Returned with Honour

Well, folks…I’ve been home a week now. Haha not the easiest thing, but it’s a good change.

I got home at 10pm tuesday and was greeted with most of my family and friends…it was a really touching experience and I feel really grateful for them and all of their support!!

Some of the hardest things so far for me to adjust to have been the culture, music, and not having a strict schedule…you could say I miss Ecuador kind of A LOT. And SHOOT not wearing my missionary badge…that’s a rough one. Sometimes I wear it at night though, so it’s okay. hahaha

Coming home from the mission is harder than going ON the mission and anything I experienced during the mission. It’s a biiig change. However, I have come to find out that there are still so many little miracles every day.

I don’t know if I was just oblivious before or if I just didn’t have The Spirit as strongly as I should have before the mission, but I believe that even before the mission, God put many miracles and opportunities in my life each day to be happy, share the gospel, and to feel His love. I feel a lot more aware of it now.

Now, like I said before, this transition is not easy in the slightest. So, I want to write a few tips for those return missionaries that are struggling with this transition too. The points that follow aren’t anything I have mastered, but I am in the process of putting them into practice and I am seeing positive results. 🙂

ONE: READ YOUR SCRIPTURES. Do not stop that habit because it is one of the most important habits you will have in life; that is how you receive a spiritual and temporal protection because you also invite the Holy Ghost more into your life, and that is one way of receiving revelation from God–a way to receive answers to your prayers, decision, doubts, and/or questions.

TWO: STAY BUSY, BUT NOT TOO BUSY. Don’t keep yourself busy to the point that you’re overwhelmed or don’t have any down time. Make sure you have a good, healthy schedule where you get up and go to bed at a decent hour, and you have a few things to do every day. Spend time with your family and make sure you hang out with your friends as well…catch up on life and share stories that really impacted you from the mission. Learn from your friends and family and strengthen them as well with your testimony, experiences, and love.

THREE: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Do exercise. Eat well…of course eat those foods you’ve craved, but don’t get crazy!

FOUR: TAKE TIME TO STRENGTHEN YOUR CONVERTS. Keep in contact with your converts from the mission. Uplift and strengthen them! Let them feel and see your love for them in your words, AND actions. Which leads me to the next one…

FIVE: GO TO THE TEMPLE AND STAY WORTHY. You must be an example for your family and friends AND converts. Understand that the covenants we make in the temple are for a lifetime. The decision we make to follow Jesus Christ IS FOR A LIFETIME. There are no “breaks” for the Lord. You keep His commandments because you love Him, not because of “obligation”, and in turn you receive blessings and opportunities to strengthen and increase your faith through trials and challenges. Take time in the temple to converse with God about the future plans you have and ask Him if it is HIS WILL. If you receive the answer that it’s not, be willing to follow the revelation and council you receive in the temple.

SIX: WATCH TANGLED. Just watch that movie. You’ll feel happy and giddy afterwards…

SEVEN: WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL. Take time to write out your thoughts and everything that has been going on. You will want to remember these moments…they are some of the most important experiences of your life.

EIGHT: FOLLOW THE SPIRIT. The other day, I smelled burning rubber in my dad’s work building. I thought that we should tell him, but for some reason we didn’t. Minutes later, four firetrucks showed up with a ladder and everything because I guess the elevator belt was burning slowly…FOLLOW THE SPIRIT WHEN HE TELLS YOU TO DO SOMETHING. MANY THINGS CAN BE PREVENTED.

NINE: BE ACTIVE. In allll senses. Go on hikes, runs, and bike rides. Go to church, activities, and institute. Take time to meditate and reflect on life and your future and write down the thoughts that come to mind as you ponder and ask God for advice because they are usually inspired thoughts.

TEN: PRAY AND FAST. In the real world we tend to get caught up in worldly things again and forget many important lessons we learned on the mission and other life-changing experiences. Praying and fasting is one way we become more humble, we become closer to God and we are more receptive to the Holy Ghost.

Anyway, for those of you who are NOT return missionaries, keep at it. Keep praying, reading your scriptures, and going to church. YOU. WILL. BE. BLESSED. I want you all to know that God loves you and that He is working small changes and miracles in your lives right now that will lead to really great changes and miracles in the future. Hold to the “iron rod” and don’t let go. Never. Strengthen yourselves and then strengthen everyone else you know and meet.

I will hopefully have better blog posts coming! But for now, this is all today. HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY FULL OF LAUGHTER AND DANCING!

Love, Madi

video of me getting home: http://youtu.be/kcfQwX7p1GU

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Cameron, Kelsey, Taylor, Delaney, me, Mandi, Shiloh, Caitlin, Shelby, Dylan, Brie

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Shiloh, me, Mandi, Laney 🙂

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SUMMER AND BRIE sisterrrrs

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Brie, DAD, me, Summer, MOM, Paige, Kenzie

Aaand here’s the link to a video my sister made of my homecoming. enjoy!

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