There are many who struggle with physical and emotional challenges. For many young adults, these challenges play a significant role in determining whether or not they will be able to serve a mission.
A recent KUTV article shares the story of Lizzy Kartchner. Kartchner struggled with the decision to serve a mission because of certain mental health issues she was experiencing. Despite her strong desire to serve, she was taking medication for anxiety, and the idea that she would be away from home for so long was troubling to her.
In spite of her health issues, the Church gave Kartchner another option. This option is a “two-transfer mission.” These “two-transfer missions” allow missionaries to serve for three months, come home for some training, and then the missionary has the option to serve for the remainder of their call if they so desire. This is what Lizzy has chosen to do.
The amazing thing about this process is that whether the missionary just serves for the three months, or whether they decide to return and serve for the entire eighteen to twenty-four months, in the Church’s eyes, they will have completed their mission honorably.
In her article, “A Mini Mission—The Real Story,” Patty Sampson excitedly states,
These Elders and Sisters who serve 12-week missions are called and set apart as missionaries. They are given the same priesthood keys as every other missionary. And there is no distinction between their service and the service of a missionary serving for longer. They aren’t even singled out or labeled in the mission office or the mission that they serve in. That is intentional. The Brethren want to give them the best chance for success. And one important part of that is removing labels. So, you will never meet a missionary you know is serving a 12-week mission, unless they tell you.
The leaders of the Church are striving to accommodate the needs of young adults who struggle with physical and emotional challenges, yet who have a strong desire to serve. This opportunity to serve a two-transfer mission can be a huge blessing in the lives of many young adults in the Church today.
For more information on a similar topic, see our article “10 Resources for Early Returned Missionaries.”