This is the text of an article published in the Progress Index newspaper on Feb. 12, 2011. Although Megan had been home a few months we were glad to see it in the paper and have heard from several people that they had seen it.
After serving 18 months in the California Long Beach Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sister Megan Lauchner has returned home. She is the daughter of Dallas and Lisa Lauchner of Colonial Heights and the granddaughter of Dolly Lauchner of Petersburg.
Lauchner was one of more than 50,000 missionaries serving for the Church in 145 nations and territories. The missionary effort is based on the New Testament pattern of missionaries serving in pairs, teaching and baptizing believers in the name of Jesus Christ; for example, the work of Peter and John described in the Book of Acts. Most missionaries are young people under the age of 25 who devote a year and a half to two years at their own expense. They avoid entertainment, parties, and activities common to young people, so they can focus entirely on the work of serving and teaching others the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Reflecting upon her missionary experience, Sister Lauchner says, "I think of my mission as at least 20 years of understanding, learning and maturity concentrated into a year and a half. I have been blessed with many experiences that have led me to a more Christ-centered perspective of life and of other people. I have also learned the importance of essential principles, such as hope, discipline, obedience, diligence, charity, and faith through serving a mission. I feel that I could not have learned these things to a comparable extent in any other way at this time in my life. We are taught in Matthew that everyone who loses their life for Christ's sake shall find it. I feel that this illustrates the process I have undergone - a sacred process that will continue for the rest of my existence. Serving as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unequivocally the most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life."
The thing Lauchner most enjoyed about the California Long Beach area was the diversity of peoples and cultures. She helped and worked with people across the globe - from India, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Tonga, Samoa and various South and Central American countries. She treasures the times that she felt the overwhelming pure love of God and Christ for these people. She now feels more able to align her perceptions of others with how the Heavenly Father perceives them and love everyone more readily.
In January, Lauchner resumed her education at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She is majoring in Marriage, Family and Human Development with a Spanish minor. She plans to go to graduate school to receive a master's degree in social work. Her goals include both work and family. "I am excited to be a wife and mother one day and to raise a family unto God."
For general information on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visit www.lds.org, click on Newsroom.