Frankness, from what I have experienced and have observed, the worst thing new
RMs can do is return to the family ward that sent them off.The best
thing I did coming home was immediately leave for college. I was home long
enough for a "homecoming" talk and a sibling's "farewell".
Frankly I find these articles and sites like www.thereturnedmissioanry.com to be
annoying. They try to commercialize the Church, fit everyone into a similar
box, hand out flowery advice, yada, yada, yada. Live your own life, make your
own decisions. You know your son/daughter, you shouldn't need advice on
"do's and don'ts" with your own child returning. These
articles and sites are a pet peeve of mine.
Each son or daughter returning from a mission is different. Listen to them.
Pray for guidance on how to help them decompress and grow into the next part of
their life. For some, this "program" may be fabulous. For others it
won't work well at all. For others, a few parts of it will work. With
some others... no program at all is needed. I grow weary of the
forced march that "well-meant" programs like this create. I am weary of
the shallow pomp of people who think that all problems are solved by ordering
others about (and how angry they get when you don't dance fast enough to
suit them). The mechanical nature of programs create new-age Pharisees. And by
nature, Pharasees leave the "weightier matters" undone.And
"Jesus wept."Every person is different. Even missionaries.
After growing up and living independantly (with a companion) on my mission, it
was difficult to return to live upnder my parents roof. I maintained a good
relationship with them, but I was manytimes treated as a child around the house,
and regulated as such.I only stayed for a few months, then
transferred to an out-of-town college which helped the situration. I still stop
by to visit every opportunity I get.
Chris B, it's not dealing with 6 year olds, it's basic psychology.
I've come back from a mission and I've come back from a war zone. The
experiences are different, but share being cut off from home while doing
important things for long periods, while the world back home went on without us.
Returning home gives rise to the same problems of isolation, purposelessness,
frustration, and even fear. The principles listed in the article
can apply broadly to both experiences because of the overlap, and you'd do
well not to infantilize the experience unless you've shared in something
@Oh, please!I am sorry if our video did not meet your expectations
of what a proper missionary homecoming is but it sure was a blessed day for our
fun loving but imperfect family. I would challenge you to focus on the positive
& take to heart Matthew 7:1. I am positive that all missionaries do that!Great article and advice! Thanks so much for posting it!
when I came home from my mission from Alaska I was lost for weeks. The world I
knew and loved was gone and I was back in my old room again trying to figure out
who I was and what I was supposed to be doing. I knew I was supposed to be
dating and seeking a mate but I had been trained strictly for two years to not
even look at girls and now suddenly it was open season? Confusing and awkward.
The best things I did were to seek out my returned missionary friends who had
also loved their missions like me and spend time swapping stories. I also spent
time visiting my older siblings and their families and getting caught up. The
temple was GREAT and gave me a place of refuge. I would say - give an RM a
couple months and allow him to adjust to the real world again before throwing
him or her into the work force or social scene.
@skepticWhy not do both?
From reading this list, it makes me thing we're talking about how to parent
a 6 year old coming home after being gone a while.And some people
wonder why LDS missionaries have a hard time assimilating back into society.
How about if parents not send their children on missionary wild goose chases but
send them into the Peace Corps or some other community volunteer organization
where they can make a difference and do some real good contributing to a better
world, Would it not be better time and money spend. When people can read and
write and have a full stomach then they will be better prepared to choose a
church or religion for themselves and by themselves, or not.
The recommendations in the article are in my view too idealized. Be flexible and
let the RM adjust in their own way. Let them come down from the guilt of not
meeting the weekly stats and relax. When I returned many years ago I didn't
have a support group (just my grandmother). I went on splits with the local
Elders to transition to the reality of everyday living. Some missionaries
don't achieve the deep spiritual strength to endure regardless of
completing a mission and are coatailing others spirituality. You can encourage
and support the RM, but don't become their next mission president.
I was pleasantly surprised by this list. So often such lists are personality
specific and thus not really applicable to nearly everyone in the supposed
target group.It boils down to two principles:1) Support,
don't push or criticize.2) Guide towards moving forward in general,
not in specifics. RMs are adults and thus should determine the specifics for
themselves.This same list, and my principles, would also serve
Mission Presidents well. Too often I hear of Mission Presidents putting too
much pressure on RMs to marry quickly after returning. The timing of marriage
is extremely individual and also requires the cooperation of a second party.
Thus, advise for returned missionaries regarding marriage needs to be extremely
general (i.e. "don't avoid marriage," or highly individual, as
truly guided by the Spirit) and needs to leave lots of room for the realities
and vagaries of life.
I served a two year mission returned home and continued with my life. I do not
understand why a returned missionary would need a six week course to help adjust
after serving a mission.
Good recommendations...I'd go as far to say the returned would be suited
well by attending there family ward for a short month or two before moving on.
As one who labored in school and attended a student ward a while before getting
married, that would be my recommendation. If I had a choice BT a family ward and
a student ward, it would be the family.So many of the youth,
graduate student wards forgetting there's a choice.