There are many things I have learned from being what I am going to label a Missionary Waiter (MW). Those who are in relationships with your missionaries may be called MGFs, Missionary Girlfriends, etc. To those women that I am in contact with on the Dairies of Missionary Girlfriends Facebook page, I would like to say thank you for all of your continued support of me because without you I wouldn’t have made it through all of the emotions I am about to list.
I’m not sure exactly why this happens all of a sudden. Most MW’s know for months, even years that at some point their missionary will leave to serve a two-year mission where he will only be allowed to email once a week for a limited amount of time and send letter whenever he can get around to it. Unlike their family, we don’t get the support of being able to hear their voice or see their face twice a year when the missionaries are given time to call home on Christmas and Mother’s Day.
Yet, we know this and it still feels like they were ripped away un-expectantly from us all of a sudden. It gets so bad that I even felt betrayed when he got in line for security at the airport when just the day before I was bursting with excitement that his day was finally here. It’s a little bit of bipolar-ness that non-waiting missionary people just do not understand.
Sometimes it feels as though you have lost the person completely because you are unable to talk to them as you usually would. Personally, I know that he tries really hard to make it seem as though he is still here and we can still talk about everything, but let's face it, there is something about talking to someone face to face that you just can’t do over email.
No girl has run to their mailbox every day in the 20th century beside an MW or MG. The neighbors probably thought I was absolutely nuts and I ran back to my house screaming because I had gotten a letter. I was waiving the thing around so much that I could have easily turned into a helicopter and taken off! Emails and wonderful, but nothing that he sat down to hand write a letter just for you is a feeling that cannot be described any other way than pure, heart pounding, adrenaline pumping excitement!
This one is really hard to get past and all it takes is one though P-day (preparation day) where he is running short on time and can’t email you as much as he usually does. The email will usually look something like this: “Hey Kristen! Super great week. I learned a lot about how the gospel is shaping me into a better person and someday a better husband. It has been really nice outside lately and I have met a lot of GREAT people. I really enjoy what I am doing here with diving into the gospel. Hope all is well.” For anyone else, I am sure this sounds great.
For an MW/MG this is something that makes you question everything. Well, he didn’t compliment me like he usually does, he didn’t ask what I did this week, I mentioned something really funny about my friend Anika and he didn’t even comment on it! What is going on? Did I do something wrong? Maybe I offended him by saying that this week was a lot of fun because I got to see all of my old friends and he realized he wasn’t apart of it. Girls, I assure you that these messages are normal and it usually just means that he is busy and didn’t have much time to talk.
5. Fear pt. 2
What happens when you don’t work out? I have placed all of this time into learning and growing and communicating with him and it may not work?! What if he finds someone else on his mission? What if I say something and he cuts off all ties? What if he changes and he doesn’t feel like we connect anymore? What if I change and he doesn’t like ME anymore? The “What If’s” are endless and scary, but once again, I assure you that it will be ok.
6. Fear pt. 3
Let’s just get it out of the way, fear is a HUGE emotion in this process! Part 3 usually comes when they are about to come home and you are super excited, but also worried about the reunion. It’s a good kind of fear though. It means that you are scared about what to happen. You’re hoping that everything can just click again when he comes back. It’s excitement and fears all mixed into one, but you just have to take time and breathe.
7. Most importantly, Love
Love in a way that only a true best friend can love you. Starting college is already so scary and you cut ties with so many people you care about due to the fact that it is simply too difficult to stay in touch. The reassurance that someone has thought about you enough to make the effort to send you an email or a letter every single week is a sense of assurance. It makes me giddy seeing his name pop up on my screen! It makes me excited to check my email and my mailbox. It is a feeling like no other.
I wish you all happy waiting. I wish all those the peace they need to get through the long months without their missionary. I wish that you can use this time to grow closer to God as if you were on a mission yourself. In the meantime, you know where to find me when things get tough.
June 5th, 2018…You cannot get here soon enough!!!!