I returned home from my mission just over 3 months ago. It was the best experience of my entire life. But also the hardest. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about it.
As I've come home I realized that "RM" life was a lot harder than I expected it to be. I thought that since I had served a mission that I had it all figured out, that from here on out I'd be different than I was before. I'd have both feet on the ground and I'd know exactly what I wanted.
Wrong. Coming home felt like a tornado. For the past three months I've been blown in every direction and it seems to never stop. I can't stand still and I can't catch my breath. It's hard to keep up all the good habits I learned as a missionary. It's hard to not be who I was before. Sometimes I feel like I'm on a downward spiral that never stops.
I saw this quote a few days ago, I've read it a million times before but it kinda hit me, "great things never came from the comfort zone." Where I am now is so far from the comfort zone. But it's true. I can't expect myself to grow, change, become who I'm intended to become if I am never stretched, pushed, challenged, or tried. Coming home isn't supposed to be easy. I think when life gets "easy" we should probably be worried. haha
I had a meeting with my Stake President where he asked me how I was doing at adjusting back to normal life. I told him that I was doing fine. Then he said something that really hit me, he said, "I hope you didn't forget everything that made you the missionary that you were." Ouch. It wasn't that I forgot. It's just that I wasn't really doing any of the things I said I was going to do. I looked at my goals and check boxes and realized that I hadn't done any of them. I felt like I was failing and I felt sad. I wasn't happy and I realized that I hadn't been happy since I left France. I vividly remember having a zone conference where a visiting seventy said to us, "If when you go home you realize you are unhappy and missing your mission and you aren't doing what you are supposed to be doing, don't wonder why you're unhappy."
The Gospel brings joy. Lasting happiness that pierces our souls. I wasn't happy because I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing. I like Peter had went back to "fishing", but I like Peter wasn't supposed to be fishing, I was supposed to continue to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, just in a different way.
I realized that our ministry doesn't end with a mission. Just because a mission ends it doesn't mean that helping, serving, loving. sharing, seeking revelation ends. It continues. Life continues after the mission.
I'm grateful for everything my mission taught me. I'm grateful for everything being home has taught me. I'm grateful for my friends who've had my back these past three months. I'm grateful for crazy adventures and dance parties, fast food runs, cry sessions, temple trips, drives, and much more.
I still have a lot of figuring out to do. But I know it'll all work out.