Thanks for making me cry in the library... ;). But seriously, I appreciate all the love and support. I'm going to try to express my feelings the best I can but who knows if they make sense... my thoughts are all over the place right now. . .
Are you mad?
I wouldn't say mad, just frustrated. With everything. Other people, myself, my lack of wanting to stay, my lack of ability to put all my trust in the Lord to help me through this hard time. Then I go to church which is supposed to make me feel better, and it does to an extent, but then it also includes lessons of enduring to the end and instead of inspiring me to do more, it just makes me feel worse because I want to quit.
Are you still doing missionary work most of the week but run out of steam?
I'm doing as much missionary work as I can. We usually leave the apartment around noon and work until 9. Sometimes we take little "breaks" and do things like make cards for people or bake or yesterday we went to the park for dinner because a member gave us food to take so we just had a little picnic and watched the clouds for a little bit. So I'm trying really hard to forget myself and do missionary work, but then we get into lessons and I disengage. I try not to, I really do, but half the time I either have no clue what to say or I feel hypocritical because why should I have any right telling them what faith is or how to endure to the end or how much the Gospel will bless their family if I can't even serve the Lord for 18 whole months and put my faith in him to help me make it through that, endure the 18 months, and when I'm doing this service I'm miserable. I don't always think that, but that's what goes through my head usually around the end of the week when I'm at my lowest.
Why/How do you think coming home is going to make the anxiety and depression improve?
I think coming home would help the anxiety. I don't know so much about the depression. I think it would be hard for the first few days, but after I've had some serious self reflecting, time to spend with the family, and just time alone, I think I'll be able to move on. I think my main think as far as this goes, is I feel like I don't have time to do anything that I want to anymore. I can't even get my life figured out in time to help other people. I have no time to do some self searching because all of my study time is focused on the people I'm teaching. And if I take time to study for myself, I feel bad because I have absolutely nothing to contribute in our comp. study. I really don't think coming home will solve all my problems. Either way, at this point both staying and going home have major consequences, both good and bad. As of right now, I don't want to go home and I think I can make this whole mission thing works. The problem is, I can't keep that for the whole week or even the whole day.
We know that missions are tough and hard work but it sounded like you were enjoying the work for the most part. When did that change?
I enjoy the people. I've always enjoyed the people. I like just spending time with the people, the part I struggle with is when it comes to sharing the Gospel with them and trying to do this whole missionary work like everyone says I need to. You're probably thinking, "Oh, well just do it your way then." Yeah, I tried that and no one agrees that that's how missionary work should be done because that's not what Preach My Gospel (the missionary training manual) says and that came from the First Presidency and I'm just a little prideful missionary that wants to do things my way because I don't want to be pushed out of my comfort zone. Not that I'm staying in the comfort zone, but that's what I feel like any time we have any sort of meeting or training or even do planning. And all of my companions have known this is how I feel and they always pull out the "Well, this is what the leaders say." Okay. Fine. I'll try. And try. and TRY. Still fail. Merh. I just don't know how to connect at all because I feel like when we do it the PMG(Preach My Gospel,the missionary training manual) way, it's really insincere and I hate insincere people. I don't want to be a cookie-cutter missionary, but I want to be obedient. So many confusings! I've even talked to President Van Cott about it, and he agrees on my side, but then trying to get that to everyone else doesn't work. And I don't want to change what kind of a missionary Hermana Stevenson is because that's selfish.
What actually triggered the full blown panic attack?
So the panic attack was caused by pretty much everything I just said, plus I was on my period and sleep deprived and all that was just working against me.
I really do want to start being more open with you during this time so if you have any more questions just let me know and I'll try to answer them the best I can. I would love to hear from President Cropper(our ecclesiastical leader for the Quad Cities area), I hope he gets that approved with President Van Cott. I don't see why he wouldn't other than the fact that President is probably running all over the place with Neil L. Anderson(member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) coming this weekend. I'm also anxiously awaiting my pictures :). And I finally got my translator! Thank you so much! It's been super helpful this last week!