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The Early Homecoming podcast is dedicated to helping missionaries who return home early and to helping those who care about them. Below you can listen and learn more about those who returned home early due to family troubles or experienced family troubles after coming home. You can also listen to episodes in other categories.

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Podcast Episodes: Family Troubles

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Episode 56: Wallis shares her story of returning home early to her dad declining from ALS after suffering from depression and self-harming on her mission

Wallis served for four months in Calgary before coming home due to depression and self-harming. She had an amazing support group–including her companions, mission president, and parents (so if you fit any of these categories and want to know how to help your missionary, this is a GREAT episode for you!), but also came home to a heartbreaking situation with her dad being newly diagnosed with ALS. Wallis walks us through her journey of depression, self-harm, adjusting to her dad’s declining state and eventual passing, all while trying to care for herself and keeping her faith strong. She talks about how she moved forward and how she is doing five years later and why others in similar situations can still have hope for a great life.

Episode 43: Kate returns home early due to emotional and physical abuse from companions

Throughout her childhood, Kate was emotionally and physically abused by her father, and then later by her stepmother. While on her mission, Kate experienced anxiety and undiagnosed ADHD. These mental health struggles were not understood by her companions and they became exasperated with her and abused her emotionally and even physically as well. This re-traumatized Kate and brought up a lot of PTSD. She was given a sedative to calm her, but eventually things came to a head and she decided to go home. Upon returning, Kate felt “broken, undignified, and like a complete failure.” She transitioned to a service mission shortly after returning home and the healing began. Her family also rescued a dog, which became an emotional support animal for Kate. During this episode, Kate shares how she has been able to turn negatives into positives her whole life, and this experience of returning home early from her mission is no exception.

Episode 36: Sarah shares her story of experiencing covert abuse from a companion and her dad while also returning home early for physical health reasons

Sarah was sent home during the COVID-19 pandemic because of physical health problems. She begged her mission president to stay, but he was concerned she wouldn’t get the help she needed if an emergency happened and so after 15 months in the field, she went home. At the time, she was also experiencing covert abuse from her companion which brought up a PTSD response of abuse she had experienced from her dad. In this episode, she discusses that abuse, the trauma it inflicted, and what she has learned by going through this trial.

Episode 15: A Young Woman Shares Her Story of Struggling with Depression, Suicidal Thoughts, and a Lack of Parental Support

In this interview, a young woman who has chosen to remain anonymous, tells me about her struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts both while on her mission and after returning home early. She discusses the things that helped her—mainly therapy and a supportive bishop—and what wounded her further. She also discusses the rocky relationship that developed between her and her mom due to her mom’s lack of understanding about the depression (discussed at about 21.5 minutes in). This interview will allow you to really feel the rawness of depression, but also hope that things can get better as you continue to do the work to manage the depression and stay close to your Heavenly Father.

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