes they go back out. But this person had decided to stay home. And it says, I have made the decision to stay home, and I feel really good about it. But I just always feel like people are judging me, especially other missionaries I served with no one really knows the reason I came home because I never talked about it. So I just keep feeling like they think I gave up. Okay, so what I kind of see right is we have this list of thoughts when we come home from our mission after 18 to 24 months. And that list of thought is thoughts is going to create a lot of feelings. Okay? When we add the fact that we came home earlier than we expected, we have additional thoughts that we layer on top of that, that are going to create additional feelings. So picture, maybe we’re going to feel guilty, maybe we’re going to feel shame, where maybe we’re going to feel inadequate, maybe we’re going to feel even more anxious, maybe we’re going to believe that we did something. Let me just try that again, having a rough day, I guess. So what we find is, when you’re returned missionary, you’re gonna have a lot of thoughts. As you’re kind of assimilating back into your normal, everyday life. And those thoughts are going to create a lot of feelings. That’s what I teach here is your thoughts create your feelings. But when we come home earlier than we expected, we’re going to have another layer of thoughts that might create other emotions, additional emotions are more intense emotions, like maybe we’re going to feel guilty, maybe we’re going to feel shame, maybe we’re going to feel inadequate, maybe we’re going to feel disappointment. Okay. And so I think that’s just good to know, is that the, the experience is similar, but we’re just going to add to it. Okay. So what I like to do now, I created this little acronym called powerful, okay, and this is what I want to share with you to sort of maybe you can have in your mind or in your back pocket to combat some of these thoughts, or ideas that you might have when you came home earlier than you expected. And I love that the acronym is powerful. Because what tends to happen when we come home from the mission, as we let that experience and the things that happen, they’re really determine a lot moving forward. And instead of just letting the mission decide how we’re going to think and feel and feel about ourselves moving forward and that experience, let that be in charge of our like how we feel. Instead, I want you guys to be able to feel empowered, and powerful to create the experience that you want when you get home, regardless of when you ended up coming home, regardless of which expectations were met and not met. So let’s talk about it. The first one, the first thought is, I could have done more. That’s what I hear a lot. And so what I want you to remember is P for plan. Here’s the thing is could you have done more? Maybe we don’t really know. But what we do know is that our heavenly parents had a plan for you. They had a plan and they knew that plan way before you did. I was actually talking to one missionary who’s headed home a little bit earlier than he expected this week. And he said, I just really know that when I read my call and my assignment to come here, that they already knew that I was just going to serve a year. They have a plan for you. They know the exact experiences that you are meant to have to become the person that they want you to be. Don’t you think if you were meant to stay on your mission that you would be out there and so we have to surrender to the plan. Okay, so for this thought Where you are worried about judgment of yourself, and where you worry that other people are going to judge you. That is oh, so O stands for own. So this is where I want you to own your own lane. What other people think about you what other missionaries think about you what your more board members think about you is none of your business. They’re totally allowed to think whatever they want. What matters more is what you think about you. So on that, create a list of amazing things about you and about your mission and why you’re so grateful for the experience that you had. And let people have their thoughts, you own your thoughts, and own your own lane for how you want to think about this. Okay, this thought, I’m weak in some way, I must not be strong. What I want you to remember is W wrong. And what I mean by wrong is, sometimes we got to, we’ve got to be willing to be wrong about things. Do you know what I actually believe you’re wrong, if you think you’re not strong, because listen, what I’ve seen is that it’s way harder to come home earlier than you were expecting, than to come home when you had plant. There’s that unmet expectation. So just like someone who comes home, after 18 to 24 months, you know, has all of those thoughts, you have a lot more thoughts that you have to work through, you have a lot more feelings that you have to work through. And so wouldn’t it be weird, if you are actually stronger? I know it’s hard for your brain to wrap around that. But it’s not easy to have unmet expectation. It’s actually much more challenging. So W is for wrong, you have to be willing to be wrong, that you are weak or not strong. You have to believe the opposite of that, and decide maybe I’m wrong. Actually, maybe I’m the strong one here. Because I’m home and still being really kind and loving to myself. Okay, this one, I didn’t finish the race. I didn’t finish. And what I want you to think about for this one is E. And remember, we’re spelling powerful. E stands for experience. And what I was thinking about this is instead of us thinking about the mission, like a passage of time, sort of like a race is like if we get to one year, or 11 or 13 months or 14 months or 15 months, then we’re further down that path. And that’s better in some way. I started thinking about this analogy of the weather, that when the weatherman tells us, hey, there’s going to be a snowstorm today.
28:03 It’s not like all of us when the storm begins, and then stops. It’s not like all of us were like, Oh, that storm should have lasted longer. We’re actually just in the experience of what is happening. Or let’s say that the weatherman says, like, when we were on our trip at Disneyland, we were watching the weather. And it said that the sun was going to come out for three hours from one to four on a certain day. And it wasn’t like when the sun came out, we were like, Okay, we have to, you know, pay attention really quickly, because these minutes are going to tick by. And it’s not like if this if this rain came a little bit sooner than we thought that we were like, Oh no, that we didn’t finish, we didn’t finish the sun. Instead, we’re just like living in the moment, and the experience of it. So what if this is true about a mission is like sometimes we need an umbrella. Sometimes we need sunglasses, sometimes we need our winter coat. But all of it is just an experience that we get to live, there is no like ending or there’s no finish line. The problem right with comparing it to like a finish line or a race is that then we have winners and losers. And I don’t think that that was ever what our Heavenly Parents intended. The mission experience to be here’s some winners and here’s some losers know, what they intended is it for us to have an experience where we get to transform ourselves, and where we also get to offer transformation to other people. And so maybe we think of it more like instead of a race, we think of it as an experience. Not like we’re gonna get to a certain point, but just like okay, so this is where we’re at right now. It’s raining, it’s okay that it stopped raining. It’s okay, that the sun went down earlier than we thought it was going to. It’s okay, that the wind started blowing sooner than we thought it was going to. It’s all okay. And maybe we had an expectation of what the weather was supposed to do. But maybe we were wrong. And it’s totally fine that the experience is going to change. What if we were watching a sunset? And we knew that the sun was supposed to sort of go down at this specific time. And then all of a sudden, we were just like, distracted by the timing of it. And we’re like, oh, well, you know what, that went down sooner than we thought it was going to not okay. No, just be in the moment be in the sunset, just enjoy the experience, the experience that you had on your mission, it’s not a race, okay, for this thought, where you’re just in resistance to what’s real. Like, it’s sort of like, if I could have just done this, then I wouldn’t be home. Or if I could have done that, then I wouldn’t be home. Or if it wasn’t because of this companion, I could have been home like I wouldn’t be home, instead of being in resistance to reality, just accept where you are. It’s called the difference between clean and dirty pain. And I have a whole podcast if you want to go check it out about clean and dirty pain. But dirty pain sounds like this, I did something wrong, there’s something wrong with me that I’m home earlier than I expected. Or if these people would have been different, or if I would have been different. That’s resistance to just what is true. And you’re never going to, you’re never going to win that like battle in your mind. It just feels terrible. So allow yourself a little bit of clean pain when you tap into what’s real, and what’s in front of you right now. But don’t allow yourself to go to dirty pain and your brain will want to, but don’t, you don’t have to stay there very long. Just be in clean pain, which is like that’s different than I thought, Okay, what now, instead of like, there’s something wrong with me, it shouldn’t be this way. I was talking to one missionary who came home earlier than she expected. And her mom was like, well, the only place to get experiences on the mission. And and that’s just not true. You get experience at home too. So instead of just being like, it shouldn’t be this way, we should be getting experiences other way. Just sink into what’s real, and what’s right in front of you. Okay, for this thought my offering is not sufficient. In the acronym powerful, the F stands for full. And what I mean by this is complete. So here’s what’s true about offerings, guys, is our offerings are never sufficient. So we have a Savior. And at the same time, our offerings are always sufficient. Because we have a Savior. So don’t let your brain get caught into all or nothing like my brain, like my offering was not sufficient. Or my, my offering is sufficient, like none of us are offering is never sufficient. And it always is. Because we have a Savior. So full meaning complete, we have to balancing, um, beliefs about it. Like, yeah, none of even the people who go all 18 months, or all 24 months or live their whole life, even me, my offering is never sufficient. And it always is. It’s both, it’s full, it’s complete. It’s where I talk about on the podcast about joy, like joy is I talk about a fullness of joy, because it’s happiness and sadness, and it’s a surrender to all of it. And so we can just have a full understanding that our mission was complete the way it is, our offering is complete because of Jesus Christ. And we need him and our offering is always enough. And not always enough, and that’s why we need a savior. Okay, so with this thought that I failed, or I’ve disappointed God in some way, or I, you know, I’m I just didn’t do as well as I could have that I failed, is, let’s use the letter U. And what I mean, what we’re going to use for you is understand the point. So the only reason we think we failed, is because we think the point of the mission is to stay 18 to 24 months, but I have a sneaky You feeling that if Heavenly Father was here himself, and I actually had this experience with a missionary, if he was here himself, I just asked this missionary as like, what do you think he would say? And I really believe he would say, That was never the point. The point was, is that you went, that you had experiences that you were out there serving at all, and changing yourself, and becoming the kind of person that Heavenly Father wants you to be. Now, sometimes, in order for us to become more Heavenly Parents want us to be, that means we come home earlier than we expected. And that’s okay. That’s where you go back to letter P, which is the plan, right. But I think it’s super important that we understand the point, I think sometimes we get caught up in like, it has to look a certain way or a mission has to be a certain way, or we have to do these certain things or reach these certain milestones. And none of that is true. I don’t think the point is numbers of months. I don’t think the point is numbers of baptisms. I don’t think the point is numbers of emails that you sent home. I don’t think the point is numbers. I think the point is transformation. And you can’t fail at that. Like you’re going to transform you’re going to change regardless of what your numbers are, regardless of the number of months that you’ve served. Okay. So for this thought that I’ve disappointed God, this just comes down to L which is love and trust. And when I say love, and trust, what I mean is, understand God’s love for you. And you have to love you. And trust is trust in God’s plan, and trust yourself to be kind to you through this entire process. Okay, so let me go through those really quick. P stands for plan. O stands for own, W stands for wrong. E stands for experience. R stands for reality. F stands for full or complete. U stands for understand the point, an L stands for love and trust. Okay, here’s one other thing I want to say. I have a couple other things I want to say. But I think it’s important that you guys know where I stand with missionaries coming home sooner than they expected. And I want to share some of those thoughts with you. But here’s what you need to know also is that your experience when you come home from your mission earlier than you expected is up to you./p>38:01 And I can share all of these tools with you. And this whole powerful analogy with you. And until you really believe these thoughts for yourself, your experience is not going to change. So you have to be willing to change, you’re thinking about it. And at first, maybe you don’t want to and that’s totally fine, right? That’s just our lower brain. But it’s not going to change until you decide to change your thinking. And so I’m going to offer to you what I think. And there can be tons and tons and tons of people that offer to you what they think. But it’s not going to change, you’re not going to shift your experience until you believe and make those thoughts your own. Okay. And I’ve seen this actually with missionaries who I worked with one that was out seven weeks, five months, one year, I’ve seen lots of different types of missionaries who come home a month sooner than they were planning on anyway. But I see an actual shift, and we’ll talk and we’ll talk and we’ll try to change their mindset and change the way they feel and like refigure out like their neural pathways have ways to think about things and wait as ways to see things and way to be more ways to be more open. And then I usually can see when it shifts for them. Because at first I’m like, Well, what about this thought? Can we think about it this way? What about this thought? Can we think about it this way? And they’re like, yeah, maybe, and nothing shifts. And then the moment that they decide to make those thoughts, their own is when it shifts and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. Because they really then understand that they are the creator of their experience. And that is true for you too. So let me share with you my personal list of thoughts about missionaries who come home earlier than they expected and I’m sure I could add way more to this list but this is what I have for you right now. Number one, anyone who decides to dedicate any amount of time to service of others is incredible. Any amount of time, any amount of service is amazing. Number two, anyone who willingly decides to put themselves into a situation where their souls and their emotions and their thoughts will be expanded and stretched, and sometimes in very painful ways, is incredible. It inspires me, who does that? who signs up for that? Most of us don’t. But you did. And that matters. You sign up for transformation. And whether that transformation happens out in the field somewhere or home, or on a service mission, or wherever it happens. It matters and you are incredible. Number three, anyone who comes home earlier than they expected, has had a fast pass to transformation. This was an analogy I came up with. With this missionary. I mentioned her earlier where her mom was sort of like, well, you can only transform and grow and grow spiritually on the mission. I was like, No, listen, you got a Fastpass, I can attest to this, the the missionaries who are home earlier than they expected or who’ve, you know, transferred to a service mission, they have to dig deeper than any missionary who’s just living their best life for 24 months, it happens faster, and in a more intense way that they learn to love themselves, and learn to rely on their Savior and learn to trust his plan. And so instead of thinking that you didn’t finish the race, what I really believe is you got to fast paths to change and transformation and spiritual growth and development. Number four, there is an I really believe this You guys, there is no wrong way to serve a mission. There’s no wrong way, you can’t do it wrong. So those are my personal beliefs about missionaries who come home earlier than they expected. So I sort of again, want to go back to this weather analogy, because here it is snowing again is I didn’t expect it to snow today. And it is and I can be mad about that. And I can resist that. Or I can just accept it. And I’m expecting that the snow will end at a certain time. But if it doesn’t, that’s okay. If it ends sooner than that, maybe all the better. So with sort of this weather analogy in mind, the words to this him number 105 Master The Tempest is raging is kind of what came to my mind. And it says, the winds and the waves shall obey Thy Will Peace be still, whether the wrath of the storm toss sea, or demons or men, or whatever it be, no waters can swallow the ship where lies, the master of Ocean and Earth and skies. They all shall sweetly obey thy will, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, they all shall sweetly obey thy will. Peace, peace, be still. And so it will feel kind of like a storm when you get home. Or it might, or it’s pretty likely that it will. But the most important things in this storm is that you have patience, trust, surrender, and God’s plan and love for him and for yourself. And your brain is gonna go back and forth a lot. That’s why it’s gonna feel like a storm like, could I have done more? Could I not have done more? You know, am I was my offering sufficient? Was it not sufficient? And that’s okay, you’re gonna go back and forth kind of like that storm. But we achieve peace. When we trust the Savior, when we trust God’s plan, when we surrender when we offer our self love, and compassion, and I really believe I was talking to one missionary, and she was on the mission. And she’s like, What if I didn’t do this? Or what if I didn’t get this done? Or what if I don’t make it here? And what if I don’t reach this milestone? And I really do believe that if our heavenly parents were there, they would come down and say that was never the point. It’s never the point to get that stuff done. The point was, is that you had an experience that made it made you more like us, and sometimes that deep digging and that transformation comes when we’re home earlier than we expected. And the last thing I’ll leave you with is just know, your brains gonna go with you. Your brain goes with you and your emotions go with you wherever you go. You’re going to feel anxious and stressed and overwhelmed, and sad and insecure on the mission. And that’s the way you’re probably going to feel when you get home too. I actually just saw strategy call come through that said, I thought when I got home that I was going to feel better. Nope. Your brain goes with you. Your brain goes with you. And so how do we create the most amazing loving space to weather the storm? To feel all of these feelings and to have all of these thoughts? Listen, Heavenly Father knew what he was doing. He could have sent robots out to serve missions. But he didn’t do that. Because he knew that would not be effective for the people that they were teaching. And he knew it would not be an effective like, tool for transformation for ourselves. So we sent out humans, humans, humans who think and feel. And so if you came home earlier than you expected, my hat’s off to you. You inspire me every single day. Keep going. And just decide to choose thoughts that make you feel good. Choose thoughts that help you surrender to the plant, and trust and love yourself more. All right, are heavenly parents know what they’re doing? I promise you. They’ve got a plan. All right, everyone, I hope you have the most amazing week and we will talk to you next time. Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can present a unique set of challenges. And many of those challenges you might not even see coming. So you’re gonna want a unique set of solutions. It’s easier than you think to overcome worry and anxiety, serve the successful mission you’ve always dreamed and navigate your post mission experience with confidence. That is why I created some amazing free goodies that I’m sharing in my show notes. Maybe you’ll want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries, my video course for RMS or maybe you and I should hop on a free strategy call. If you’re ready to take your preparedness to serve or your preparedness to come home to the next level. Then go grab one of those freebies. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you are involved in. Just know that Jenny, the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day.