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Comp

Original Mission

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My Elder son has been serving in a "temporary assignment" for about 10 months after being evacuated from his original mission last Spring because of Covid. So...everyone in his MTC district, who were also reassigned, has now returned to the original mission. He's feeling overlooked and left out, because he's the only one who hasn't. His mission president told him that this new one is now his "permanent" assignment, but I don't know why he said that or if he is the one who decides. If this were anything other than the church, I would advocate for my kid and make sure they're treating him fairly. But, with the mission, do we just accept it on faith and endure to the end of the mission? And trust what the leaders are doing? It just doesn't seem right. He sees all of his missionary friends reuniting in the original field and posting on Facebook how happy they are to be back. What would you do? Who can I talk to?

Edited by Comp

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Let your son know that he was called as a missionary to represent Jesus Christ, and was originally assigned to a particular mission. He was later reassigned to another mission. His MTC district peers have apparently been re-reassigned back to their original assignment. Bully for them. That doesn't really mean anything. He is at the disposal of the Lord and the Lord's servants, and is called to serve wherever he is assigned.

Now I'm not heartless. I know how your son feels, and I completely sympathize with him. But if your son could truly and deeply understand that where he serves is irrelevant, as it is at the discretion of his leaders, and that how he serves is literally the only thing that matters, I think it would help him get past feeling left out. There is a General Conference talk delivered in the last few years that talks specifically about this. I can't find it on a quick search, but maybe some helpful soul here at 3H will help me out and post a link.

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Quote

Please note that the first sentence is a call to serve as a full-time missionary in the Lord’s restored Church. The second sentence indicates an assignment to labor in a specific place and mission. The important distinction expressed in these two sentences is essential for all of us to understand.

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....

I recently spoke with a faithful man who shared with me the deepest feelings of his heart. In a meeting, I had just explained the difference between being called to the work and assigned to labor. This good brother shook my hand and with tears in his eyes said to me, “The things you helped me learn today have lifted a burden from my shoulders that I have carried for more than 30 years. As a young missionary, I was initially assigned to a field of labor in South America. But I was unable to obtain a visa, so my assignment was changed to the United States. All these years I have wondered why I was unable to serve in the place to which I had been called. Now I know I was called to the work and not to a place. I cannot tell you how much this understanding has helped me.”

David A. Bednar, "Called to the Work" (Salt Lake City, Utah, April 1, 2017)

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Thank you for that talk! I will send it to him. 

I think what is the hardest right now is not knowing why. In the story you shared, he couldn't get a Visa, so he knew why he couldn't go. My son accepted his reassignment willingly, because covid was the reason. But when there's no reason? It's hard.

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I would suggest he shift his thinking. It could be that he'll have better comps, more positive experiences, enjoy the area more, etc in his new assignment. The sooner he looks at this as an opportunity, the better off he'll be. Besides, the grass is not always greener after all.

Let me also add that the coming years may very well require adaptability in various ways so this is a chance to flex his ability to be flexible. It could really help him in the long run!!

 

Edited by Manners Matter

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On 3/26/2021 at 5:41 PM, Vort said:

Now I'm not heartless. I know how your son feels, and I completely sympathize with him.

Thank you. I was mostly looking for sympathy when posting about this, and I appreciate getting a little.

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20 hours ago, Manners Matter said:

I would suggest he shift his thinking. It could be that he'll have better comps, more positive experiences, enjoy the area more, etc in his new assignment. The sooner he looks at this as an opportunity, the better off he'll be. Besides, the grass is not always greener after all.

Let me also add that the coming years may very well require adaptability in various ways so this is a chance to flex his ability to be flexible. It could really help him in the long run!!

 

Thank you for your positivity. We are praying for him all the time and hoping that he will see it this way. Unfortunately, the new assignment has been worse in every way except the standard of living. He has been grateful for that.

He became depressed in his new area during strict isolating rules, and he says they insisted he get counselling. He was put on anti-depressants. I don't know if that puts him in a position of ineligibility or not, but he wasn't depressed before the reassignment.

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On 4/1/2021 at 6:15 PM, Comp said:

Thank you for your positivity. We are praying for him all the time and hoping that he will see it this way. Unfortunately, the new assignment has been worse in every way except the standard of living. He has been grateful for that.

He became depressed in his new area during strict isolating rules, and he says they insisted he get counselling. He was put on anti-depressants. I don't know if that puts him in a position of ineligibility or not, but he wasn't depressed before the reassignment.

That actually can have a pretty large effect on whether they get assigned to certain locations or not. 

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