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You’re home. You’ve been a missionary. The one goal you worked so hard to accomplish is complete. Long before your mission, you worked hard to prepare yourself to serve the Lord. If you grew up in the Church, you probably wanted to serve as a missionary from a young age. You attended Primary and sang the words “We are as the army of Helaman” with gusto. If you joined the Church as a teenager or a young adult, you probably watched the missionaries who baptized you and thought how much you would like to serve others, as they served you.
Either way, you probably envisioned yourself as a future missionary becoming like those armies of Helaman, preparing for a spiritual battle, and becoming part of a battalion of righteous missionaries who would bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. You gave your all to hasten His work and were assisted along the way with the help of your family, priesthood leaders, and teachers.
What are your goals for the next two years? What is your duty and purpose now that you’ve returned home?
Elder L. Tom Perry envisioned the amazing power of your influence as a returned missionary when he declared, “What we need is a royal army of returned missionaries reenlisted into service.” He saw you together with your fellow returned missionaries as a great force for good, strengthening the Church and moving the work forward as seasoned warriors who know how to do missionary work and to be successful on the front lines of sharing the gospel with others. Your mandate from the Lord is to become a part of that royal army, just as you looked forward to serving like the armies of Helaman while you were on your mission.
On the mission, you may have felt great excitement (and maybe a little trepidation) thinking about your return home. Perhaps you imagined how wonderful it would be to sleep in your own bed, eat your mother’s cooking, and see all of your old friends.
However, as the weeks pass and the rush of emotion dies down, you may begin to feel unsettled in your new environment. You may feel uncomfortable with old friends and their standards and even uncomfortable with your own family.
That’s okay! You need to acknowledge that this is normal and most returned missionaries feel the same way (even though they may not talk about it openly). You’re not strange or weird or even unworthy if you have these feelings. They’re normal!
Give yourself time, like you did at the beginning of your mission. You need to readjust to new rules, new schedules, and new surroundings. You need to decide how and when you will plan your time, how and to whom you will be accountable, and what your long- and short-term goals will be. You may feel like you have been thrust back into the world without any tools or a companion to help you.
That is not true!
You taught in the first lesson, “Heavenly Father has provided us, His children, with a way to be successful in this life and to return to live in His presence.”
The Lord will be by your side now, just like He was on your mission. The difference is that you are now a seasoned warrior whom the Lord can trust to make righteous decisions. When you ask, seek, and knock, He will be there because you “are to be taught from on high.” The principles in the scriptures and in Preach My Gospel, which you used on your mission and which you taught to your investigators, are the key to success in your own new life.
The following was an excerpt from the book: "Returned Missionary Handbook, The: Helping Missionaries and Parents through the Post-Mission Transition" currently on sale at cedarfort.com for $5.99!!