I pick up missionary biographies when I need to be encouraged, and as I have mentioned previously I have been reading about Adoniram Judson and his three wives, as well as some modern missionary books that contain advice for missionary wives.
One of the key elements I notice in their writings, is how they made the decision that their new field of service was their home. I realize some missionaries have to leave the field for various reasons, and that is not what I am talking about. But while you are on the field, you must make the field your new home--and quit thinking about what you have left behind, from friends, family, church, etc.
When I am constantly thinking about what I miss the most about the states, it only makes me more discontent with my life here on the mission field. I do miss my family, grand kids, and way of life in the US, but now Tenerife is my home, and I must learn to appreciate the positive things about it and adjust to the things I don't care for.
Some people used to say that Mexico was a "graveyard" for missionaries because you had to return to the US every six months to renew your visa. When we were serving in Guadalajara Mexico, and would cross into the states, we would indulge in the delicious American hamburgers, make shopping trips to Walmart, and enjoy the way of life we missed. While in the states we didn't have to worry about getting sick from drinking the water, or deal with the filthiness and poverty. I wonder if I ever really allowed myself to adjust and enjoy my life in Mexico--rather I was often looking forward to the next visit to the states.
It is not feasible for me to visit the states now, because it is very expensive and we have used our spare resources in bringing our college age daughters home during the summer months. In some ways though, I think it will help me adjust to the idea that this is our new home, and by God's grace need to make the best of it, and become connected with the people that the Lord has put in our paths here to minister to.