5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Serving a Mission

Group of lds missionaries pointing to wall map
Image via churchofjesuschrist.org

Serving a mission is a huge milestone for many young adults. I’m sure that everyone around you has started to tell you their mission stories. Once you get your call it seems like everyone you know suddenly has a connection to where you have been called. You may even be currently overloaded with advice.

However you are feeling, it is totally normal and okay. These are 5 things that I wish I had understood before jumping into my service.

1. You don’t always see the blessings immediately.

PrayerThe blessings that come from serving a mission will come when you least expect it. Upon returning home from serving a mission I could not see any blessings. The longer I am home the more I see the blessings of my service slowly start to appear. This is a long-term investment. Much longer than 18 months or 2 years.

2. It does not make you or your family immune to hardship.

Christ centered home Mormon family prayerI have heard many missionaries give experiences like the following: When I was on my mission my mom was diagnosed with cancer and she was healed because I was a good missionary.

It can be harmful to say that you know that your mom was healed of her illness because you were a good missionary. There are many missionaries who still have people pass and hardships occur. Your family will be blessed for your service but be careful of these kinds of comparisons.

3. You probably won’t wear those clunky walking shoes that your mom thinks you really need.

I think you know which shoes I’m talking about. Just save your money.

Related Link: Things You Don’t Think to Bring on a Mission But Should 

4. Become a minimalist.

Embarking on an adventure
Embarking on an adventure. Picture by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash.

Becoming a minimalist is helpful because you will be living out of 2 suitcases for the next 18 to 24 months. After coming home from my mission I realized that I had lived for 19 months without most of the stuff I left back at home. It really caused me to reevaluate how I spend my money and how much space in my life is taken up by things that don’t matter.

5. It’s going to be hard for you.

Missionary CompanionshipI know that everyone says this but it’s true. When people would say this to me I would get so frustrated. They were telling me it was hard but then they wouldn’t explain why it was so hard. I have come to realize that missions are hard because God is going to push you out of your comfort zone and you are going to change.

That’s why no one can tell you why it was so hard. The trials and difficulties are different for each person who serves. I can’t tell you why it’s going to be hard for you. Just expect to be uncomfortable and grow from it.

Related Link: The Ultimate Missionary Preparation Guide 

What do you wish you would have known before serving a mission? Share in the comments. 

Zoë Holyoak is currently a BYU student, photographer, and writer. Her hobbies include long walks through the ice cream aisle at the grocery store and correcting bad grammar. She is also a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a mission for the Church in Portland, Oregon.