Since I was a little kid, I have always felt strongly and talked about going on a mission when I was old enough. It was something that I was sure I was doing, and because of that, it was something my parents felt sure about too. But something changed when I got older. When I hit the age of seventeen or so, I just didn’t feel like a mission was something that was right for me. So, like everything else in my life that I didn’t think too much about, I pushed the thought aside, only to have it brought up every once in while by my father. My father and I are a lot a like in many ways, and sometimes, I think that scares him. He could see that my behavior was just like his when he was my age, and serving a mission changed his life.
For years, my father would tell me that I should go on a mission, but instead I joined the Army. Even while I was in training and when I got home, my father persisted in his belief that I should serve. Five years after I got home from Army training, my dad and I were sitting at a table at a pancake restaurant. With a hopeful look on his face, he caught my eye across the table, and like he had so many other times, stated. “I really feel like you should go on a mission.” And like so many other times, I sighed and rolled my eyes a little, when a thought came in to my head. I made a pact with my dad, that for 3 weeks, we would be the best, spiritually, that we could. Then at the end of the three weeks, with the New Year coming, I would receive my yearly father’s blessing. If it says in my blessing that I am supposed to go on a mission, then I will go. My father agreed, a bit timidly, and we shook on it.
After three weeks of preparing, I came over to his house on a Sunday evening, ready for whatever answer I was going to get. Finally, the moment had arrived. I received a blessing from my father, who’s a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder, and got a confirmation that I WAS supposed to go on a mission. Also, in the blessing, I was told that the reason I didn’t feel it was right before, was because it wasn’t. People that I’m supposed to find and bring into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were not ready for me then, but they are now.
The next day, I made an appointment with the bishop of my congregation and got started on preparing for a mission. But it wasn’t as easy of a process as I had thought it would be. There were complications and simple things that were missed, over and over again, delaying my time that I could have been in the mission field. It was getting overwhelming and stressful, to the point where I wanted to give up and just not go on my mission. On one particularly stressful night, I got down on my knees and prayed for strength and for patience. A part of my blessing started to play over and over again in my mind, like a broken record. “The timing will be just right, everything will fall into place.”
And so far, it has. I have received my mission call, to an area that I least expected, but I’m excited none-the-less. I think that the problem I had, and that many children of my generation and a little younger have, is that we’re lazy. It’s as simple as that. We’re too lazy to do the things that we need to do, and to be patient for the result. I would like to take a moment to speak with the members and future members of the Church. There is a reason, my dear brothers and sisters, that I tell you my story of becoming a missionary. I want to show you, how long the process can take sometimes, and how to find answers when you need them. I also want to express to you, that a mission is only 15% about you and your growth. The other 85% is about those people who have no knowledge of the gospel. They live in the dark at noonday, hoping that someone will lead them to the light of the Lord. That someone could be me, and it could be you. If you are a member now, or if you’re becoming a member, I urge you to pray about whether a mission for the Mormon Church, and being a missionary of God, is the right thing for you. You may or may not get the answer that you want, or expect, but I promise you that it will be the answer that you need.