Resources for Parents of "Early" Returning Missionaries
The following document was prepared by Richard and Cathy Anderson of the Kaysville, UT Stake, and can be downloaded HERE for your use. Richard was the Mission President for the New Mexico, Albequerque Mission from 2007-2010, and has served for 40+ years as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker by profession.
1. Recognize that you and your missionary may have feelings of grief and loss more than you imagined would happen.
2. Make true expressions of love – the ones that may be very unique to your missionary.
3. Do all you can to have them attend church the first Sunday back home.*
4. Find out what they would like you to say to others.
5. You can refer to them as a “returned missionary”. Elder Holland says so. (See his YouTube video https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2016-05-012-elder-hollands-counsel-for-early-returned-missionaries?lang=eng)
6. Inform those you feel need to know that your missionary is coming home and that, no matter what, you are excited to be with her/him again.
7. Set aside uninterrupted time to hear about mission experiences.
8. Encourage prayer about what to do next. This process is most of all between the early returned missionary our Father and our Savior.
9. Remember, a decision to return (if this is an option) is between the missionary and the Lord. Many others are going to ask and, even, push for them to go back. Be their supporter of what they feel is right for them. Often mental, emotional and physical health problems may not remit.
10. Options for other mission experiences (service missions, stay at home missions, etc.) should be explained. Again, this is a decision to be left to the returned missionary.
Articles for Parents of ERM's:
LDS Family Services, ERM Groups for Parents** (please call first to verify day and time)
Layton, LDS Family Services, 930 W. Hill Field Rd (801-336-3040)
Sandy, LDS Family Services, 833 E 9400 S (801-566-2556)
Provo, LDS Family Services, 1190 N. 900 E. (801-422-7620)
**All LDS Family Services ERM Groups serve both ERM's and parents of ERM's, though either the ERM or parent(s) are welcome to attend alone. The group session will start out with ERM's and parents in the same conference room, then the ERM's and parents will split into their own groups.
***Aware of other groups which are not listed here??? Please contact us so we can add it to our list!***