Brazil, Rio de Janeiro South
My Name is Elizabeth Patterson
Founder of Beyond my Badge. In 2018, I served in the Brazil, Rio de Janeiro South Mission and returned home after 5 months.
Life has a way of surprising you. I never would have thought I would serve my mission in Brazil. I went with high expectations and excitement. My mission became more difficult as I faced the fact that I did not understand the Atonement. I felt like I had to do everything on my own and that I had to do it perfectly. I wore myself out over and over again trying to do what I thought was right. I kept trying harder in all the wrong ways. My focus was on the letter of the law and not the Spirit of it, and I wasn't willing to accept help or recognize that there was a problem.
After five months I came home broken. I felt like a failure, and it took months to get back on my feet. Over time my perspective began to change. Through the love and support of family and friends and the help of professionals and church leaders, hope began to return to my life. I was able to see miracles and countless signs of God's love.
I am grateful I came home early. It brought me to the knowledge of my Savior and His Gospel. It has given me the opportunity to see the miracle of the Atonement in my own life. My mission experience and I all that I have learned after has helped me find true joy and strength. He can and will make all things work together for our good.