I've been noticing an increasing trend lately: missing missionary boyfriends. Not just missing, but pining for him and talking about it incessantly.
Now, I understand the missing deal, it's hard to be away from someone you care about deeply for two whole years and only have letters and, if you're lucky, emails as a way to contact him. However, I don't get why we're throwing tantrums and spending so much time hurting by being apart from these boys.
Do we not understand why they go on missions? We must not really get it otherwise we would be jumping for joy and praising the Lord for the good choice these young men have made to serve Him. Granted, I don't have a missionary boyfriend, but I do have a very, very dear friend with whom I was romantic with and consider to be my missionary out there and I miss him a whole heck of a lot more than I voice.
There's a whole website devoted to missionary girlfriends that has pages and pages of cute package ideas and different ways to make the time go faster and I think they've got it down pretty well. So here's a list of Do's and Dont's they have on the site that I think we could all learn a good lesson from:
- Be positive and uplifting in letters!
- Write frequently!
- Stay in contact with his family!
- Respect mission rules
- Talk to him about cool things happening with you
- Let him know you're praying for him
- Ask him questions about his mission
- Be a friend as well as a girlfriend
- Remind him you're proud of him!
- Stay close to the spirit while he's gone
- Have a goal in mind if things don't work out
- Treat him like a normal person
- Keep his letters and keepsakes!! He will be glad you did!
- Be consistent, in all areas. It's impressive and attractive
- Share spiritual experiences and your testimony.
- Stay in contact with his family as much as you can
- Hang up pictures of him to remind yourself what you're waiting for!
DON'T (this is the more important one)
- Tell him you want him to come home. (or tell anyone else that)
- Tell him about your latest boyfriend or crush
- Talk incessantly about the future with him
- Demand his full attentions
- Be disappointed if his letters are shorter than yours
- Be upset if he doesn't have as much time as you to write
- Get hung up about fairness---his first obligation is to serve the Lord
- Make a promise you don't intent to keep
- Say you're waiting unless you mean it
- Forget his first priority isn't you
- Expect that you won't be attracted to the opposite sex while he's gone
- Expect a lot period. Be cautious how you proceed at all times.
- Harass him because of lack of leadership positions or baptisms...sometimes the greatest convert of a mission is the missionary himself!
- Expect that he will make up for what you lack in the spiritual department...try to grow right alongside him.
- Ask him about girls in his mission. Just..no!
- Tell him that he's missing out by not being at home, or any other negative comment
- Threaten to stop waiting for him if he doesn't (blank).
- Forget his family at home is alive. Try to contact them when you get a chance and just say hello. They will appreciate it!
Here's my advice to you, missionary girlfriend: Get distracted! Take all that energy you put towards pining after your boy towards school, work, learning a new instrument, saving money to go travel the world, writing a novel, the peace corps, ANYTHING. If you find something you enjoy and will fill all the time wasted over missing him, it'll make those two years go by much quicker and you'll feel accomplished and proud! Trust me, I know. Sam's been gone for nine months already and every time I think about it, I nearly fall over. It seems like yesterday. But I've finished a semester of school and I've been working so very hard and making a ton of friends and staying out all night doing stupid things like playing risk and having wii tournaments. Have some fun. Don't put your life on hold; he wouldn't want you to waste two years doing nothing while he's off having two of the best years of his life.
Appreciate what these boys are doing. Support them. Don't distract them, encourage them. It's the very best thing that we, while waiting and loving from afar, can do.