Here are some insights that a returned missionary shared about what she wished her friends and family had known when she came home from her mission.
Soon our granddaughter will be returning from her mission in Paraguay. Thinking about her return led me to an interesting conversation in the temple with one of our young ordinance workers, a newly returned sister missionary. I asked her what the hardest thing about coming home from her mission was. I was surprised at what she said and wondered how many returned missionaries felt the same way.
She said, “I felt sad that my family and friends wanted me to move into my new life right away—switch gears immediately. I wasn’t ready for that. I needed them to care about my mission and want to know more about it. I wanted them to ask me about a few things I wrote in my emails to them. Things about the investigators I was working with. I wanted to share more details with them than I could in a letter. I wanted a chance to talk about my mission more.
“I realized they didn’t really know what I had just been through, how much I loved being a missionary and how much I loved the people I left behind. I wanted to talk about it with them, but so many times they just wanted me to move on and talk about being home and what my future plans were. I needed them to give me some time to revel in my mission a little longer, then I would be ready to move on.”
I asked her if there was anything else.