New York, New York South Mission
Photo by Hailie Stokes
In February 2015, I received my mission call to the New York New York South Mission. I was so excited, I could not wait to get to New York and to start sharing the Gospel! For the first few months things were great, the people in New York were amazing, I had amazing companions. Then, the hardest time of my mission and life came. 8 months into my mission I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety. I went to therapy for a little bit, things did get better for a time. But then 2 months after I was diagnosed it was decided, for my own health and safety, I needed to go home and get treatment. I felt so alone, not only in what I was dealing with but physically, for 10 months I had a companion, I was never alone. Then all of a sudden I was alone, no companion, just me sitting there in the airport thinking about my mission, my family, how would they react and what they would say. Returning home was one of the hardest things, I felt alone and like nobody understood what I was going through. As the months went on I felt myself starting to heal and feel like myself again, I was going to therapy, and had the help of a great bishop I felt like it was time I resubmit my papers to go back out and finish my mission. I soon found out that this was not the plan my Heavenly Father had for me. I was completely heartbroken and sad that I wouldn’t be able to return. I again felt alone, abandoned and forgotten. I had done everything, I crossed every “t” and dotted every “i” then why wasn’t I allowed to return? As I sat there in my house all alone, crying because, to me, I had just gotten the worst news, I turned to a friend and she told me this, “ God needs you here, right now, He needed you in New York only for a little bit but now He needs you here.”
It has been 3 years since I returned home from New York, healing hasn’t been the easiest, I have had many setbacks since then but have always gotten back up after each one. Through this whole experience I have learned so much about myself, how much of a fighter I am, how strong and resilient I am, as well as, how much my Heavenly Father loves and cares for me. I know I am a daughter of God who loves me. New York will always have a special place in my heart as well as the people I met while serving.