Over time the MTC got a little easier, and my District and I made great friends. The Elders were all going to the OPM as well, and we made a plan to fly home together after 2 years. But I never told anyone about this unsettling feeling I had, and before I knew it I was in the field.
Leaving my new friends only made my social anxiety worse, and my first night there I lay awake in tears as my heart raced and my mind spun around. How was I going to endure 2 years of this? My first day in the field I was hit by a car while crossing between sidewalks on my bike, and with everything going on at the time, I felt broken.
The next few weeks got progressively worse. I was so trapped inside my anxiety and depression that I lost all sense of rationality and reason. I was frantically emailing home and saying things I regret. My companion was very kind and understanding, but neither of us knew how to make my situation better. One day I woke up and just didn't care anymore. I didn't want to be alive anymore. Fortunately our appointments fell through that day, and I knew that if I did have to teach in my current state, it would not have been good.
It was then I started going to counseling and communicating my problems with my Mission President. They agreed that it wasn't good to stay in the field with these issues I was experiencing. I was sent home on November 29th 2017; just a month and eleven days after I left.
I felt horrible. Had I done enough? What would my MTC friends think? I had friends serving all over, and my best friend was serving in Hawaii. Would I ever fit in with them having gone home so soon? I had great friends back home preparing to serve, and I felt I had set a horrible example for them.
My first Sunday back was especially hard. I felt like every pair of eyes was looking my way, and I wanted to disappear altogether. I talked with my bishop and he shared his very similar struggles in his own life and it gave me great comfort knowing that I wasn't alone in this. With Christ as our savior we are never alone.
Now, I am working towards being a Church Service Missionary, and keeping in contact with all my friends in the field. Coming home was not easy, and I still experience feelings of doubt and sorrow, but they are made easier with the help of the Lord.
This is the story of a shy comedian. This is the story of a hobby artist. This is Connor's Story, and it's only just begun.
On September 3rd 2015, my older brother left for the Ghana Accra West Mission. He was the first missionary for years to serve in our family. While he was gone, I did a lot of pondering as to whether or not I should serve a mission for myself.
I never got a definite answer to my prayers, but I was willing to give it a try; both to make my family proud, and to grow as a person. After losing 100lbs and getting medical clearance, I turned in my papers just after my brother's homecoming. A week later I was called to serve in the Oregon Portland Mission.
My family went nuts; we had vacationed in Oregon several times and loved it. My aunt lived in the mission, so I would have family close by. It all seemed so perfect...
I reported to the Provo MTC on October 18th 2017 and after just an hour there, I began to feel an overwhelming sense of panic. I had struggled with Social Anxiety for most of my life, and it seemed to go away during my senior year, but here it was flaring up in the MTC. I didn't know what to do.