No, I did not fall off the face of the Earth. I'm still here! I just... well... life is crazy. But I'm back! At least for now...
Ever since the announcement of the new ages for missionaries, a whole new slew of people started thinking "Should I serve a mission??"
This is a decision between you and your Heavenly Father, but hopefully, this (as well as my other posts) will help you with that decision.
Here are some reasons why I will be eternally grateful that I served a mission. If you are an obedient and hard-working missionary, I'm sure you will experience these as well.
- I learned how to love like Jesus Christ does
I certainly haven't mastered this yet, but my mission helped me get one big step closer to it. I learned how to get along with people who are very different from me. I had some companions that I loved and became very good friends with. I had some companions that I did not get along with very well. It was very hard working with these companions. But I learned how to see at them like Christ would. I learned to forgive them of their weaknesses and focus on their strengths.
I learned not to judge others just by their appearance. I learned not to be picky about who to talk to and how to just talk to everyone I see.
I learned that I could love others even though some of them are so very different.
I love pictures like the one above. You can see the love in Christ's eyes. How do you think Christ would look at YOU? Can you see other people with that same love?
- I learned how to live on my own
I grew up in a home with spectacular parents who taught us how to do chores and how to take care of ourselves from a young age. Learning to live on my own was not that difficult for me. However, it was more difficult than I thought it would be. I thought I already knew everything I needed to know. But it's different not having your mom there to ask questions whenever you need to. It's different planning your own meals and going grocery shopping for yourself.
- I played a part in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ
I had the opportunity to teach people from many different countries. Some of them, including some of my most positive investigators, were from countries where missionaries are not allowed yet. China, Iraq, and Iran to name a few. In my last area, we often had a copy of the Book of Mormon in Arabic with us since we gave those away almost more than Swedish and English.
Like most European missions, Sweden did not see a lot of baptisms. However, I still gave away countless copies of the Book of Mormon, talked to and taught who knows how many people, and brought a little more of the Light of Christ to Sweden.
Spreading the gospel brings a joy into your life that nothing else can.
- A California Redwood -
The author of this blog took this picture and
has all rights and privileges associated with it.
- My testimony and my understanding and knowledge of Jesus Christ and His gospel became more complete.
Like most missionaries, I had a very strong testimony when I entered the mission field. Serving a mission made it grow in a new way. I guess you could say that it didn't really grow a lot "taller," it was already a pretty tall tree, but it grew "deeper" or "thicker," if you know what I mean.
My knowledge on the basic principles and doctrines of the gospel was challenged. Why do we have prophets? What does it mean to really forgive? I had to study these things thoroughly and really come to an understanding of the gospel like I had never had before.
- I learned that I can do more than I think I can. I learned how to work hard. Because I served a mission, I was more prepared for future hard times.
I learned how to work until I felt like I was going to collapse, and then kept working. And then woke up the next day and worked even more. I learned that if I was obedient and had faith in Christ, I would have the power to do whatever I needed to do (Moroni 7:33).
Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. At the time, a mission was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. I not only survived serving a mission, but I look back on it with great happiness and with great satisfaction. As I go through today's trials and struggles, I remember my mission and I remember that I can do hard things! I can do this! With God, anything is possible!
Hi! I served a mission in the Sweden Stockholm mission several years ago and am now married to a returned missionary and starting a family.
Please share this blog with others so we can help as many future missionaries as possible. Feel free to add your own advice. I hope this can help many young people preparing to go on a mission, but most specifically, sisters.
Have fun and let me know if you have any questions or any post ideas!