Our son has been serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the past two years. He came home last week, and we are beyond excited. The reunion was sweet, and we are trying to soak in every second of
Our second son has his mission call and will report to the Missionary Training Center on November 6. In this season of life, as we welcome one missionary home and prepare to send another one out, missionary service is on our minds.
Greg was recently in a church meeting where he learned that our leaders are concerned about the fact that many missionaries are struggling to handle the demands of missionary life. Curious, I did a little research.
While I do not have access to the actual church statistics, this 2016 independent study found that approximately 1/3 of Millennial missionaries came home before their appointed time. Another small study dug deeper to find the reasons for their return:
- Mental health – 36%
- Physical health – 34%
- A previously unresolved transgression – 12%
- Disobeying mission rules – 11%
I want to make it clear that we hold no judgment for missionaries who return early for any reason. We commend them for their service, whether it be for three weeks or 24 months. This episode is not meant to judge, but to explore the things that we can do as parents to prepare our kids to hit the ground running when they reach the mission field (because there is much we can do).
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
- How missionary preparation entails more than spirituality alone, what other skills young adults need to be successful as missionaries, and how to start teaching them
- Why it is vital to plan (years) ahead in the realm of mission prep
- Why resilience is vital in the mission field and how to foster it in our kids
YOU ALSO MIGHT ENJOY:
- Episode 024: Will My Child Be Ready for Missionary Service – Part 2
- A Letter to My Returning Missionary
- A Beautiful New Beginning
- What it is Really Like to Be A Missionary Mom
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I have created a free e-course to help parents of strong-willed kids navigate the tricky waters of child-rearing their determined children without losing their minds. It is a compilation of things I have learned over the last 20+ years and is a perfect compliment to this episode of the podcast. Sign up here: