What exactly are you going to do on your mission?
I have accepted the calling to be a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so that I may share the gospel to those who are yearning to know of the truth of the gospel. I have answers to questions that people don't even know to ask. I am going to tell people where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. I will explain to everyone that will listen why Christ is the center of the Plan of Happiness and why the Atonement that Jesus Christ has provided for us is necessary for our salvation.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Advice to People Who Should be Preparing to Serve a Mission

I can't speak for anyone but myself, so I will tell you what a mission has done for me thus far 6+ months out in hopes that I may come to persuade you to put forth a priority in your lives above all else to strive towards being worthy and willing to serve a mission.

When I was growing up, I had been taught from goodly parents who love the Lord; they sought for me to grow up in the gospel, being blessed abundantly, helping me recognize that it all comes from the Lord. Despite all of this guidance from my parents I needed to learn and come to know for myself through my own desire what is right and what is wrong.

I specifically remember one time when I was in a primary class, our teacher, who I'm pretty sure was Brother Barton, asked us why we come to church and how we know the church is true. I remember saying without a moments hesitation that I come to church because my parents bring me with them. My testimony was completely built off my parents testimonies because I trusted them and didn't have a great desire to learn for myself.

It reminds me of the general conference speaker (apostle or prophet) that years ago said that if we have no yet found a testimony of our own, then we can rely off his until we have one for ourself. I have grown up since then learning of the inspired organizations that the church has made so convenient to help me grow: seminary, scouts, young men, Deacons Quorum, Teachers Quorum, Priest Quorum, primary, sunday school, opportunity to give talks, etc. I, however, didn't understand to the full extent how much growth that actually provided me with. I still don't really.

I kept along this path of steady growth until I went to college at BYU-Idaho. I didn't expect the environment at all to be so uplifting in itself. There are hundreds or thousands of returned missionaries at the school. I had always expected myself to serve a mission because that was what my parents did and expected me to do. I don't think I really understood what significant difference in someone's life it makes when we spend all of two years devoted to be a servant of the Lord. All of my friends highly encouraged me to serve a mission as I was preparing myself. They all had wonderful experiences with people where they served and told me that their brief explanations of how great it was for them didn't do their missions justice.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to be nurtured with the good word of God all my life. What a blessing it has been! I am still learning how to use the tool God has provided in these Latter-days, The Book of Mormon. There is so much contained in the Book of Mormon and it truly brings the spirit to all those who sincerely read it. It is amazing how much I learn every time I read it. Reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it is the best way to gain a testimony. I have now been on a mission for a little over 6 months and I have had countless experiences that secure my testimony. I have had so many undeniable experiences and I know that the church is true. I have come to love the Lord more and more. I have developed skills that would have taken many years more to acquire. All of these things are blessings that comes as a result of serving the Lord by serving others (Mosiah 2:17).

A mission puts personal development on fast forward, it really does. The gospel is not separate from the scientific world; that is something I come to realize more and more every day. Everything gospel oriented I learn, I come to realize that they tend to have have excruciating important real-world application; Truly, it all does. Before my mission, I sometimes found scripture study, preparing lessons or talks, going out with the missionaries or other churchly affairs to be quite a task and sometimes a nuisance. I believe the more you study the gospel the more you come to find out there is more to the gospel than we can even comprehend here in this earthly state and it has more application to our lives, to our eternal progression, than anything else does or ever will.

I have grown to appreciate the important things in life; I have gradually come to realize that true joy comes through obedience. Not just obedience, but obedience as a result of charity. Obedience because I love doing those things that are right. Not obedience because it's a commandments; to be obedient with a grudging heart that is wishing he could be doing other things is not a missionary that is going through a change of heart.

These two years I have and opportunity to serve unlike any other I will again. It is a privilege to be set apart as one of less than 200 missionaries in South Carolina. So few of us have the authority to do what we have been called to in the world. There are billions of people ready to come to a remembrance of the plan God has for us that we already accepted. You can't afford to not go on a mission! There are so many secrets of Godliness that you'll miss out on if you end up not preparing yourself and making yourself worthy. The Sisters had a more important calling to get married if they are headed in that direction at the age of 21, but for the rest of us there is no excuse for us to miss this grand experience. We all have our part to do in this world. Even a local service mission is a noble pursuit if you are kept from going on a full time mission. I know from experience that I couldn't have made a better choice than to serve a mission. I love it more than I can say. I've grown more than I can currently recognize. Heavenly Father blesses me every day. Heavenly Father loves His missionaries!