My name is Ashley Nef. I just completed my service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I served in the Italy Rome mission, meaning for a year and a half I lived in southern Italy as a representative of Jesus Christ, spending my days helping people learn of Him, of His teachings, and of His church, as well as providing service for the people and communities in which I lived.
I loved my mission, and I worked my hardest to diligently invite people to come to Christ. On September 17, I came home and was released from my full-time missionary service.
But here’s the thing: I had thought after a year and a half of living exclusively in a foreign country – conducting a different life, speaking a different language, eating different (but delicious) food, experiencing different sounds, sights, smells, traffic laws – that I would come home and find it hard to acclimate.
That’s what everyone says anyway: “Make sure to give yourself time to adjust…” “Things will seem very strange at first…” “Remember, America is very different from Italy….” I expected I would feel distressed. Alarmed. Slightly skittish. I prepared myself for at least some…mild discomfort? A hint of even minor culture shock.
Instead the only shock I found was how normally and predictably I fell back into the swing of things. It only took me a couple days to realize it was like I had never left home.
Does this make me weird?
Some new breed of super-human?
Am I a mutant?! (If so, culture-shock-resistance is probably one of the lamer superpowers. Don’t think I will be joining the X-Men or Justice League any time soon).
No – I think my secret is something really quite simple. It’s my bomb-awesome family. They helped to make this return a piece of cake: their love, their comfort, their simply being there. I mean, you all can see from this blog how awesome my mom and sister are. Boy am I lucky.
So here I am, back at the ranch (so to speak). This weekend, we had the wonderful opportunity to hear the prophet of the Lord speak, Thomas Monson, along with other servants of God. Here are some quotes that touched me:
If you want to learn more about living prophets and apostles on the earth today, check it out here.
I am so glad to be back home again, home again – jiggity jig – to hang out with my fam, to reexperience beautiful California, and to write on this blog. We’ll see where my adventures take me. Stay tuned.
They are starting to put ads on our blog. We do not approve these and are not getting any residuals whatsoever, so I apologize for the content. I’ll see what I can do about it.