It's so easy to look at a relationship from the outside and state your opinion on what they should do or whats right or wrong. But when you are in the relationship, it's a lot easier said than done. We all know this when it comes to relationships. Well, same thing applies to a "missionary having a girlfriend" kind of relationship. It's like a Long Distance Relationship on a whole nother level. I definitely feel it's not fit for everyone, it's not easy, and is as much a mission for us girlfriends back home as it is for the Elders out on the field.
This is all coming to mind because I've noticed a few other MG's that have been dating around or that have recently broken up with their Elders. And as much as it makes me feel for them, it makes me even more sad to see peoples feedback to them. I'll admit, prior to Muka leaving I kinda had hard feelings towards the "dear john" girls or the girls that would date around but still claimed their missionary. But after experiencing the "missionary girlfriend" life these past 6 months, I've become more open minded to seeing why those decisions are made. It's funny how complex the human mind can be isn't it? How we're so quick to judge or state our opinion on a situation. But just like the saying goes, you really can't fully understand it, unless you've been through it.
I've lucked out in having my missionary pretty close by. He is serving in Anaheim, California and I live in West Valley, Utah. He writes me every P-Day (Monday) so I get a letter every Thursday. There's only been 2 weeks out of the 6 months that he was unable to write me. Those weeks, days, whatever way you wanna put it, can be pu-reety hard. Not hearing from him at all. And like I've said, the longest I've went without hearing from him is 2 weeks but there are TONS of MG's out there that are countries away from their missionaries and go months without hearing from them due to the mailing system in certain places. I couldn't image how hard that would be. I sooooooo look up to you ladies that go through that and maintain positivity and try and keep your love alive and active. Very few can do that.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not interested in dating at all and I'm still in love with Elder Atiga. But those days, weeks, etc. that you go without hearing from them can take a toll on you and your emotions. I can now see how that happens to girls in a Missionary relationship. In those times of zero communication you get doubts, worries, sadness, all these emotions and there's nothing you can really do about it but wait. Wait to hear from him, whenever that may be, and when that time comes to see if he's still as much in love with you or your worst fear, that it's fading, the feeling between the two of you. Communication is key in a relationship so it's really hard when that communication is limited. That's where I think things get hard and change for some couples. Satan is working so hard on our boys. To wait for a time where they've let their guards down, to tempt them. And the same thing goes for us as their girlfriends. He's working hard on us, we don't have that continuous strong spirit and 24/7 doctrine like our missionaries do. We're still in the real world. Us as women are emotional beings as it is so he uses that to try and sway us from what we felt we were sure of. He puts doubts in our minds of "if our relationship is going to be like it was" or "that it's like you don't even have a boyfriend/relationship anymore." In those times you are pretty much relying on the memories and past letters or tape recordings to keep things going. To remember how your relationship was and what you are working for and waiting for. And it's like you can't express those things as much in your letters to him because you don't ever want to bring him down or sway his focus. It can definitely be done, when there's a will there's a way...but what I'm trying to get across is an understanding from people outside this situation to try and understand what it's like. To not be so quick to judge someone because it didn't last or didn't end up being what they'd thought it'd be. And a lot of times the elder feels the same.
I feel like for me, this journey so far has been easy 80% of the time. The hardest part thus far was before he left, like the last 2 months up to the day before he left. But since than it's actually surprised me with how "smooth" of an experience it's been. I mean yeah, I've gotten sad and cried and missed him like crazy, but I've been really okay and actually have really enjoyed it for the most part. Haha. Does that sound bad? I just know how solid we both are, with us. We've both been tested before this whole experience with our relationship and now we're experiencing what we've always wanted. So it's been kind of fun. Something "new" in the relationship. Waiting for letters, pictures, etc. It definitely makes you much more appreciative of one another I think. You appreciate hearing from them just a little more than before. You get so use to being with one another all the time so it's like you get that "missing" feeling back. And I think that "missing" is good for every couple. To get a little time apart to miss one another and appreciate what you have.
As a missionary, you knows that you are being given the best opportunity of your life, the greatest gift of being able to be ordained as a missionary and go out and change peoples lives, give them the opportunity to eternity. And us as missionary girlfriends are given an equally great opportunity to be apart of that journey and to see him change into a man and gain a true testimony of the gospel. You are one of the main supports he will look to. So with that much being given to the both of you, you are required to endure all the hardships that come with this type of long distance relationship. Like the saying goes, To whom much is given, much is required. I know how much I've been given. It's such a blessing to experience and I wish everyone could experience it. Every struggle thus far is made so worth it when I get my Thursday letters and hear his testimony grow each week. My Muka is still there, but he's becoming the man I've always wanted..someone that can give me eternity.
6 1/2 months down, 17 1/2 to go!!!
Yesterday was a really special day for our family. My cousin Haili and her husband and family went through the temple together. It was the first time someone I'm really close to has went through the temple so it was exciting and fun to see. Haili is my first cousin on my moms side (her mom and my mom are sisters, but we are really more like sisters than cousins. We've went through a lot together) Haili and June have been married for almost 3 years now and have 4 beautiful kids. I've seen their relationship since the beginning and they've come SO far. They've been through pretty much everything that you could think of that would test a relationship. They've experienced some of the hardest trials together, one of those things being loosing their only daughter Seliniesi, and rather than turning to the worldly things to try and block out the pain (drinking, drugs, etc.) they turned to the lord and the gospel. Junior (Haili's husband) originally wasn't a member of the church, but after Selini, he completely turned his life around and later on ended up being baptized and now has his melchezidek priesthood. He is a great husband and father and you can just tell how much he appreciates his role as a priesthood holder. He is a great example to us girls in our family in how our future spouses should be. Haili is one of the strongest women I know. She has been through a lot but is always humble. She truly just always wants to help others and make them happy. I don't know many people that could go through what Haili has went through. They both have made their mistakes in life, they never claim to be perfect, but like the saying goes, "it's not what you've done but how you overcome it" and I'm so happy and proud of the choices they've made and how far they've come.I can't tell them how much of an example they are to me and everyone that knows them. You see it so much now-a-days, especially in younger couples I think, that when the going gets tough, they turn to the worldly things for help. Drugs, alcohol, going out/partying..those types of things...but to turn the other way, the right way when you are hurting/struggling the most, that takes true strength. It's always easier to do wrong than it is to do right. But hard work pays off and now they're together eternally and they'll get to be with Seliniesi again.
I'm so grateful for this gospel, the atonement, our Savior, and the plan of Salvation. And for Haili and June and their little family. (: I love my family! Here's some pics from this weekend!