This article was originally published in Deseret News by Sadie Williams. Below is an excerpt.
We all know “those” returned missionaries.
The ones who came home early. The ones who were honorably released, but didn’t serve a full term. Whether it’s one week or 17 months or 22 months, they can end up, sadly, being the talk of the ward. Was it depression that made it so the elder couldn’t even make it out of the MTC? Could the sister not handle the mission rules so she asked for her own release? And since sister missionaries aren’t “required” to go, don’t they get an honorable release no matter what?
Consider for a moment how these missionaries are feeling.
I am an early returned missionary. I came home due to the effects of Lyme disease and am still fighting that battle. (May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and you can learn more about the Lyme Disease Challenge at lymediseasechallenge.org).
I served one year. It was the best year of my life, and the six to nine months after coming home early were some of the worst months of my life.
When I heard my mission president say that I was going home, I had known it was coming for a while. But I had fought to stay out. I was sick. It was serious. But we didn’t find out how serious until I came home.
Still, I felt like my world had shattered into a million pieces. Then when I came home, it was like someone had taken a sledge-hammer to those pieces.
What I didn’t realize was that the adversary was the one handing me the sledge-hammer, and I was the one smashing the pieces.
To read the six lies that early returned missionaries tell themselves, go to Deseret News.