Why My Mission Isn’t the Best Two Years

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There’s a common saying among returned missionaries that their missions were the best two years of their life. I even thought that once. I no longer do however. It was a good experience ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù valuable even ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù and probably ranks as the better two years of my life.

I have to say though that in the more than 12 years I have been home, I have had more valuable experiences than any mission experience.

No experience with any mission companion comes close to equating with kneeling with Mary across the wedding altar nearly 12 years ago when we were married.

No convert experience compares with being part of the birth of my three children.

I’ve learned more regarding how the Church operates as a two-time elders quorum president and serving under a bishop and stake mission president than I ever did from any priesthood leader on my mission.

The poverty I experienced on my mission was nothing close to the poverty we experienced when we first moved to Lethbridge.

The trials I had on my mission pale in comparison to the faith-shaking experiences I have had since then.

Do I consider my mission the best two years of my life? No.

Would I go back and do it all again? Yes.

9 thoughts on “Why My Mission Isn’t the Best Two Years

  1. As a period of two years, my mission was overall the best experience of my life. Never have I felt freer and stress-free. Never have I felt better about myself for that long of a sustained period than during those two years.

    But was the mission the best experience in my life? No. Marrying my wife and seeing my daughter take her first breath easily outdistance the experiences on my mission.

  2. Thanks for this. I was already married with two kids when I was baptised with my wife. I sometimes feel regret that I didn’t have the opportunity to serve in my youth. However, joining the church as a family has been such a sacred experience that I don’t think I would change anything if I could. I don’t think any mission experience could have more effect on me than seeing my children in the sealing room. I do hope to serve with my wife someday, however.

  3. Thanks, John. I am looking forward to serving with my wife as well. I got a taste of it when we served as stake missionaries together a few years ago. It will be a good experience.

  4. “Never have I felt freer…”

    I find this hard to believe.

    In one of the most regimented environments a person came place themselves, you felt ‘freer’?

    I’m sorry, but from my perspective I don’t know how that’s possible.

  5. In my experience most people spend the more time worrying about the ‘churchy’ things and not worldly things.

    I would think that with such a focus on personal worthiness, that insecurity would manifest itself several fold while on a mission.

  6. My mission was very regimented and my MP was the military type. I wished that he could have observed the 100 missionaries that were in his area from the perspective that we were there to serve and to learn to love the Lord and all that we could see the Lord within, including our areas and the people we served. He was hard on the young men and women. He didn’t appreciate people who could have been causing harm or have simply decided to live with apathy instead of serving with the intention of building a better world. No one ever pat us on the back…and I was fine with that b/c I was doing this for the Lord. Now, 12 years later I look back and I realize that it was all about control for that man. I think about missionaries that I served with and around, and although I didn’t like all of them, I admire them for being there and sharing space with me.

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