Today marks 1 year since I left Chile where I served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for 2 years. Tomorrow will mark 1 year since I finished my full-time mission. This weekend has brought many memories of mission experiences in Chile, and the wonderful people that I shared my time with there. The memories have just come flooding! I've taken some time to ponder over what the mission has done for me, and keep other missionaries in mind and in my prayers as I think of them experiencing the same things. We went for some Chilean empanadas de pollo, pino, y queso to commemorate the Chilean mission experience. #mission #LDS #empanadas #Chile #missionaries #mormon #food #1year #memories
David Archuleta Mission Return: One Year Later
by Kristin, Guest Writer for The Voice
Today, March 24th marks at least one year since David has returned from serving his two-year mission. Like everyone else, I was so happy to see him back and thankful he got back to his family safely.
It’s amazing how much time flies sometimes. From heading or transferring to a new college, weddings, graduations, birthdays, whatever else may have happened to all of us in the past year, we aren’t the same as we were prior.
For me, 2014 was a difficult year. Lost weight, lost my cat, a second episode of depression…so much heartache and pain. David being back didn’t seem to alleviate all of my struggles, but it gave me a distraction from everything for a while.
Regardless of those struggles, none of us are the same since David came back a year ago. Some of us have stayed to wait it out; some of us have left or moved on for whatever reason. Some of us chose to believe and have faith when, to others, it just seemed impossible.
I’ve been reflecting the past few days as I write this. Having my spring break last week and taking some initiative with where I wanted to go in my life, I’ve seen how much I’ve grown and changed in the past year. I am definitely not the broken girl who had hit rock bottom with her faith and with everything around her a year ago. Just like David has grown, adjusted, and taken time to reconnect with himself, with his life. Not just his life, but his music, what he wants to say to his fans in that music, what he wants to say to the world…and what he wants to say for himself.
At times we got frustrated with him; I’ve had my moments too. Other times, we were excited for him, wondering about where he would take his career next after being away for two years. We worried about if he’s changed so much since those two years away, and if, due to his silence, if he even still wanted a career.
Well, I know one thing from what I’ve observed of David.
He doesn’t give up so easily.
In today’s music industry where we have—people who shall remain nameless—we need people like David to give us hope in good people, to make us feel good and inspired, and also to give us a chance to grow and change from what we learn from him or learn about ourselves.
I know, for me, and people who know me probably know this part of the story, but David was my light in a dark place. That unexpected/unanswered prayer who…
…switched something on in me again. Lit up something in me again that was snuffed out prematurely.
For a lot of us, life changed the very first time we saw David. For me, it took him going away for two years to make me really take a step back and realize what I was truly blessed with, what God placed in my life when I didn’t even ask for it.
A young man around my age, shy like me, who just wanted to do what he loved to help people. Someone that actually cared about the platform he was given, someone who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what mattered to him, and someone who was willing to take a step back himself with his life, and learn something he had to learn in order to move forward.
I’ve been afraid of disappointment, of being let down. Some people have thought that of David during the past year, and I can understand. When going through my personal demons, I struggled with my connection with David, letting other people bother me and letting doubts run my life…
…until I realized enough was enough.
Now, on this March 24th, I am still Kristin. I haven’t changed that much, but I’ve been healing. Taking it one day at a time with myself and with what David plans to do with his career and music next. The news last night of an announced concert has gotten us all hopeful again, excited for the future.
For me…it feels so close in this battle of personal doubts and fears from the past five years, trying to gain the courage to finally see, for myself, a man who has been such a gift in my life, who made me wake up and see where I was and the potential I have to do good, just as he has even before becoming famous.
To look him in the eyes and say, “You got me through the toughest years of my life.”
To hug him, have a picture with him, and see for myself that this has been worth it all this time.
Just as David is worth it…and was worth waiting for, and fighting for.