So it’s been 6 months since I can home from my mission and some of you may be wondering 'what happened to the girl we used to follow on her mission blog?' This is my attempt to help satisfy that curiosity.
The best way is to start from the beginning. I came home and walked off the plane to friends and family waiting to welcome me home. I overheard a little girl walking in front of me say “ Why are all those people there? Are they waiting for someone?” Yes, indeed they were. It was amazing after 19 months being away from my family. I can’t express how amazing it was to see them. It’s what I always imagine life after this to be like as we greet those that we love again.
It was great and crazy at first but honestly felt like a dream. I didn’t feel like I was going to stay. As if I would only visit and leave again and go back to the people I loved in Argentina. Then reality started to sink in. I didn’t even know how to greet someone. I had to force my legs to stop from approaching people and kissing them on the cheek. I stumbled through backwards English because I couldn’t remember how to say things. I felt like I had become someone who just didn’t fit in this western civilization. I realized at the same time how blessed and grateful I was for all the little things. For example the washer and dryer, couches, pants, and cars only to name a few.
As time went on, I realized more and more how much I missed being a missionary and doing something meaningful everyday. I’m not talking about just getting everything on the to do list done. I’m talking about really feeling like today I made a difference in someone’s life. Or, I’m working and progressing and becoming a better person. I feel like the mission changed me so much but I didn’t realize it until I came home. In so many ways from how I reacted, to having a stronger belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ, to helping around at home, listening and talking to people, taking the initiative to start conversations, changes in what movies I wanted to watch or music I wanted to listen to. I’m not saying I listened only to classical and church songs when I got home, but I realized how much music influences me and that spending time watching something that wasn’t in line with my standards just wasn’t worth it.
A few weeks after being home I came back to school at BYU Idaho and started working on getting my bachelors in nursing. The structure was great but I felt lost. I would find myself talking to others who had gone through the same thing and all they could do was listen and tell me that it just takes time. All I wanted to think about was the people that I loved and cared for in Argentina, but I had to learn to remember that they were, and are loved and cared for by God. I know that if he cared enough to send me to them at such crutial times in their lives, that he would continue to watch over them. Nothing brings me more happiness now then to hear that they are okay and still living the things that we taught them and enjoying the blessings that go with those teachings.
Now it’s been 6 months and I think I’ve learned how to move on without forgetting. Remembering that it’s okay to miss the amazing people of Argentina and to miss being a missionary, but it’s what I do with those feelings that matter. I pray for them, write them, but I carry on and look for those around me that maybe need a little help today. I remember to share my beliefs with those around me and to be the person that God changed me into in those amazing 19 months. I will never be the same, but I would never want to go back to who I was. I love that my mission will always be huge part of who I am and more importantly, my Savior will always be a bigger part of who I am. He was with me through it all and after it all. He was the reason that I went and the reason I keep going forward and have continued to find happiness everyday.
So to sum it up, post mission life is different, but they say change is good and helps us grow, and I would have to agree it seems I always have room to grow and become more like the person the Lord would have me be.