I have been called to serve in the New Jersey Morristown Mission September 17 speaking Spanish… good thing I studied French for four years in high school! :)
I think we all have a specific idea of what a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is… but I wanted to share the words of Russell M. Nelson concerning missionaries.
“Missionaries… are blessed with gifts – such as the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of God, and testimonies of the truth – that make them powerful ambassadors of the Lord. They share the good news of the gospel that will bring true joy and everlasting happiness to all who heed their message.”
TODAY I'VE BEEN ASKED TO SPEAK ABOUT…
The Book of Enos and how my testimony has grown and prepared me to serve a full time mission.
Last fall I moved into the dorms at BYU and there was a lot of hype and peer pressure for girls to serve a mission. As I considered it, I pushed that thought away thinking it’s too hard/not for me/just a trend.
Throughout the year I learned a lot about Joseph Smith and the scriptures, Heavenly Father’s eternal love of His children, and I gained a huge appreciation for all that the gospel blesses us with.
This summer, I had the opportunity to work at Aspen Grove Family Camp which is set up by the BYU Alum Association. When I first got there, I wanted to make sure my priorities were set appropriately. I spent prayerful and scripture focused time in the mountains. For those of you who are familiar with the area, you will have no problem understanding how every single day I appreciated God’s beauty. This increased my testimony of God’s love for us and His desire for us to enjoy this world and to recognize His hand in all things.
As I developed relationships and had meaningful conversations with friends, the idea of serving a mission kept recurring and I decided to not just work out in my mind the pros and cons of serving a mission, but discover the Lords will for me.
After struggling and constant prayer, I didn't feel like I was getting an answer, but I decided to approach Heavenly Father in a more humble way. Instead of saying “I don’t have to go right?” I changed my attitude and said “If it is Thy will for me to serve a mission, I will do so.”
In the Book of Mormon student manual it addreses Enos’ wrestle in prayer,
Enos did not wrestle with God. The record states that Enos wrestled before God in prayer. Such wrestling is the struggle to find and express one’s real desires under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Praying in this manner requires that a person eliminate vain, trite, or insincere repetitions and to pour the deepest desires of his or her heart into words. Each phrase becomes an expression of yearning and desire to do God’s will. Such prayers are assisted and guided by the Holy Spirit
By talking With the Lord not just TO the Lord I came to find my answer.
The peace I felt was confirmation that His plan for me was to serve a mission.
As I read Enos, I always love His desire for the Welfare of Others
This is another excerpt from the BOM student manual which reads:
After feeling the blessings of the Atonement for himself, Enos prayed for the welfare of his own people, the Nephites, and then for the spiritual welfare of his enemies, the Lamanites. Elder Robert D. Hales spoke about the concern those who have been converted feel for others: “The scriptures confirm that the truly converted do more than just forsake the enticements of the world. They love God and their fellowmen. Their minds and hearts are centered on the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. From the moment of their respective conversions, Enos, Alma the Younger, Paul, and others turned wholeheartedly to the task of bringing themselves and their fellowmen to God” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2000, 6; orEnsign, Nov. 2000, 8).
Because I've asked for and worked to increase my desire to serve the Lord and his people, I’ve been able to overcome my feelings of inadequacy and fear and just feel excitement to invite others to come unto Christ.
I am more than excited to be an ambassador of the Lord teaching others how to wrestle before God instead of thinking they are wrestling with God and see the mighty changes they make in their lives as they come closer to Christ.
This Gospel has given me everything: faith, hope, peace from the knowledge of eternal families and repentance, and enduring to the end.
I am so thankful to be a part of a church that has living prophets. I am thankful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost and that I can communicate with my Heavenly Father through prayer and He will always answer those prayers. I am grateful for the priesthood and the blessings we can all receive through it. I am so grateful for temples and the sacred covenants we make there. Temples really are the House of the Lord.
I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God given the authority to restore the gospel in its fullness to the earth today.
I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that it is the word of God.
I know that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to have TRUE and ETERNAL happiness!
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.