At one point over the last several weeks, the spread of coronavirus caused 30,000 of the 67,000 missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to return to their home nations, according to Church News.
Since then, whether awaiting reassignment, receiving an early release, or teaching virtually from an apartment, these missionaries all had one thing in common—their mission did not turn out as planned.
For missionaries and parents of missionaries recently impacted by the changes, Deseret Book Live! is hosting, “Mission Accomplished? A Fireside for Missionaries Affected by COVID-19.”
In preparation for the fireside, we interviewed a variety of missionaries from those who were new to the field to those who had nearly completed their mission. Their feelings ranged from choosing to stay home to wanting to serve again as soon as possible. But across the board, four common concerns emerged from their responses:
- How do I know that I served the mission I was supposed to serve?
- I loved where I was serving or where I was originally called. How do I deal with the possibility of being called to a new mission?
- There are so many options: starting school, getting a job, going back out as soon as possible, or going back out in 18 months. How do I decide what to do next?
- How do I manage my reality not meeting my expectations? How do I deal with the disappointment I'm feeling?
We’ve pulled together a group of experts to help answer these questions:
- Anthony Sweat is an associate professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. He is the author of numerous best-selling books and a regular speaker at various Latter-day Saint events and conferences.
- Brittany Fisher Frank became paralyzed from the waist down during a moonlight rappel from a 200-foot cliff in Southern Utah. Though the experience left her with a life-changing diagnosis, it also led her to a new relationship with her Savior.
- Hank Smith teaches in the Religious Education Department at BYU and is a favorite speaker at Especially for Youth, Best of Especially for Youth, and BYU Education Week.
- Laurel Christensen Day has spent most of her career at Deseret Book Company as the Director of Entertainment. For seven years, she also worked as the Director of Time Out for Women and is currently the Vice President of Product at Deseret Book.
- The Nashville Tribute Band may be a familiar music group for missionaries. With their original music, these six Nashville songwriters pay tribute to the things they believe in by offering a new perspective on familiar Christian stories.
See you Thursday, and don’t forget to invite a friend!