Transitions

This past weekend marked the official one month that I have returned home from Rochester, New York to Salt Lake City, Utah, marking the end of my full-time service as a set apart missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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A month ago today, I never would have believed the change I’ve seen in my life since the moment I walked off that plane.  Coming back to regular life has been full of excitement, trial, relief, heartache, happiness, struggle, and everything in between.  It has been such a wonderful yet bittersweet journey!

love being able to see my family again.  I love being able to communicate often with so many friends that I care about in my life.  I love that I’m able to go to college and work toward having a bright future.  I love being able to drive around in my car and blast the music to my heart’s content. 😉

But every so often it feels like something is missing.

I miss the little things.  I still find myself feeling my right shoulder for my name tag.  When I write messages online or on my phone, I still go to turn to my companion for their input and then realize that no one has to proof read what I say.  I still have an urge to stand out behind the car to back someone up out of a parking spot. (Haha!  Sometimes out of habit I still do and then I realize what I’m doing and awkwardly get in the car and pretend like nothing happened!)

But I also miss the big things.  I miss having the increased sense of purpose that comes from knowing exactly what God wants me to do each day.  I miss teaching people about Jesus Christ everyday, and helping people know that God is their loving Heavenly Father who wants them to be happy.  I miss not having to worry about anything else except for the gospel.  I miss going out and hitting the streets of Rochester, talking with everyone I see and sharing with them my testimony of the eternal truths that I would never want to live my life without.

However!  I was inspired by Sister Beckham, a leader in the church, who said,

“Remember, we will return to [Heavenly Father] by moving forward, not backward, and in the process we will become changed. Our transitions make possible that change.  Every transition, every change, gives us a chance to choose again to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the principles of his gospel.”

And so, while a part of my heart still lies in Western New York, I’m thankful that God has given me this time to transition home.  Coming home has given me a chance to choose again to have faith in my Savior.  I have spent the last almost 19 months of my life helping others to make decisions out of faith in Him, and I’ve realized that now is the time to really put that to the test in my own life.

Besides!  We’ve all been given a promise in Alma 37:44, 45:

“Give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss.  …For the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.”

THAT, my friends, is what I trust in!  Whether you are a missionary or not, the words of Christ will always point toward eternal bliss.  They will always carry us through life’s transitions and lead us to the greater things of eternity.  They will always help us find a sense of purpose, peace, and direction in our life.  Why? Because our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, will always love us and they will never leave us alone.

So go out!  Like my stake president said, “You are never released from being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Name-tag or no name-tag, go help someone find the Lord today! 😀

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7 thoughts on “Transitions

  1. Lauren, thanks for this. A) it’s super refreshing to see this stuff in my Facebook newsfeed. B) I felt the same way when I came home. Less the small stuff and more the big stuff. It took me a while and a lot of temple-going to realize that much of the power I felt on my mission? It was from me keeping my temple covenants all-the-day-long-time. Oh my gosh, ALL the time. And when I started thinking about those promises, I realized I could live them–all the time! Still! (Obviously in VERY different ways–everything from cleaning my room to walking the dog became laden with eternal significance and a hope that the Spirit would be closer.)

    Clayton Christensen gives an analogy in his “Everyday Missionaries” book about how if we’re on the front lines, the commander will give us the best weapons. A guy hanging back behind the trenches is safe, right? They don’t really need the best weapons. But that’s kind of how keeping covenants. If we take the scriptures seriously, and really try to apply obedience and sacrifice and see the world as a thing given us by God, we’ll end up at the front lines–in a conversation with someone in need, or with an opportunity to help someone close–and he will give me HIS best weapon, the Spirit. And that’s… that’s pretty cool. Something to think about at least.

    Keep sharing this stuff. It’s good to be reminded. 😉

    • Brother Sebesta! First of all I cannot even TELL you how much you shaped my mission! Your example was the best thing I could have had to look up to–you are so filled with the Spirit and truly glow with conversion. You will never know how much you have influences me for good!! Even now you are always a light to me! And you are so right, it’s all about finding the power that comes from keeping covenants NOW in every day life. True covenants and the power that comes from them aren’t just for missionaries! If we still want to aid in God’s battle, then we still can…. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Some really deep insight about the transitions we go through! Hard as it is it is in those times that we get closer to God. We see Him more clearly! Grace and peace to you as you listen for God’s leading in this transition! 😃

    Rolain

  3. I really appreciate this blog! I was actually on that plane with you coming home so this blog is reflecting my experience too. The satisfaction of preaching the gospel is like none else, I love it! I’ve never prayed so hard and loved so much in my life. I’ll never be the same as I was before.

    • What a small world! 🙂 And it is so true, I am thankful every day that the Lord allowed me to have the experience of a mission. It truly has shaped me for the better in a way that I could have never been shaped otherwise! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. I like it when you are smiling so bright and it looks like you are so happy about your enthusiasm and I want to say that you are very beautiful and don’t ever let them tell you that you are pretty you are beautiful for who you are. love you. Jordan brown.

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