It was April of 2011 during General Conference, an entire Church wide meeting broadcast from Salt Lake City. It's held on the first weekend of April and October each year and has a total of four general session and a priesthood session on Saturday evening. I was home from school that weekend and with my dad at the meeting house watching the broadcast of the priesthood session. Lots of things were on in my life and my mind was in many different places. College was one of my main concerns but another thought was lurking in the back of my head. My 19th birthday was coming up in July and the opportunity was before me to apply and submit my application to become a missionary. The plan to serve a mission was always there ever since I was a kid. But now that the time actually was coming I was a bit concerned. I was very anxious and nervous about the whole prospect of becoming a missionary. It would require a great deal of sacrifice including two years away from home, family, school, and possible career opportunities. I wasn't sure I was ready or strong enough to handle those sacrifices and even handle the stresses of missionary life.
|General Conference at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, UT|
So all these things are going through my head as the priesthood session starts. The first speaker was Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his talk w
He talked about the example of Sid Going, a young man who gave up a lifetime opportunity to serve a mission. He wouldn't trade that experience for anything. The blessing of bringing others into the gospel outweighed anything he or anybody could imagine. It took me a while to really soak that in when I heard his story. However from that talk I knew that God wanted me to serve a mission. So here I am now, serving my Father in Heaven by serving His children and my brothers and sisters. It's taken me some time to really understand why I want to serve a mission, but I've learned this much. That the blessings of the gospel are real and the ultimate outcome of living the restored gospel is happiness. That's always the end result, pure joy and happiness that only God and Jesus Christ can give us. I don't want to keep all that joy to myself, it's just to much. I want to share it with others. It's taken me some time to learn this lesson but now I feel my Savior's love and want others too as well. I know this Church is true, that our Savior lives, that Joseph Smith was His prophet in these last days, that the Book of Mormon testifies of Him and helps us understand even more about Him. As I said before, this gospel and church bring nothing but joy into my life. This is why I serve, because I love others and love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ.