Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm Glad They Called Me On A Mission!

It was a bit of a surreal week for me. I turned 26...that may not seem very old to some people. But, I feel old. (Attention: people who are older than me, please don't take offense! I'll try to explain.) This was possibly the biggest concern I had about coming out on a mission nearly 2 years ago.

In reality, I had a million reasons I didn't want to come out on a mission. Being 26 when I got home was a big one though. I had all these things thought up:

Who wants to postpone joy?
  1. In school, I was doing exceptionally well (straight A's!!!). I finally start to do well and I put it off for two years?
  2. The relationship I had with my family was the best it had ever been. I wouldn't see my nephew's and niece's.
  3. I was starting to finally get my feet under me and I was headed in a good direction. Wasn't I doing good enough? 
  4. I really wanted to find a wifey and start a family. 
     A mission meant postponing or losing many opportunities besides just these ones listed. It meant putting what I wanted on hold, and I didn't want to do that! Who does that? Who wants to do that? Not me! Well....

    It was a tough thing for me to come to terms with, and I struggled with the decision to come on a mission for quite a while. (To read more about how I came to the decision of going on a mission, click here.)
    But I finally made the decision and did all that I had to do to get out here. The call letter came, I opened it, and it said I was coming to Montana. My life has been changed forever because of that.

    I had all these reasons to not come on a mission, and I'm sure each and every prospective missionary has ones that are a lot more legitimate than mine. In fact, I know many do. I am so privileged to serve with amazing young men and women who have given up so much to be out here: Going without seeing their families for two years or more (sometimes siblings leave for missions right before they get home); Missing the hunting season; College athletes giving up scholarships; leaving behind pretty lady friends whilst returned missionaries are waiting to swoop in; parents, grandparents, and siblings passing away; the list goes on and on.

    We missionaries all have weaknesses. We aren't the best teachers in the world. But we have been called by a prophet of God to share what we know. We know our message is true. That's why I'm out here doing what I do. That's why tens of thousands of other young men and women are serving as well. We know that Jesus Christ really was born of Mary in Bethlehem. We know that Jesus did perform the Atonement and that through Him, all mankind can be saved by obedience to the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. That's all someone needs to know to come out on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    I have received so many blessings for serving a mission. It's amusing to me to see how pretty much all of my concerns I had with coming out here have been resolved.
    1. I'm going to do so much better with school. I'll be taking higher level courses and the study habits I have learned as a missionary will help me to do well in those.
    2. I have been away from the family for nearly two years. I appreciate them so much more now and I know I will treat them even better. Our relationships will be much stronger.
    3. The growth that has taken place in these short 21 months would have taken a lifetime to achieve. I'm so much further ahead of the person I would have been if I had not served a mission. This is the best path I could be on.
    4. I will be a much better father and husband because of the experiences and growth that have taken place as a missionary.
    I know that serving a mission is the best decision I have ever made in my life. It's going to set the stage for the rest of my existence. Oh, and I don't feel all that old anymore. Missionary work seems to be the fountain of youth (because I hang around a bunch of 19-21 year old missionaries every day). (It could be that, or that I'm really immature for my age.)

    I know that serving a mission is the best decision I have ever made. I've sacrificed a lot to be here, but so have many others. We are all receiving so much more in return. But as with all things, we should ask God if its what we should do.