My name is Kelsey Morgan and I am from Duvall, Washington. I was raised in a home of no belief in God and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was 16. I went to Brigham Young University-Idaho for 2 years and decided that I wanted to go on a mission. I put in my papers August, 2013 and opened my call on September 25th, 2013. I was called to serve in the Utah Salt Lake City East mission and was to depart for the MTC on December 18th. I was excited and ready to go, or so I thought.
When December 18th approached my mom and dad took me to the airport. My family was having a really hard time with me going on a mission and they kept telling me that I could come home any time that I wanted to. I hugged my parents goodbye and flew out from the SEATAC airport in Washington.
I got to the MTC in Provo and they had us going to work right away. I actually loved the MTC and the busy schedule that we had. I loved the classes and I was able to strengthen my testimony in the short 3 weeks that I was there. I loved my district and my teachers, however, I had a challenging companion. I had a companion who had a slight amount of autism and had trouble focusing on the work at hand. It took a lot of prayer and help from my district, but I was able to remain patient and I tried to help her learn as much as I could before we left.
I entered the mission field on January 7th, 2014 and I was assigned to the Cottonwood Heights area. My companion was awesome. She is from Las Angelas and has turrets, but she was the hardest working missionary that I knew and she taught me everything about missionary work. Before I left my 4th semester of college, I found out that I have a chemical imbalance that causes depression and anxiety and I was on medication that I continued to take on my mission. The mission was like nothing that I expected. You work long hours of the day and you are expected to give every ounce of energy and brain power to the Lord and His work.
I loved the missionary work. We had great families in our area and I could tell that there were people that the Lord had specifically prepared for me to be able to relate to and teach. I taught a 16 year old girl who was in almost the exact same position that I was when I joined the church. She wanted to get baptized, but her aunt and uncle wouldn't let her. I was able to share my story with her and teach her for 3 weeks.
Despite loving the people and strengthening my testimony, my anxiety had gotten to the point where I wasn't able to think straight. It was making me sick and I wasn't able to concentrate on the work like I should. 2 weeks into my mission, I met with my mission president and told him that I was a mess and that I needed to go home. He told me to stick it out for 2 more weeks, so I agreed. I saw a counselor a couple of times at the LDS Family Services and I also saw a doctor who put me on another anxiety med. Unfortunately, the anxiety didn't subside. I hadn't been sleeping well the whole time on my mission and that continued too.
I had made it another 2 weeks and was battling with the decision on whether to stay or come home. That decision kept running through my mind which in turn, made my anxiety worse. I loved the people I was teaching so much and I loved sharing the gospel and strengthening my testimony, but I knew I needed to take care of myself and get healthy. I told my mission president and called my folks. They were thrilled that I was coming home. I told some of the people l was teaching goodbye and left at 3:00PM on February 6th, back to Seattle.
The hardest thing about coming home is feeling like I failed and not being able to know how my teaching would have helped people. My mission president told me that I did great things in the short time I was giving and that I was a great teacher. This gave me some comfort in knowing that it really was a medical condition that caused me to come home. In returning home, I have found a stronger desire to follow the Lord. It's hard to follow the study schedule at home, but I try to be an example of the Lord as much as I can to reflect my mission for my family and others.
My biggest bit of advice is to continue following the Lord. He knows you and He knows that you did your best on your mission. Trust Him and the fact that He will bless you with opportunities while you are home. One thing that I wish I knew when I came home early is that your friends and family will still love you. Yeah, you came home early, but I can promise you that you grew on your short mission and that your friends and families are proud of you.
I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that His Atonement was done for more than just cleansing our sins. It was done so that Jesus Christ can understand what we are going through and He can know exactly what and who we need to grow stronger and turn to Him and the gospel. I love this gospel and I loved serving my 1 1/2 month mission.