So Sick.

2017 marks 20 years since my mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Every Monday, I’ll be posting tales from that time.

I didn’t write at all last week for three reasons:

  1. I was sick.
  2. It was parent-teacher conference week.
  3. I was finishing up my Apple Distinguished Educator application, and it took all my time and energy. I find out in the spring if I’m accepted (which I’ll be shocked if I am), but the application process was eye-opening.

So now I am back to share a tale or two about my mission to Montreal.

Except that 20 years ago this week, Montreal was way off in the distance–I was still at the MTC in Provo, brushing up my French and learning how to manage the emotional and physical demands of missionary work.

Most of my February journal entries mention sickness of varying degrees. I know that since returning, I’ve often told people that I was so sick for most of my mission that I was certain I would go home on a stretcher. Revisiting these journals prove that to be true.

I read an article this week about stress and missionary work, and as I read, I thought about my own missionary experiences. As I’m reading these accounts of my illnesses in the MTC, I’m also reading about different stressors: not getting along with the people I was in class with, feeling like a failure, switching my brain from English-speaking to French-speaking.

Earlier this month, the church announced some changes to the daily life of a missionary, one that allows for flexibility while still meeting the overall demands of the work. Included in that schedule is time for exercise and time for writing. I’m glad to see these changes, however slight. Glad to see an acknowledgment that the rigorous schedule might not be the healthiest of options.

Maybe if things had been different 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have spent so much of my missionary service sick.

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