There and Back Again, An Elder’s Journey
A lot of people asked me when I got home, ‘’So did you like your mission?’’ ‘’How was it?’’ ‘’Are you glad you went?’’ To be honest I wasn’t ready to answer their questions, because I was taking the experience as it came and hadn’t yet had the chance to consider it as a whole.
Traveling home provided an opportunity to reflect a little. We had a few delays, I lost my backpack with all of my journals and scriptures, but it really didn’t stress me out. I knew that it would work out. The mission has helped me to develop more patience and has made me able to put things in better perspective. I knew I would get to see my family, and I was even able to invite someone I talked with in the airport to listen to the missionaries. I was super excited to call up the bishop of the ward that he will belong to and pass on the contact information. But as I talked with people in the airport, I felt that my role was changing. Every member is a missionary. But the way I help in the work of Salvation has to be adjusted. I want people to feel my love and acceptance, and I don’t have to force a gospel spin on everything. I have to take advantage of opportunities and look for ways to help people ‘’ask the missionaries.’’
I heard a lot about missionaries crying as they took off the missionary name tag. I didn’t. I was praying that I would be able to still feel the spirit strongly, and thankfully the Lord has helped me keep on feeling that.
Scripture study, preparation, and planning were very important on my mission. I found that if I could do those things well the day would go well. But if I was a bit slow to engage myself, outside the same thing would happen. If I got lazy towards the end of my studies, the night would be long because that night a lot of plans would fall through.
Those small things are still important. My family got me an iPod touch and I am planning in it every night and setting goals. I bought a new hardback Book of Mormon to study and mark. This morning I was reading about Lehi traveling into the wilderness with his family. After he had worked so hard to preach the gospel, being rejected, being commanded to leave his possessions and go into the wilderness, etc. . . after all that sacrifice that he did, he builds an alter to offer up sacrifices and give thanks to the Lord. He thanked the Lord for the opportunity he had to sacrifice and to give up things, status, friends, relationships with family members, and to travel into an unknown land.
I am thankful that the Lord allowed me to serve a mission. The Lord allows us to be involved in the lives of others. What a sacred privilege we have to invite others to come unto Christ. My goal is to continue that sacred mission.