Serving a mission is unquestionably the best highlight of a Latter-day Saint young man or a young woman. Missionaries usually reminisce challenging times, funny experiences, and faith-promoting memories that are worth cherishing. However, the hardest part is leaving your mission and transitioning to a life of a returned missionary.
Adjustment period can be extremely hard and finding the right balance is never easy. One of the greatest challenges is maintaining the Spirit in your life and remaining true to the faith. Here are few simple things that return missionaries can do to be spiritually worthy:
The scriptures remind us to, “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.” (D&C10:5) There is no better way to receive help from our loving Heavenly Father than when we humble ourselves, get down on our knees and pray.
Pray fervently. Pour out your hearts unto God and he will grant the righteous desires of your heart. He will always listen to you and He will answer in His own timetable.
- Study the scriptures
The adversary will always tell us, “It’s okay to skip scripture study” or “You’ve been reading the Book of Mormon in your entire mission, take a break!” or “You can always do it tomorrow.”
Nephi taught us to “…feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” (2 Nephi 32:3) When we continue to seek, study and search the scriptures, we are promised that we will be guided to take the next steps in accomplishing our goals in life.
The four standard works, Church magazines and other online resources such as lds.org are accessible with just a touch of our fingertips. These and all other Church materials are made available for us in order to edify and strengthen our testimony and our faith.
- Accept a Church calling and magnify it.
Elder David A. Bednar recounted a story of his friend who drove up to the mountainside in his empty truck to find wood. As he tried to steer the truck off the road from deep snow, he got stuck along the way. His friend decided to fill the back of the truck with heavy wood. “As he put the pickup into gear and applied power, he started to inch forward. Slowly the truck moved out of the snow and back onto the road. He finally was free to go home, a happy and humbled man”, he narrated.
Elder Bednar said, “Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness.” As we continue to help build the kingdom of God by accepting Church calling and magnifying it, the Lord will also help us “get unstuck, to get back on the road, to press forward, and to return to His family.”
- Attend temple regularly
Whether you live near or far from the temple, schedule a regular visit in the house of the Lord. The late, Richard G. Scott offered this advice to, “Set specific goals, considering your circumstances, of when you can and will participate in temple ordinances. Then do not allow anything to interfere with that plan. This pattern will guarantee that those who live in the shadow of a temple will be as blessed as are those who plan far ahead and make a long trip to the temple.”
In the temple, you will be endowed with power from on High, your strength to resist temptation will be increased, sacred covenants will be kept and remembered, and you will find peace in your mind and in your heart.
- Be anxiously engaged in a good cause.
The Lord has told us that “men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness…” (D&C 58:27) There are many opportunities around us; seek them. Continue to help the full-time missionaries in the ward or branch where you are residing. Participate in ward or stake service opportunities. Continue to find joy in attending Institute classes and mingle with friends of the same standards.
While the missionary badge is now taken off doesn’t mean that you’re done with your missionary duty. Once a missionary, always a missionary! You will never fail as you continue to keep up with these holy habits. As you continue to do those small and simple things, great blessings will be realized.