Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pretty awesome servants.

Today I am thankful for missionaries.

My mind has been thinking about missionaries a whole lot lately. Lately as in like the last year...and possibly even before that. But today I have been thinking about them a lot. I have two good friends, Layne Lawson and Cole Lewis, who gave their farewell talks today. One is going to Anchorage, Alaska and the other is going to Rochester, New Hampshire. I could provide a very loooong list of peeps that have been or are missionaries. But I don't think that I realized the sacrifice and importance of missionary work until my brother Matt left on his mission just over two years ago. He was one of the first guys close to my age that I loved and cared about that left our little community in Cache Valley to serve. Since then, the majority of my guy friends from high school have left. Many of them have returned, some are currently serving and there are some still preparing to leave.

The calling of a missionary is such a divine and important calling. I find it hard to understand when I hear of guys or girls that don't take it seriously for all it's worth. I have never served a mission and can't imagine how difficult it may be at times, but I'm so grateful for the wonderful examples in my life who have made that sacrifice to serve the Lord. They give two years of their life, just a slice essentially when looking at the big picture, and dedicate all their work to the One who loves us unconditionally. He has done that for us that we could never do for ourselves. So it is our duty...our serve him the best we can, be that through missionary work or through our daily service to others. Every member a missionary, right?

The lyrics to the well-known primary song always run through my mind when I think of those young men and women out serving missions.

"I hope they call me on a mission
When I have grown a foot or two.
I hope by then I will be ready
To teach and preach and work as missionaries do.

I hope that I can share the gospel
With those who want to know the truth.
I want to be a missionary
And serve and help the Lord while I am in my youth."

A mission is something that I have seriously contemplated in my life as well. If I were a dude, I would be gone serving a mission right now. That's so crazy to think about. I think about everything that I am involved that school, work, socializing and dating, musicals, etc. and it would be so difficult to leave all of that behind for two years. I feel like girls have a hard decision (in a different way than boys) ahead of them when it comes to going on a mission. Guys have been commanded to do so, but girls have been given the option. Sometimes I wish that I was told a black and white answer as to whether I should serve or not. I know that marriage and family is of number one importance. And if that is to enter into my life in the next two years, I will welcome it with open arms. But if in two years I am still single, I think that I would want to make that leap of faith and enter those MTC doors to begin a year and a half of serving the Lord.

Anyway, I know that missionary work is inspired of the Lord. I really am thankful during this time of year for my family and friends that have incorporated a mission in their lives somehow. I remember when I was younger and the thought of dating an RM was scary! They were waaaay too old for me. Truth be told, now the thought of dating someone who is not an RM is what makes me a little more nervous haha. There are many ways to be a missionary every day. Even if it's just giving a sober-faced stranger a genuine and heartfelt smile. It's making a difference. That's just what the Lord would do. And He is the perfect example for everyone to pattern their lives after.

Here are some pictures [some including quotes from letters] of just a few loved friends in my life that are serving or have served. I wish I could post stuff from them all. But regardless, enjoy!

Elder Jeff Manning (Baltic States, Lithuania)

Elder Taylor Griffin (Brazil, Sao Paulo)
"...and it just really helped me realize that this work isn't done by us missionaries. It's done by Him who does everything else in this world."

Elder Doug Wixom (Dominican Republic, Santa Domingo)
"This isn't a sacrifice; it's an opportunity that millions of other people don't have. It's an opportunity to bring happiness into other peoples lives that millions of people will not receive. I know that the work of the lord is real. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't."

Elder Dallin Maxfield (Chili, Santiago)
" I know God is our literal Father in Heaven who loves us and hears our prayers. The mission is really hard sometimes, and the only thing I can possibly do is just get on my knees and cry in prayer. But I can say, without doubt, that every sincere prayer is answered in His time and way. We are so blessed to know such things like that. I love being a missionary and sharing my testimony with other people. Sometimes it is the only thing that lifts my spirits and helps me to keep going."

Elder Brian Williams (Canada, Montreal)

Elder Michael Black (Mexico, Guadalajara)
"Missionary work is about bringing people unto Christ and to help them get to the first of many steps to obtain the celestial kingdom, which is baptism. As it says in D&C 18 “How great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me.” This is why I’m out here. I’m not on my time, but the Lords time. I was discouraged after day one but I know that through God EVERYTHING is possible."

Elder Matt Bagley (now returned from Arizona, Tucson)
"I am really grateful for you all, and I hope God continues to bless both me here and you there as we strive to keep His commandments and become more like Christ, so we can one day qualify for eternal life together as a family."

These guys are pretty awesome servants if you ask me.


elise said...

This post is great, Megan! I love missionaries and I especially love the quotes you shared. Missionaries are just so cool.

Blair said...

Meg I am so glad I looked at your blog today! Sitting here after I just got done writing Mas and your post just put a smile to my face :) You know as well as I do about(and we've had many chats about this) how important serving a mission is and how much we look up to those worthy young men who are currently serving or those returned with honor guys. I, too, am so grateful for those great missionary examples around us! Love you and your example to me as well Miss Megan!

kelsey marie* said...

Oh. . .one of my friends got back recently and just gave his talk today. Missionaries are amazing. I am realizing more and more how strong missionaries are. Thanks for posting! And you would be an awesome missionary if you went. Just fyi.