Missionary work. My mission story.
Unlike so many girls and guys who were affected by the age change in the The October 2012 conference….I was not one of them. My mission began when I received my patriacharal blessing. I remember reading it when and in the 4th paragraph 1st line I read…..You will have a desire to preach the gospel in these last days as the gospel reaches is fullness. I can’t even tell you how many times I would skip that part as I have read it over these past few years…..When I was in st. George things were looking up and one day when I was at my great friend Toni caplins house she turned around at looked at me and said..you should go on a mission…whaaaat….no way jose. Then later that year at Wheelers farewell I remember feeling something that confirmed my thoughts. For the rest of that day I was so figgity and was so emotional I felt crazy. I knew if I prayed I’d get the answer I didn’t really want. I finally sucked up my pride and felt such a warm feeling. I remember telling my mom and dad that night. I had my papers almost ready…then the big announcement came out and I felt I needed to wait. I’m so glad I did!
This is such a broad topic- and at first I was unsure of which way to take this. Simply because I love it, I love missionaries, I love what they stand for, I hold such a high respect for the gospel and this topic that I hope I can deliver it in the words of the spirit and in the words which I am prompted to speak this day.
Brothers and sisters…..we are no ordinary beings..we are glorious and eternal… it is my prayer that when we look at our reflection, we will be able to see beyond imperfections and self-doubts and recognize who we truly are: glorious sons and daughters of the Almighty god (as stated by President Uchdorf)
We deserve the best because we ARE the best, every single one of us is here right now because we know that. The only way almost all of us knows this is because of a missionary. Whether you’ve found the gospel recently, or have generations of the gospel behind you…. Someone in your family accepted the gospel, and it has now found you.
Missionary work isn’t a new found light nor is it distant from us…. Missionary work was, from the beginning, a building block and way to prepare man to reunite with God.
As Jesus preached his whole life, and even as he rose again he spoke unto them saying “Go ye therefore, and teach ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Mathew 28: 19-20)
Where missionary work begins, and what the lord asks of us this one simple thing.
“come unto me.”
Such a simple term, yet this is what missionaries ( and all of us) should invite our friends, loved ones, and basically everyone to do.
It seems that this concept is so….normal for us to hear…yet…there are so many of our brothers and sisters that haven’t heard this message…this plea from the father to us.
Come unto God and he will make you strong, give you love, provide a way home, and will NEVER leave you.
Missionary work has had a huge impact on me in my life. I remember having missionary lessons at our house for our friends, having activities and fellowshipping.
I always wanted to be like the missionaries. It always seemed like they had all of the answers, were perfect, and were basically not human. Now as I have been preparing for my mission…I know for a fact that I am not perfect…. I feel like I know nothing….
I’ve witnessed the greatness the gospel brings, Ive seen hard hearts turn soft. I’ve seen sad eyes, light up with the fire of the spirit. I’ve seen men and woman baptized and felt the spirit which I assume was present even at Jesus Christs baptism.
But I’ve also seen my brothers and sisters reject the gospel. It aches my heart to know that someone could turn down the love of Christ.
When I was living in St. George my great friend and roommate decided to have a “life makeover”
Every Wednesday we’d wake up early and drive the short 5 minutes trip to the St. George temple and do baptisms for the dead. We did that every Wednesday morning from august until December. We’d come out feeling the love of the lord, and the love of the many spirits I’m sure were rejoicing on the other side.
One day after the temple we decided to walk through the visitors center on the temple grounds…from that day on I went on splits with the sister missionaries sometimes up to 5 times a week. They’d call me….”Sooo…I know you have school….but I promise if you come with us…you’ll basically get straight A’s….Oh and wear good shoes…we’ll be walking…sort of a lot.”
Sometimes it felt like we walked for-ev-er! Every door we knocked on was shut…. Or they weren’t “home.” Some of the doors that opened had gone inactive because they had been offended by someone in their former ward….
My favorite experience was one in particular boy…
His mom was raised in the church but married into another religion and went inactive….years went by and she got divorced and was left jobless and homeless with her 2 kids. She was fellowshipped by her loving relief society and became active again. She got on her feet, found a job, bought a house…things were great. Her son on the other hand didn’t think church was worth his time. He didn’t wake up for family scriptures.
He then found out his girlfriend might be pregnant. He decided that a part time fast food job wouldn’t bring home any bacon, so he asked his mom for help. I went with the sisters to see him and at first he wouldn’t read the scriptures or pray…but eventually he prayed…ask questions and was reading every day! We showed up for his lesson…we spoke mainly about faith….at the end of the lesson…we asked him to be baptized…and he said yes!
After the lesson we called him mom and hold her the news….over the phone we didn’t hear her say anything…we heard gentle sobs and her saying thank you….thank you.
It’s moments like this that makes me realize the love Christ has for us and that when we reach out for him….he will grab us. He will walk besides us, every second of every day if we ask him too.
I know that the church is true, I know there is God and he is a God of truth, covenant, grace, mercy, and unconditional love.
I know that if we come unto him, he will never leave. I know that the gospel has been restored to it’s fullness today. I know that the Lord is coming again, sooner than we think. I know that the Book of Mormon is with out a doubt a true book of God.
I know that Jesus suffered in Gethsemene for me, I know that god can bestow mercy on me and break the bands of justice if I use the atonement.
I know that I am putting my full faith in the lord to go where he want’s me to go, and be who he wants me to be, and that he is continually calling me.
I hope to declare myself as a disciple of God everyday for the rest of my life, and to look God in the eye and tell him I served him and put my faith in him.
I know that when I do my part and obey his words, I become a mouth piece for him. I am scared of learning a new language and scared of how broken my Spanish may be for a while but a promise from the lords promises me that
“ He will lift up my heart and rejoice, for the hour of my mission is come, my toungue shall be loosed and I will declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.”
I love this so much. And I love all of you.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.