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Book review: Mormon blogger writes much-needed guide for adjusting to life as a returned sister missionary

"TELL ME ABOUT IT, SISTER! A Guide for Returned Sister Missionaries,” by Andrea Faulkner Williams, Cedar Fort, $14.99, 143 pages (nf)

Tell Me About It, Sister! A Guide for Returned Sister Missionaries,” by Andrea Faulkner Williams, is the handbook Williams wishes she would’ve had when she first returned from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From her own experience, she knows the first few months or even years home from a mission can be challenging. With advice geared specifically toward women, Williams tries to give women the tools they need to make the transition a little easier.

Williams surveyed more than 200 returned sister missionaries for this book and quotes from their responses throughout. She also features several interviews with returned sister missionaries she admires. This combines her experience with that of many others, giving the book a well-rounded perspective on a time that is similar for many but unique to everyone.

In this book, Williams starts out covering the more lighthearted aspects of adjusting to normal life, such as revamping dress and appearance and remembering how to flirt and dance again. Then, she dives into tougher subjects like coming home early for physical or mental illness, the difficulties of remaining single for years after the mission, and why many sisters don’t feel the spirit the same way they did as a missionary. At the end of every chapter, Williams includes a self-analysis quiz and a journal prompt that readers can use to see where they are struggling most in their adjustments and how they can make goals to improve.

Ultimately, Williams’ message is one of hope. A Mormon mission is meant to prepare someone for a future of even more service and learning — it’s not meant to be the best 18 months in a woman’s life. It can just keep getting better. She stresses that returned sister missionaries need to learn how to leave their missions behind, keep the lessons they learned and discover the wonderful women they are right now.

There is no swearing, violence or sexual innuendo in this book.

Michelle Garrett is a journalism graduate from BYU and currently works as a business magazine writer for a network marketing company in Utah. She is also a contributing blogger at utahchildrenswriters.blogspot.com. Email: mgarrett3589@gmail.com