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I recently returned from my mission, after serving about 7 months. It was an amazing experience, but due to mental health and personal worthiness issues, it was decided that I needed to go home. 

I have now been home for over a month and am about a month away from being able to have my stake president start the process of allowing me to return. I have a couple questions and would love input/advice: 

(1) I served in a foreign country and am deeply concerned I won''t be able to return. Does anyone know of experiences of early returned missionaries who returned to the field? 

(2) If I do return, how do I explain my return to fellow missionaries? They all have been emailing me, but I've kind of avoided to topic, and I'm sure they will ask. 

(3) Anything else you may find is helpful

 

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10 hours ago, rm2018 said:

I recently returned from my mission, after serving about 7 months. It was an amazing experience, but due to mental health and personal worthiness issues, it was decided that I needed to go home. 

I have now been home for over a month and am about a month away from being able to have my stake president start the process of allowing me to return. I have a couple questions and would love input/advice: 

(1) I served in a foreign country and am deeply concerned I won''t be able to return. Does anyone know of experiences of early returned missionaries who returned to the field? 

(2) If I do return, how do I explain my return to fellow missionaries? They all have been emailing me, but I've kind of avoided to topic, and I'm sure they will ask. 

(3) Anything else you may find is helpful

 

1.)  You may or may not be sent back to your previous mission, especially if you've had health issues.  We had a missionary in our ward who was sent to Brazil and had to return early because of some back issues.  She returned to the mission and was sent to Tennessee.

2.)  You don't need to avoid the topic.  Honesty is always and forever the best policy.  If you don't want people to know then be honest about it - tell them you're not comfortable talking to them about it because it's something very personal to you.

3.)  I believe being open about things puts healing sunshine in dark places.  I understand the need for privacy and that it is not anybody's business but as a ward family and as a family of God's children, it is natural for people to want to know because they want to feel useful and show compassion and want to be a part of your life (and yes, there are also the gossips but that's their problem).  Personally, if I'm embarrassed to talk about my weaknesses, usually it's because I haven't quite overcome the weakness yet and have not forgiven myself for it so I still feel shame when I talk about it.  I know I have completely overcome it when I can talk about it as something in my past that I triumphed over.  I can get up on Testimony Sunday and testify of Christ through that specific experience in my life.  But that's just me.

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13 hours ago, rm2018 said:

(1) I served in a foreign country and am deeply concerned I won''t be able to return. Does anyone know of experiences of early returned missionaries who returned to the field? 

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/called-to-the-work?lang=eng

Quote

In the culture of the Church, we often talk of being called to serve in a country such as Argentina, Poland, Korea, or the United States. But a missionary is not called to a place; rather, he or she is called to serve. As the Lord declared through the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1829, “If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work."

Each mission call and assignment, or a later reassignment, is the result of revelation through the Lord’s servants. A call to the work comes from God through the President of the Church. An assignment to one of the more than 400 missions presently operating around the world comes from God through a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, acting with the authorization of the Lord’s living prophet. The spiritual gifts of prophecy and revelation attend all mission calls and assignments.

You'll go where the Lord want you to be today, not where He wanted you a year ago. These may be the same place, or they may not. "Thy will be done."

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17 hours ago, rm2018 said:

I recently returned from my mission, after serving about 7 months. It was an amazing experience, but due to mental health and personal worthiness issues, it was decided that I needed to go home. 

I have now been home for over a month and am about a month away from being able to have my stake president start the process of allowing me to return. I have a couple questions and would love input/advice: 

(1) I served in a foreign country and am deeply concerned I won''t be able to return. Does anyone know of experiences of early returned missionaries who returned to the field? 

(2) If I do return, how do I explain my return to fellow missionaries? They all have been emailing me, but I've kind of avoided to topic, and I'm sure they will ask. 

(3) Anything else you may find is helpful

 

1) Yes, I do.  Some are good and some are not.  It depends on the individual and how ready they are to return to the field.

2)  It is normally pretty simple, especially if it was due to mental health.  Even if it was not due to mental health, it could be due to spiritual health.  In which instance just tell them that you had gotten very ill and very sick.  You needed to get better and you needed the time for recovery.  If they press to know what it was, tell them that your medical history and problems are your own and you prefer not to share them with others except your VERY close friends and family.  Health and sickness are very personal issues and no one has the right to know except you and your doctor (or in the case of spiritual ailments, you and your mission president or Bishop and Stake President). 

In otherwords, tell them that you were sick and needed to recover.

3)  I have dealt with several missionaries that have come home early and some who then went back out into the mission field.  I would say that attitude is everything.  If you have a sincere desire to finish off your time in the mission field, with a dedication to the Lord and a yearning to do what is right, you can be successful.  If you are going out just because it is expected of you, that can be a harder thing to pull off.  If anything, read and study the scriptures and pray often.  Seek the spirit and the things of the Lord if you desire to go back out into the mission field.  If it is an illness or sickness, make sure you are ready to go back out there, and if you are there, try to take care of your health (spiritually or otherwise).  Do not be ashamed if you cannot do all that others do, but seek the kingdom of the Lord and do your best.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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Hey RM,

Yeah, going on a mission in sin stealth mode is asking to wrecked by the devil. Glad you were able to make it home safely. I imagine if you aren't done serving and you are now ready to go they may keep you close to home. You claimed to have mental health concerns which is nothing to take lightly. I imagine even serving locally might be suitable.

The Lord has the final say on where you will go. Oh and your condition is no one else's business when you get back to the field. Remember that, only share if you want to.

 

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