I’m a Recent Convert. Here’s Why Allowing Missionaries More Contact with Home Matters to Me.

When your family barely understood your new religion, the idea of leaving on a mission and having minimal contact with home was unneverving. Not anymore.

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y name is Morgan and I’m a recent convert (well, kinda recent…I was baptized in December of 2017! I feel like an oldie but goldie now). Anyways I just wanted to share my experience with the new rule that missionaries can contact their family more regularly!

I am the only member in my family. I met the missionaries in the fall of 2017, when they moved in across the hall from me. They lived about five feet away from me so even when I tried to avoid them, I couldn’t. We started meeting regularly and the rest is history! My family’s response to this has been a something of a mixed bag: “Awesome!”, “Okay, cool I guess?”, and “YOU JUST JOINED A CULT, ENJOY HELL.” (Joke’s on them – we don’t really believe in hell.) So to say it has been a struggle is a complete understatement.

This May, I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University, and I have decided to go on a mission before I start graduate school. The decision to go on a mission was, for the most part, an easy decision to make. For my family, however, this was the ultimate betrayal. “How could you not want to see us for 18 months?” was a common sentiment. “So you just join a new religion and leave us in the dust?” “What if something happens and we can’t get in contact with you?! Choosing to be a missionary for a church that my family does not understand or believe in seemed to discredit all the good that I will actually be doing.  

My family and I have gotten into a countless number of discussions that turn into arguments, debates that turn into arguments, and arguments that turn into arguments, with each instance making me feel more isolated from my family. I began to believe that I was choosing my church over my family, which isn’t he case at all. But when you start hearing something enough times, you’ll start to believe it.

So a few weeks ago, when I actually started my mission papers, I sat my mom down and we had a chat that thankfully did not turn into an argument this time. I told her that this was a hard decision for me too and that I need her to be my ally in all of this. Of course, this was a few weeks ago, and soon my mom realized that we would only have “regular” contact over email. She protested in disbelief, but instead of trying to have a discussion about it, I stopped her (which was a bold move, because we do not interrupt our mamas in the South) and told her, “Heavenly Father is going to work things out, I don’t know how but He will. I need you to pray about this too.” I’m not sure why I felt that way, but I did.

Fast forward a few weeks and the Church announced that missionaries can now call or text home once a week if they choose. My mom found an article about it and sent it over to me, saying, “Well, I guess He really does work things out.” Instead of being all nice and humble about being right, I sent back “Told ya!” and the GIF of Carlton from Fresh Prince dancing….

Since then, she and I have talked about it more and I finally feel like she is okay with my decision. I am really looking forward to using my mission and this new rule to bring my family closer to the gospel and grow their faith. It is a huge blessing for those of us who represent the only members of the Church in our family.

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