I’ve been writing this post in my head for about 23 months. Some people aren’t going to like this, but I’m getting better at realizing I’m not going to make everyone happy, some people are going to dislike me, no matter what I do. SO. I’m posting this for me, and so hopefully some other boy or girl who is missing a friend, brother, sister, or cousin, can have some tips!
So I’ve been writing to my best friend who is off serving an LDS mission. He gets home next month, and I’ve learned a thing or two about writing a missionary since he (and practically all my other friends) have been gone.
What They Won’t Tell You About Writing A Missionary
1. It is hard. I thought I understood what that meant. Let me tell you, I didn’t. There are all of these conflicting feelings, like being so proud but missing them so much, wanting to confide in them while not being distracting, not writing too much or too little but jussst the right amount. It’s exhausting. And unfortunately while it gets easier to cope….it never really gets better.
2. People are going to trash talk. I was shocked how many people were so rude to me about the whole situation. People telling me I was a distraction, people throwing stories in my face about missionaries they knew who were so terrible because they were distracted by friends writing, people telling me that it wasn’t ever going to be the same, it wouldn’t work out, that I was being stupid and should just forget it. It’s so hard having such a huge part of your life completely thrashed. But it made me stronger.
3. You will change. And your missionary will change. This is 100% expected and 100% good. Change for the better. Both of you. And maybe those changes will pull you further apart, and that’s ok. If you are both turning into the people you are meant to be, and that means you aren’t supposed to stay friends, that’s life. But in my situation, the changes were all so good and made us closer, more Christ-like, and happier.
4. Some days you will just want to cry. People will tell you not to, but that’s not good. Sometimes, just let it out, listen to sad songs and have a blah day. It will be ok!
5. The last three months are by far the worst. I didn’t ever believe people who told me this, but it’s true. Unfortunately, every day that it’s closer seems to be a littler harder than the one before!
6. You will be so blessed. I have grown closer to Christ as I read letters about His Atonement, about the miracles and the wonderful things that are happening with His work. I have studied and pondered and grown so much. My testimony is unshakable. And I think writing a missionary was a huge part of that.
7. You will grow independent. I was terrified at the beginning that not having my best friend around to vent or cry to would mean the end of me. It was just the opposite. I found me by having to be independent, be by myself. And now, I am 100% comfortable with my own company. In fact, I love it.
8. Everyone is different. Everyone and every missionary is so different. Things that happened to your neighbors best friend’s sister’s boyfriend won’t happen to you. So relax, do what is best for you, and stop comparing!
9. You will be angry. Sometimes I felt so cheated that I was missing out on two years of my best friend’s life. His favorite color changed, and I didn’t know about it. He did all these incredible things that didn’t involve me. And it hurt. But you have to kick that, grow up, and realize that being an individual is wonderful. Embrace all of the good things about the situation and shake off the bad.
10. Turn to your Heavenly Father. I didn’t realize how much I would be relying on my Heavenly Father and my Savior when this whole ordeal started. He understands how it feels, your frustrations and fears. And He has the perfect plan for you. Rely on Him and His knowledge no matter what your earthly brain is thinking. You can do it, with his help!
That’s it really. I’m no expert, and I still have some time left before all my friends are home. But you can do this!
Happy Tuesday everyone!