Comments about ‘Top 10 things to do your first week back from a Mormon mission’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8 2014 5:00 a.m. MST

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RDLV
Costa Rica, 00

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.
Thanks

morpunkt
Glendora, CA

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.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

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.

portlander
Arlington, WA

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.

Sports Are Great
Salt Lake City, UT

@Robin, and I'm sure you immediately increased the average GPA at both BYU and Utah upon your transfer. We all support your decision.

abrielsdad
Orem, UT

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.

Jonas
Denver, Colorado

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.

dan76
san antonio, TX

Ref: Portlander

Obviously 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.

Vladhagen
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

eastcoastcoug
Danbury, CT

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 different
2- 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 ways
3- Help them have fun without just focusing on things they "couldn't do" as missionaries (e.g. what trashy movies they missed)

IDblue&white
Rigby, ID

Ref: Dan76
Sorry 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.

Ltrain
St. George, UT

@ 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 bashing there.

MoreMan
San Diego, CA

Wear a shirt that says R.M. and get engaged was missing from the list.

MoreMan
San Diego, CA

They forgot "get engaged"

J-TX
Allen, TX

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.

DrGroovey
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

mhilton
Lancaster, CA

@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.

Don37
Nottingham, MD

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.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

#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, intent).

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

#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.

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