Early Homecoming: Insights from Missionaries Who Returned Early

Early Homecoming: Insights from Missionaries Who Returned Early

Kristen Reber, author of Early Homecoming: A Resource for Early-Returned Missionaries, their Church Leaders, and Family, shares stories and insights from returning home early from her Latter-day Saint mission that provide healing and hope to those experiencing the myriad of emotions that come from an early return. Also included in this podcast are interviews with other missionaries who have returned home early, parents, church leaders, and experts. ... Show More

Episodes

In this episode, Elder and Sister Wilkey discuss their roles as Latter-day Saint service mission leaders in the Utah Valley Service Mission and share valuable information about the way service missions are developing and all the different ways to serve in Utah Valley (which they hope will extend to other areas soon!). They share with me the similarities and differences between a service mission and a proselyting mission. They al... Read more

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September 22, 2019 41 min

In this episode, I chat with my friend and colleague Barry Rellaford, who is currently serving as a YSA (young single adult) bishop. During this interview, Barry tells me about the most challenging aspects of being a bishop and the training he receives from the Church (as well as from his life). He also discusses with me how he helps the members of his ward overcome the shame and stigma (both cultural and self-imposed) for comin... Read more

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Hayden came home early due to a severe case of H. Pylori. He was mistreated by his companion and mission president, probably due to major misunderstandings about his condition. However, the scars of what was said to him remained for years. Hayden was further judged and mistreated by various ward members for several months after his early return, causing him to no longer feel welcome at church. He was also rejected by several gir... Read more

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Deby returned home early from her mission in the Washington D.C. South Mission after 12 months. She shares her struggles with anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder. She discusses how she was mistreated upon returning home early and how it took her ten years before she ever even spoke about her mission. Just recently, her daughter returned home early from a mission and she shares what it was like for her to watch her daught... Read more

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Harmony Packer is a therapist at Healthier You in Lindon, Utah who specializes in treating early-returned missionaries. During her undergraduate degree, Harmony joined Dr. Kris Doty-Yells in her research on early-returned missionaries and their parents, helping her publish two research papers titled Return with Trauma: Understanding the Experiences o... Read more

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Nathan Winters, author of the Medium article, "What Early-Returned Missionaries Want You to Know," gives a raw interview where he shares his struggles with insomnia on his Latter-day Saint mission, his attempts to grapple cultural notions of "Forget yourself and go to work" with his great need to take care of himself, and how he is coping four months after his early return. Nathan also discusses what he has been ... Read more

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Macady was diagnosed with depression before deciding to serve a mission, but worked really hard to overcome her illness to still serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was happy in the MTC, but soon felt the incoming of depression as soon as she arrived in the field. Due to a lack of understanding from her mission president, his wife, and those around her, she was sent home after just four weeks... Read more

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This is my story of returning home early from my Latter-day Saint mission. With the help of my husband, James, I navigate the listener through my experience of choosing to serve a mission, to feeling ill, to my hospital stays in the Philippines, to making the decision to return home early, to choosing to stay home, to finally where I am now: completely at peace with my mission and coming home early.



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