Coming home is a tough deal. Sure, it’s one of the greatest feelings seeing your family again, and there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed after a long journey. But, RM life isn’t all fun and games—especially in the beginning. There’s a lot to get used to! It’s hard to be out of routine, not knocking on doors and not teaching lessons. Life feels empty without your members and investigators who you love so much, they’re like family. You may be scared and uncertain about the future. Jobs, school, dating—all huge decisions you will be making soon. And on top of all that, it’s a little unnerving to think about going backwards instead of forwards in your testimony when you’re not teaching the Gospel 24/7.
Life post-mission can be overwhelming in the beginning—in fact, it can be really hard sometimes. With all the choices you are making, it can be confusing. But, just remember this: You may not be a missionary anymore, but that doesn’t mean Heavenly Father is in any less control of your life. He loves you just as much now as He did while you were serving. On the mission, He gave you the tools you need to continue leading a righteous and happy life. He not only expects you to use them as a missionary, but as His disciple once you get home.
The question is how do you use your mission skills to keep you on the straight and narrow after the mission? Here are some ideas that might help.
1. Go to bed on time and wake up early- On the mission, you went to bed at 10:30 pm and woke up at 6:30 am. It’s tempting upon coming home to just forget about bedtimes and morning alarms, but keep it up! If you really don’t want to wake at 6:30 am anymore, push it back to 7 or 7:30. Waking up early is energizing and refreshing. You’ll get more done during the day and continue to maintain a disciplined lifestyle.
2. Study time- Now that you’re home, you may find that scripture study is difficult to do, but remember what you learned on the mission. It’s the small and simple things that keep your testimony strong. Daily scripture study is essential to growing in faith. Set aside a time during the day that is specifically for studying and pondering the Gospel. Make it part of your routine. Good example times would be upon waking or before going to bed. Give yourself 10 or 15 minutes (more if you want!) to read and learn about God’s doctrines.
3. Magnify your calling- Once you’re given a calling, serve with all your heart, mind, might and strength. If you’re the new Relief Society president of your singles ward, put all you have into your calling. If you get called as an activities committee member, give all your energy to coming up with the best ward activities you can. You may not have any more investigators, but you still have people to serve. Pray for the members under your stewardship, and serve them. Call them on the phone to see how they’re doing. Deliver cookies. Love them as much as you loved anyone on your mission!
4. Be the best member missionary you can be- In the June Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve called for greater member missionary involvement. Do all you can to bring your non-member friends and family to the Church. Continue to spread the Gospel by being kind to everyone. Open your mouth and make the invites to ward parties, activities, FHE, and church. Become the local missionaries “go-to” member by giving them referrals and helping them teach.
5. Community service- One of the best parts of being a missionary was the opportunity you had to do constant service. Now that you’re home, you may not have as many chances to go about doing good like before, but that’s where community service comes in. Get in contact with local service organizations. You can teach English to immigrants, spend time with people in nursing homes, participate in therapeutic activities for the handicapped, put on free performances, help build homes for those who don’t have one, or become a Big Brother/Sister to a younger child. There are so many ways to get involved and continue to serve others.
These are just a few suggestions to help you adjust to RM life. Remember- “adjusting” doesn’t mean lowering the standards you set for yourself as a missionary. Adjusting means finding ways to keep up those standards in everyday life and putting what you learned on your mission to use. Keep up the good works, returned missionary! You’re going to be just fine.
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