Waiting for a Missionary: Things I've learned

As of today, Joey has 2 months left on the mission. Time feels like it has gone by way too fast but I am ready to see him and catch up. During these last 22 months of waiting, I have learned a lot of lessons, waiting is hard and there are things you can do that will make time go by fast and others that will make time drag. I wanted to share these tips with the hope that it will help someone who is just starting out. None of these are meant to offend anyone, so I hope it doesn't! I have much love and understanding for the girls that wait differently than I have, but these are the items, and mindset, that have helped me through the wait. So here are my tips/advice:

1. Stop counting. We are all guilty of doing it, even me, but from my experience I can tell you that counting doesn't really make you feel any better, if anything it just makes the days drag on. So put your chart away for a month or two, delete that countdown app on your phone and you'll see how much faster the days will go by.

2. Don't get depressed if you didn't receive a letter. I know it's hard - I haven't received a letter in a long time, but the reason he isn't writing is not because he doesn't love you anymore, it's because he is busy doing missionary work. Continue writing him and encouraging him and know that he loves you but right now you are not his number one priority. Find comfort in knowing that he is a hard working missionary.

3. Don't listen to waiter-haters. It's hard to put aside hurtful comments about your relationship; you're already feeling insecure, the stranger who just told you you weren't going to make it isn't really helping. Just don't listen, stand up for yourself if possible and let them know that they don't know your relationship and you don't appreciate their unsolicited advice.

4. It's okay if toward the end you start feeling numb. I see a lot of girls post about how their feelings for their missionary are different than they were before. And this is okay. This happened to me for the longest time and I was stressing out thinking that I didn't feel the same for Joey anymore, but then you remember that you have a wonderful man serving the Lord and that it won't be long until you have him back again and your heart starts beating faster and you remember those feelings again. It's completely normal for long distance relationships and doesn't mean that you are betraying him or should Dear John him.

5. Date or don't date while he is out, just don't criticize others for it. I haven't dated anyone while Joey has been on his mission and I know plenty of girls who haven't and other who have. We all have our different reason to do what we do and we shouldn't be looking down on other girls for it. If you feel like you need to date, that's a decision between you and Heavenly Father (notice I didn't say you missionary, he may have a say but he ultimately can't control your decision).

6. Don't compare your relationship. I have done this so many times and I know you have too. "oh my gosh she gets so many letters, packages, voice recorders, blah blah blah." Comparing our relationships can be so easy to do, we feel a feeling of unfullfilness and unhappiness seeing that our missionary isn't doing all the same things for us. All relationships are different, everyone shows affection and love in different ways. Be happy with the person you are with and love YOUR relationship. You'll be 100 times happier.

7. Distraction is subjective kids. I wrote about that here.

8. Your life is your life, so live it. I see so many girls that stay in their room and cry and are so sad that their missionary is gone. We all need a good cry once in a while, but if you are cancelling plans with friends and staying home watching the Notebook over and over, then that's not healthy. I promise that once you hang out with friends or do something fun for yourself, time will start to speed up. He is not your life, you are young, it's time for you to make mistakes, travel, learn, grow and have fun.

9. Don't take crap from your future in laws. I see so many girls that have problems with their future in laws complaining about how rude and mean and hurtful they are... and then they do absolutely nothing about it. We are all adults here, it doesn't matter if you are 18 and your missionary's mom is 45, you deserve respect from her and vice versa. Stand up for yourself with respect, but do it. If you don't, you're going to be stuck with someone who makes your life hell for the rest of your life.

10. Keep supporting your missionary. I see so many great girls on the missionary girlfriend groups I am a member of, that support and love their missionaries. Girls that sacrifice their relationship so that their men can serve the Lord and others. I am humbled by the stories of struggle and love. We all struggle, waiting isn't easy and though many criticize it, many of us have received confirmation from Heavenly Father that this is the right path to take. Encourage your missionaries to work hard, follow the rules and love the people he is serving. You both will be happier.

If you have any other tips please feel free to share! These past 22 months have been a weird roller coaster of emotions, but they have been very well worth it. I am glad I am waiting for Joey and I am excited to see what happens next. :)


  1. This was perfectly fabulous. And I am not even waiting for missionary! :)



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