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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 from parents of those who returned home early. You can also listen to episodes in other categories. This podcast can be found on any major podcasting platform.

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Podcast Episodes: Parents

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Episode 38: Richard Ostler, former YSA Bishop, shares what he has learned about helping those who feel marginalized in the Church

In this podcast episode, Richard Ostler (host of the podcast Listen, Learn, and Love) shares what he has learned about helping those who feel marginalized in the Church, including early-returned missionaries. Richard has served in multiple leadership positions, including as a YSA bishop for three years. Richard is also the parent of an early-returned missionary (due to COVID and OCD Scrupulosity) and shares his experience of going through that trial with his son. In addition to these things, Richard also shares what is challenging about leadership positions, gives good advice to those who return home early, as well as to leaders, and lay church members. He emphasizes honoring personal revelation, utilizing the gift of the Atonement, and loving everyone–especially those we do not understand. And, he tells of his great love for millennials. This is an episode you won’t want to miss!

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 12: Tammy Shares Her Perspective as a Parent and Researcher

In this episode, Tammy shares her perspective of being a mother of a missionary who came home early due to severe depression and anxiety. When her son came home, there were hardly any resources available to parents, and so Tammy dove into whatever research was available and wrote an article for parents titled “Wounded Warriors” which has been accepted for publication by the Ensign. Tammy and I discussed what she has learned and how she has grown through this trial, and also what is still hard about it. Tammy’s honesty makes her story very relatable to any other parent struggling with a child’s early return.

Episode 5: Deby’s Dual Perspective as an Early-Returned Missionary and as the Parent of an Early-Returned Missionary

Deby returned home early from her mission in the Washington D.C. South Mission 29 years ago. She shares her struggles with anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder. She discusses how she was mistreated upon returning home early and how it took her ten years before she ever even spoke about her mission. Just recently, her daughter returned home early from a mission and she shares what it was like for her to watch her daughter go through the experience. Deby offers timeless advice to both early-returned missionaries and parents in this personal, insightful episode.

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