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Welcome!

This podcast is dedicated to helping missionaries who return home early and to helping those who care about them. Click on an episode below to listen and learn more! Or, listen to this podcast on:

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Episodes:

 

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Episode 31: Elizabeth discusses returning home early due to OCD Scrupulosity and creating BeyondMyBadge.org

In this episode, Elizabeth shares her struggle with OCD scrupulosity, which she describes best as “perfectionism.” On her mission, Elizabeth was very focused on always doing things right (which caused her to constantly feel that she was doing things wrong.) This confusion led to her being very rigid and upset with her companions. She also felt unworthy to be a missionary because she wasn’t perfect. After five months, she went home and began unpacking what had happened. As her healing began, she came to accept the Atonement and let it into her heart rather than feeling like its healing powers were something she had to earn. She tells me about why she created BeyondMyBadge.org and what it has to offer early-returned missionaries as a resource website. Elizabeth is inspiring and if anyone is seeking to heal from OCD or perfectionism, listen to this episode and let the healing begin.

Episode 30: Drew Young, author of the new book “The Meaning of Your Mission: Lessons and Principles to Know You Are Enough,” shares with me his experience of returning home early from the MTC due to mental health struggles.

Drew Young, author of the new book “The Meaning of Your Mission: Lessons and Principles to Know You Are Enough,” shares with me his experience of returning home early from the MTC due to mental health struggles. He walks me through his journey of navigating years of lonely nights and suicidal thoughts to ultimately writing his book and sharing his story, and what he learned from it, with the world. Join me in listening to Drew as he discusses principles such as progress vs. perfection, exact obedience vs. obedience, the reasons we need to be careful about prying into people’s trials, and the anatomy of a mission call. Drew is an uplifting and engaging speaker who seeks to help others understand their greater missions in life and how our trials help us become who we are meant to be.

Episode 29: Lizzy tells her story of returning home early due to a dizziness that never stopped

In this episode, Lizzy shares her story of returning home early due to a dizziness that never stopped. Many people around her thought that anxiety was the cause of the dizziness and she struggled to find someone who would listen to her and give her the help she needed. After two and a half years, she finally received a diagnosis and was able to get the surgery she needed and begin the path to physical healing. She shares with me the anger and frustration she felt at others, herself, and God during this time, but also the peace and comfort she received along the way and how she is now able to move forward with forgiveness.

Episode 28: Rian shares her story of returning home early due to toxic perfectionism

In this episode, Rian shares with me her story of returning home early due to toxic perfectionism, something that she didn’t realize she struggled with until she was on her mission and her usual coping mechanisms were gone. She suffered from physical and mental symptoms of the perfectionism such as stomach aches, anxiety, and panic attacks. She often felt like a failure while on her mission and eventually realized she needed to return home to get the help she needed. Although she felt broken upon returning home early, Rian has learned a lot about managing her perfectionism and shares openly the tools she has learned and gained, mainly through therapy. She also shares how her faith has increased through this trial, how she has gained empathy and understanding for others. and how she now looks back on this trial of returning home early as a sacred personal experience.

Episode 27: McKenzie discusses returning home early due to anxiety and homesickness

McKenzie has struggled with anxiety for most of her life, but when the prompting came to serve a mission, she faithfully accepted the call to serve. While she loved several parts of missionary work, she continued to struggle with anxiety and often felt overwhelmed and tired. She struggled to sleep for five months and her mental and physical health took a toll before she decided to return home early. She came home to supportive parents and leaders and a little more than a year later is doing very well and is able to look at her mission experience healthily. She particularly talks about overcoming discouragement from the adversary and what she leans on when days are hard. Her thoughts will benefit any returned missionary (early or otherwise) who is struggling with anxiety or discouragement about his or her mission experience.

Episode 26: Bob and Elaine discuss, as parents, the effects of our culture on missionaries who return home early

In this episode, Bob and Elaine share their journey of navigating the culture of our Church that still surrounds missionaries who come home early as they experienced it with their son, who needed to return home early from the MTC. Their son was told terrible things about what would happen to him if he returned home early and Bob and Elaine had their work cut out for him in trying to undo the damage of the effects of cultural opinions about their son’s struggles and need to return home early. They dove into research provided by Dr. Kris Doty-Yells and have since prepared a presentation based on their experiences with our culture that they have presented at local levels and at church headquarters. Bob and Elaine are full of compassion towards missionaries who need to return home early and hope to some day see the culture and stigma change and want to do whatever they can to help change it.

Episode 25: What can I expect if I stay home?

In this episode, five missionaries who came home early for various reasons, and chose to stay home, answer questions previously submitted via a questionnaire distributed on social media. They discuss their experiences with making the decision to stay home, moving forward with life, dealing with the guilt of not returning, whether or not they feel like “real returned missionaries,” and how they talk about and feel about their missions now. If you are struggling with the decision to stay home or go back out, or if you have already made the decision to stay home and just want to know what you can expect next, listen to this episode and continue the healing process.

Episode 24: What can I expect if I return to the field?

In this episode, five missionaries who came home early for various reasons, and chose to return to the field either as proselyting missionaries or as service missionaries, answer questions previously submitted via a questionnaire distributed on social media. They discuss their experiences with making the decision to return to the field, choosing between a proselyting mission or a service mission, how they overcame the fear that the same issues that caused their early return would happen again, how they dealt with feelings of impatience, envy, and confusion while waiting for the right time to return, and how they adjusted to missionary life again. If you are struggling with the decision to stay home or go back out, or if you have already made the decision to return to the field and just want to know what you can expect next, listen to this episode and continue the healing process.

Episode 23: Layton returns home early due to a suicide threat after seeing a robber in his home

In this episode, Layton shares his story of the trauma he experienced on his mission from seeing a robber in his home and the suicide threat that resulted from his inability to cope with that trauma. Layton also discusses the homesickness he was already feeling and how the experience with the robber compounded that anxiety. However, despite these harrowing subjects, this podcast is filled with a message of hope from Layton as he discusses what helped him process these experiences and the immense love he has felt from the Savior and those around him. He shares resources, experiences, and testimony and talks about how he can now think back fondly on his mission and enjoy life.

Episode 22: Sophie Returns Home Early Due to COVID-19

Sophie served in the Washington D.C. North mission for 17 months before needing to return home early to Vienna, Austria due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though she nearly completed her intended amount of time on a mission, Sophie is still facing many of the same challenges as other missionaries who have needed to return home early due to the pandemic. She and I also discuss how Austria is handling the pandemic and the similarities and differences between Austria and the United States. Since returning home, Sophie has created a blog for all missionaries who have needed to return home due to COVID-19 called “The Quarantined RM” which you can find at quarantinedrm.wordpress.com.

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