So my workaholic sister Lauren, the excellent missionary (whom I affectionately call “Leaux” since she is serving in France), recently became concerned that, with the end of her mission looming large and thoughts of home working their way through her brain, she would become every missionary’s worst nightmare – *dun dun dun* – TRUNKY.
She expressed her worries to me in one of her emails home and asked for advice. I decided to get a little creative with my response….
Example: “Dude, Elder Smith is soooo trunky – he doesn’t even want to do the work anymore.”
Thinking about home is not being trunky. Considering what you are going to do after the mission is not being trunky. Being a realistic, pragmatic person is not being trunky.
Being trunky is not thinking about home, or life after the mission. It is losing sight of your purpose. Period.
Think back to school – whether college or high school: the end of the school year is near, but exams are at hand. Do you just not take the exams? Or do you set a low bar for them with the idea that eh, you’ll pass? No. You’re not that kind of person, Leaux. You charge ahead and keep doing what you have been doing the whole semester. The prospect of summer vacation changes nothing. It just means you get a prize for finishing.
A litmus test: are thoughts of home distracting you from your work? By that, I mean, are they interfering with you working with the Spirit? Are they disrupting your teaching? Lessening your effectiveness? If not, you are fine.
As such, when you near the end of your mission and the idea of returning from the missionfield to your home becomes an actual real thing that is coming towards you, you take that into account and think and act accordingly.
Look, in the eyes of God, your mission is the smallest blip in the already small moment that is your entire life, and to Him, it’s all one anyway. The nametag and official calling make it special for you, but to Him it’s business as usual. It’s true that your time is consecrated to the Lord; but think on your temple covenants: technically, your whole life is consecrated to Him anyway. So the end of your mission is a man-made, fabricated illusion since you are always a missionary always and forever no take backs.
So why think of it as a big deal? You get to decide how much is going to change when you come home. And really, the things that matter most don’t change with your return. How you read your scriptures, how you think about your fellow men, how you serve, how you love the Lord. Do these change with the end of your mission? Not if you decide they won’t.
So don’t stress about the end of your mission, Leaux. It’s no big deal. Sure, things will change. But change happens all the time, so why worry about it? Change is good anyway. In the meantime, just keep doing what you are doing. If thoughts of home filter in on occasion, that’s fine: use them to productive purposes. Keep the Spirit with you, and you can never go wrong.
Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other concerns. I am going to bed now because it is late and this took longer than I thought it would.
LOVE YOU LEAUX YOU ARE DOING GREAT DON’T LET ANYONE LEAD YOU TO THINK OTHERWISE.