No wonder RM's have such a hard time transitioning back into normal social interaction. After witnessing first hand the awkward side effects of RM-hood I have made what I believe to be the necessary precautions in order to make my own return more smooth. Each of my siblings (lucky for me I have five) are in charge of keeping track of some cultural phenomenon so that when I return, they can update me on what's become new, cool, and a "must have" in my absence.
After a year and a half of very little PDA I'm going to need some practice. Therefore, Corinne's sole purpose will be to hug me non-stop until I not only become used to receiving, but also excellent at giving hugs again. But enough of that. You're probably wondering, and most likely have been since clicking the link to this blog, why I've named it The Badge. Why not some cute use of alliteration like From Michigan to Mexico, or Eden in Ensenada? Because every other missionary with a blog stole them. That and Ensenada sounded to much like enchiladas. So I thought up The Badge instead.
Reason #1: What makes you recognize missionaries as missionaries? ...besides their near annoying persistence of sharing the gospel (I can say that because I'm one of them). Their name badge. Without it they are just a pair of smartly dressed young whippersnappers that are far too happy all the time. That name tag is what sets us apart. No wonder it's a permanent accessory in our wardrobe.
Reason #2: Have you ever noticed that the missionaries name is not what takes up the most space on the badge? It's the name of the church. While I don't think it was purposely designed that way, I appreciate the outcome. The two years or 18 months a missionary serves is not to spotlight them. Their name is not important. The gospel is what is important. We are simply the tools used to spread it to all that will listen. Food for thought.
Before I leave and designate all blogging duties to my mom, I'd like to share a story that I told in my farewell.
The following event took place in a Salt Lake City ward in 1974 It occurred during Sacrament Meeting, and was told by a Regional Representative of the Twelve, who was in the meeting.
A young man,just before leaving on his mission stood in Sacrament Meeting and bore the following testimony:
Brothers and Sisters, as you know during the past few weeks I have been awaiting my Mission call. During the time I was waiting , I had a dream. I knew it was not an ordinary dream . I dreamed I was in the pre-existence and was waiting my call to come to Earth.
I was filled with the same excitement and anticipation that I had before I received my Mission call. In my dream, I was talking to a friend, he was a dear friend, and I felt a special closeness to him,even though I’ve never met him in this life…As we talked, a messenger came and gave me a letter, I knew it was my call to go to Earth, in great excitement my friend and I opened the letter. I gave it to him and asked him to read aloud. The letter said;“You have been called to Earth in a special time and a special land. You will be born into the true church and you will have the priesthood of God in your home. You will be raised with many advantages and nay blessings. You will be born in a land of plenty-A land of freedom. You will go to Earth in the United States of America.”My friend and I rejoiced as we read my call and while we rejoiced, the messenger returned. This time he had a letter for my friend. We knew it was his call to Earth. My friend gave me the letter to read a loud. His letter said;“ You have been called to Earth in circumstances of poverty and strife. You will not be raised in the true church. Many hardships will attend your life. Your land will be raught with political and social difficulties which will hinder the work of the Lord. You will be born in Costa Rica.”We wept, my friend and I, as we read his call. And my friend looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “ When we are down on Earth , you in your choice land and me in Costa Rica, my friend, please come and find me.”Then this young missionary, with tears in his own eyes said, “Brothers and Sisters, I have received my Mission call , I am going to Costa Rica.”
There is a sequel to this story. Abut a year after the Sacrament Meeting, the Bishop of this Ward received a letter from the missionary in Costa Rica. The letter had one sheet of paper in it. And on that sheet, written in inch-high letters where four words……
“I FOUND MY FRIEND”
Sister Eden Lance
2023 N 900 E Unit 817
Provo UT 84602