"The one big comfort to me in all this chaos is my faith in Christ and his Atoning sacrifice for us. Besides suffering for all our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus also felt all of our pain and anguish of the all the trials we would ever face. I know that Christ knows my challenges like no one else ever can, and that no matter what happens I am serving One who knows what I’m dealing with and what I feel. I love him, and I know that he loves me and is helping me."
"The lord loves you and is grateful for your sacrifice and your willingness to serve. I know that whatever you are going through, the atonement of Jesus Christ can and will allow you to feel whole again! It takes time and effort and time reading scriptures and praying but as we as missionaries know, in being humble before the lord he can work through us and in us to change ourselves and the world"
"Coming home was possibly one of the hardest things I have done but one of the best experiences for my life. Since being home I have come to learn how to cope with the anxieties I have. My testimony has grown tremendously from coming home. I know that Heavenly Father sent me on my mission so I could figure this out once and for all. He has been there for me every single step of the way and I feel so blessed. I feel better than I have in years."
"Your mission is completed when you have done what you needed to do and learned what you needed to learn. I know that this might be difficult to believe, but it doesn’t matter how long you served for, you are a returned missionary. I’ve learned that god has a better plan for our lives than we have for ourselves, and he knows what we need. If our lives are centered on Christ, we cannot fall."
"I remember feeling like my life was over when I came but really it was exactly what I needed. I learned how much God wants us to take care of ourselves and how much he truly does love us. I also realized that we have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of other people. Gods plan doesn’t always make us happy at the time but later we discover just how amazing his plan is."
"One thing I wish I would have known when I came home early is how many would NOT judge me for returning. All I could focus on is that I would be, I never stopped to consider that those around me might have Christ-like love for ME. One thing I want to tell ERM's is to Not feel ashamed. Know that you served God, no matter how much or how little time you were out."
"Only being on a mission for 5 weeks and not even making it through the whole CCM made me ask what the point was. But I know that I was supposed to be in the district I was supposed to be in and have the companion I had. God has a plan for me and even though I have no idea what it is right now I trust in Him and know that He is looking out for me. "
"I served for 5 months. I've now been home for just over 5 months and its been the hardest time of my life. I didn't know how to adjust to normal life with all the health things going on. I didn't even know how to face those that I loved. I became really good a placing a smile on my face and saying "I'm doing just fine" when in reality I was the farthest thing from even being ok."
"I served in the California Oakland/San Francisco mission for 13 months, coming home early do to medical reasons was hard at first, but as I look back I am so thankful for every experience that I have had good or bad, and coming home early was also a learning experience, it helped me better understand Christ's atonement and how it can help me through anything, I also learned that God always has a plan for me no matter what my situation is, He always has a mission for me. "
"I don't know what I was supposed to learn, but I have a lot more compassion for those who cannot serve missions or come home early for any reason. I know God hasn't completely abandoned me, though I don't have any idea what He has in store. I know that through my mission, I was able to partake of a very small portion of the pain Christ suffered in Gethsemane. I had taken my cross and followed Him as far as I could before collapsing. "
"I've had many people ask how did you come out of this situation on top and so positive. First let me tell you I wasn't always positive. I definitely had my low moments, or as my mom calls them, fetal position moments, where I didn't get why I was going through this and let me tell you I wasn't proud of those moments. I had moments where I felt like a complete and total failure. I couldn't even finish 18 months, how was I supposed to ever do anything else hard in my life! But I'll get to the point...how did I come out on top."
"Hastening the Work of Salvation doesn't just apply to fulltime missionaries, it applies to every aspect of our lives. We can always serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength no matter where Heavenly Father places us. I know this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is true. I know that because I prayed about it and received an answer from the Holy Ghost. "
"If I were to give any advice to people that know missionaries that have come home early is to just be there friend no matter what. Whether they had an honorable release, a medical release, or a dishonorable release we are all striving for the same goal of eternal life and we cant do it alone. The main focus should be on working towards the temple and keeping the covenants we make there and that is what I continue to do."
"I am Jocelyn and I only served a 9 month mission because I am suffering from depression but I was a successful missionary. I experienced everything that I needed to do and my loving, caring God didn't want to see me suffer anymore. I learned how real the atonement is. I learned that God does answer prayers through the scriptures and prophets."
"This difficult experience has taught me to more trust in my Heavenly Father. I have been able to forge a relationship with Him that surpasses all. Sometimes I just get down on my knees and don’t say a word, I just give Him my indescribable feelings and feel of His complete love and acceptance for me in return. "
"I knew my heart, and I knew that Heavenly Father knew me better than I knew myself. That only His opinion mattered to me, and nobody else's. I had to remind myself that, they are human, and that they weren't perfect people either! The church is not perfect, but the gospel is. People think that church is full of perfect saints, but it's really a hospital for the broken people who keep coming back to be treated."
"I know that I was meant to serve a mission, even if it was only a six month mission. I know that I am meant to be home right now, sharing my story about depression. I know that God is so aware of each of His children and loves them immensely. I know that He is especially aware of us "early return" missionaries. He knew how long we would serve when He called us, but He still called us. He has such great faith in us."
"I have gained a greater understanding of the healing power of the Atonement in a way that I could not have understood before. I am so grateful for the trials I faced on my mission and after. It was hard. It is hard, but I would not give up what I know now. I know that through the Atonement one day we will stand glorified and perfected in body, mind, and spirit. It is such a comfort to me to know that God and His perfect Son want us all even and especially in our brokenness and grief."
"It was extremely hard to come home, for I couldn't even walk by myself. But the Lord has extended tender mercies towards me, and I will be forever grateful for them. I was only out for 4 months, but those months were life-changing for me. I have been home now for almost 3 months, and am working on getting back out to serve. I want to serve again, not because other people expect me to, but because I know the Lord needs me to."
"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."
"Now I'm going to counseling and still deciding if I can/will go back to Ohio. I don't know and it's been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I always remember though that Heavenly Father loves me and knows I've served what I can for now. He's caring, He'll never leave you alone. My piece of advice is to never forget he loves you."
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