OREM — Ashley Sargeant knows firsthand how difficult it can be to return home early from an LDS mission.
Sargeant returned home nine months early from her mission to Brazil in February 2013, unaware that what she’d been struggling with was bipolar type 2 disorder.
“My mission was the hardest thing that I have ever done,” Sargeant said.
The first two weeks of her return she spent “in hiding” in her parents’ basement with the words her former mission companion spoke to her on her last day in the mission field running through her mind.
“Whatever you do, just don’t stop, Sister Sargeant, just don’t stop.”
The hope the words offered Sargeant helped her get out of bed in the morning, and later, led her to start a campaign for other missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who return home early.
The “Don’t Stop, Sargeant!” campaign is designed to “share hope and resources with early returned missionaries and those who are fighting to overcome mental illness,” Sargeant said.
Sargeant created a 30-day welcome home kit for the campaign, which includes a free downloadable PDF “survival guide” that contains 67 pages of talks to listen to, videos to watch, topics to study and pages to take notes.
“I personally believe that if a missionary can make it through the first month home and if they are able to still continue doing things to support their testimony that they will be OK,” Sargeant said.
Sargeant said she is trying to provide the resources she wishes she’d had when she came home. Recently, she posted 10 gift ideas for early returned missionaries.
That post was inspired by those who don’t know what to do for a missionary who has returned home. It includes gifts such as balloons, a thank you card, a plant or flowers, and a framed photo of Jesus Christ.
Sargeant is grateful she went on a full-time LDS mission so she can…READ the full story on KSL.com