What the Missionary Needs to Remember
Missionary family needs to remember –
1. The survival phase also starts before you ever get off that airplane. Experts agree that it is good if you can have some time alone (as a family) to reflect on your time overseas. This is a time to mentally release your experiences and say goodbye. When possible it is great to do this before you have to say hello. If you did not have the opportunity to take some time off on the trip home, then make an opportunity to take some time away as soon as possible upon returning.
2. Our friends and family have also had growing experiences. That loved one who died while we were gone is now going to be missed more than ever. That new baby you haven’t even seen is now a ‘walking-talking’ person. Family and friends are different from those we left behind.
3. The missionary and the family returning needs to find his sense of purpose in the home country. On the field, we often do things we wouldn’t normally do or endure things we normally would not accept, because we are there because we feel the Lord put us there for a purpose. Back home it is sometimes easy to think that purpose is no longer true. It is easy to get caught up in the busy life and the need to make a living that we feel God doesn’t need us anymore. We tend to forget that there are people all around us that need the Gospel.
4. Be open and honest with your mission committee or elders or family about your needs. Be willing to ask for help and guidance and not feel that you have to do everything by yourselves.
5. The returning family needs to stick together. Do things together, eat together, meet struggles together.
6. Keep traditions that developed overseas as part of the family in the US. Along with this the family can find American traditions to integrate into their family.
7. Use some of the lessons learned overseas to continue to bless your family and those around you. These lessons may be taking time for people, enjoying a slower way of life.