Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sister Thornton has arrived at the Brazil MTC!!

I received a beautiful letter this afternoon from President and Sister Degn her Missionary President and his wife along with the picture below. She now has a companion, is settled into her room and has been assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study. They were also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good. Sister Thornton will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple. This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments. I will post those letters to this site as soon as I receive them along with the district and box number for you to send letters to. They strongly encouraged sending hand written letters and asked that we write Dakotah's first and last name on the envelope. A couple of things they mentioned: Do not send packages to the Brazil MTC. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where she is serving. That address is: Brazil Curitiba Mission, Praca Joseph Smith, 15 portao, 80613-991 Curitiba - PR Brazil. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS or other private carriers. The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant. They did not indicate how long it would take for letters and/or packages to get to her, but I will ask Dakotah when we email next Wednesday or Friday. They ended their letter to me with a with this sentence and quote: "Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “ There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder/sister when he/she is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him/her to preach to the people who are the Lord's children". It gives me great comfort to have such loving individuals watching over her while she is serving the wonderful people of Brazil!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One her way to Brazil!!!!!!

I just received a call from Dakotah and she was at the airport in Georgia on her way to Brazil! There was a very nice gentleman there with his wife and they were actually on their way to Brazil to pick up their son from his mission. He let Dakotah use his phone to call home. She was so excited and sounded so happy! She said it has been an amazing experience so far. The days have been filled but she is soaking everything up and loving every minute of it. She has taught 3 lessons in Portuguese already and was asked to say the closer prayer before she left. She said, "I don't really even know these people but I cried my eyes out"....not sure where she gets that from :-) She is traveling with an Elder (I didn't catch his name) as a companion and she said they are like best friends already. They both feel like they know each other....he said they do...from the pre-existence (so cute). They have a 10 hour flight in front of them and she will actually enter the Brazil MTC on the original date on her letter. We will be 2 hours behind her time wise so at 6:20 a.m. she will land in that beautiful country. I don't have her address just yet, but will post it as soon as I hear from her again. She did not receive the two letters that I sent so she asked me not to email her via until I hear from her so that we can use the correct unit#. She wanted me to say hello to everyone!!! Thank you to everyone who reads this blog - Love Dakotah's Mum!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Farewell Talk

For those of you who don't want to read the whole thing, I understand. (it was a 20 min talk) But I would encourage you to read the last paragraph. :)

Good Morning!
            So as most of you know I report this Wednesday to the MTC as a fulltime missionary for the Church. I was called to labor in the Brazil Curitiba mission! As excited as I was to get my call, preparing to serve has been the best part so far.  Though I have been preparing these past six months, slowly but surely, to serve the Lord I feel that in preparing this talk I have felt the spirit more and been more uplifted in this short amount of time than I had then.

So I figured I would start off with how I gained a desire to serve and then how I decided to go. It was interesting to me that as I thought about this that finding or having a desire and actually deciding to serve full time are two separate and distinct things. I have had a desire to serve since I was about 14, but I didn’t actually decide to go until the very beginning of this year. My desire came slowly but at one point I just knew that it was something I would look forward to at some point in the distant future. I know some of you have heard this story before but bear with me. As my family was close to the missionaries while I was a youth we would have them over a lot to our house. Having them around had a profound impact on me, even though I didn’t know it then. The Sisters, would always tell me that I would be a great missionary at some point in the future. I always blew it off and never really took it seriously. I knew I just wanted to grow up and get married; I wouldn’t have time to serve a mission. But they would reassure me that I would indeed serve, no matter how I tried to deny it. Then one year at a youth conference to the JSM, I had a defining experience. After a long/steep hike, that I did not enjoy at the time *Haley reminded me of this last week*, we sat to watch the restoration video. At the end of that video the words that appeared on the screen touched me. For the first time since that experience I looked up the video and read the exact words that touched me so much that day. It said, “Joseph lived and died for the cause of truth. The work that he began continues to spread throughout the earth. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?” That last line was the one, that to me, seemed to stay on the screen for so long. Shall we not go on in so great a cause? After we watched the video we were given time to sit outside and ponder what we had just experienced. I remember sitting and writing in my journal about the desire I now had to serve a mission and go forth in the cause of Joseph Smith, the cause of our Father in Heaven. I know as we each ponder the gospel and the things we know and continue to learn that we will each find that same desire to share the blessings of this gospel with those around us. That doesn’t mean that we all will decide to serve fulltime missions, but just to be a missionary in the way we can. Though some of the youth might just find that desire and ponder on it and then decide to serve and that is great!

Although now it may seem cliché by now after a year to talk about the announcement of the age change and how it affected me, it truly was inspired and affected so many people so personally that it should be seen not as cliché but as personal revelation from our loving and all knowing heavenly father through a prophet today to the members of this church worldwide. I was not able to watch that session of conference because I was at cosmetology school, but as soon as the announcement was made girls around me were receiving phone calls and texts and a few girls were crying. It was crazy in that moment, looking back I remember looking around at everyone and seeing chaos. Then as soon as someone told me that they lowered the mission age for boys from 19 to 18 and girls from 21 to 19 the world seemed to stop, like I could hear nothing else but the thought in my head, ‘you are going to serve a mission’. It was an amazing moment. I then too joined in on the tears. It still, after that revelation, took me a while to decide when I would serve but it all seemed to fall into place the more I thought about it and planned.  It all seemed to make sense. All my life I had been being prepared to serve a mission. From the missionaries so close to my heart, to the youth conferences and lessons as a youth and to the timing of my schooling. I was being prepared all along. When I finally received my call I was so excited, I couldn’t stop smiling and I was so giddy I guess you could say. The only words I seemed to find, as is apparent in the video of me opening my call, were ‘I’m going to Brazil’, and ‘I don’t speak Portuguese!’ As excited that I am to get to see the sites of Brazil and experience the culture and learn the language, I couldn’t be more excited to bring people the joy and happiness I feel each day and to bring them closer to their Heavenly Father and to bring them to the knowledge of his truth and of his eternal love he has for them as his sons and daughters. I hope that the love that I have for this gospel and the spirit that I feel as I study and prepare is able to be with me today as I convey these messages of missionary work today.

            As I was reading talks and preparing there were so many things that I felt were significant that it was difficult for me to see how I would be able to tie it all together. I have a lot of quotes but who better to learn from than our apostles and prophets? I have found that there are three things that have really stood out to me in my preparation in being a fulltime missionary and in my study as a member of this church that I would like to share today. First; we can change lives even if we can’t always see it. Second; the call to serve applies to us all more now than ever. And third; always be prepared to share the words of Christ.

First, we can change lives even if we can’t always see it. In the adult session of Stake conference President Watson gave a talk and in it he mentioned something that in simple terms is called the butterfly effect. A scientist had claimed that a butterfly, just by the simple act of fluttering its wings, could move a few molecules in the air around it and create a typhoon on the other side of the world. This may seem impossible and he was ridiculed because of this idea but it was later proven to be fact. I was studying the scriptures in the weeks following his talk and I was reading about the story of Abinadi. Abinadi was prompted by the Lord to ‘go and preach repentance unto the peolple’ and when he followed this prompting he was brought before the king and cast into prison for his teachings which weren’t pleasing to the king or his servants. He was later found punishable by death and it seemed to him that he would die in vain, not having accomplished the work that he was sent to do. But not to his knowledge, one man believed him and his name was Alma. In Mosiah 17:2-3 it says, “But there was one among them whose name was Alma, he also being a descendant of Nephi. And he was a young man, and he believed the words which Abinadi had spoken, for he knew concerning the iniquity which Abinadi had testified against them; therefore he began to plead with the king that he would not be angry with Abinadi, but suffer that he might depart in peace. But the king was more wroth, and caused that Alma should be cast out from among them, and sent his servants after him that they might slay him.” And in chapter 18:1 it continues, “And now, it came to pass that Alma, who had fled from the servants of king Noah, repented of his sins and iniquities, and went about privately among the people, and began to teach the words of Abinadi.”  Though Abinada thought that no one had believed his words there was one person who listened and who he had touched and because of that one person many, even thousands believed the words of Christ and were baptized and converted unto Him. I think this story is a perfect example of this so called butterfly effect. Though results might not be immediately shown or we may never even see, we can have an effect on those around us. This thought leads me to a talk given by W. Christopher Waddell of the seventy in the 2011 general conference. He told this story, “A few years ago, Elder Javier Misiego, from Madrid, Spain, was serving a full-time mission in Arizona. At that time, his mission call to the United States appeared somewhat unusual, as most young men from Spain were being called to serve in their own country.

At the conclusion of a stake fireside, where he and his companion had been invited to participate, Elder Misiego was approached by a less-active member of the Church who had been brought by a friend. It was the first time this man had been inside a chapel in years. Elder Misiego was asked if he might know a José Misiego in Madrid. When Elder Misiego responded that his father’s name was José Misiego, the man excitedly asked a few more questions to confirm that this was the José Misiego. When it was determined that they were speaking about the same man, this less-active member began to weep. “Your father was the only person I baptized during my entire mission,” he explained and described how his mission had been, in his mind, a failure. He attributed his years of inactivity to some feelings of inadequacy and concern, believing that he had somehow let the Lord down.

Elder Misiego then described what this supposed failure of a missionary meant to his family. He told him that his father, baptized as a young single adult, had married in the temple, that Elder Misiego was the fourth of six children, that all three boys and a sister had served full-time missions, that all were active in the Church, and that all who were married had been sealed in the temple. The less-active returned missionary began to sob. Through his efforts, he now learned, scores of lives had been blessed, and the Lord had sent an elder from Madrid, Spain, all the way to a fireside in Arizona to let him know that he had not been a failure. The Lord knows where He wants each missionary to serve.” Not only is this another example of that effect but it also proves how personally our heavenly father knows each of our paths in this life and proves that he does indeed have a plan for each of us. Though we may be concerned about our current state in this life this story gives me faith that I am where I am for a reason and that we all are. That I was called to Brazil to help a specific families or people in need. That we are all given the callings we need to be in and that trials placed in our life are exactly what we need at the perfect time. By just following promptings and doing the things that we know we should be doing we can have effects on people that we never could have guessed. We can be that one butterfly that just by flapping our wings, or in our case just by living what we believe, who changes one persons world or even a world of persons for the better.

Two; the call to serve applies to us all now more than ever. When the age change was announced not only were thousands of youths prayers answered and their burdens lifted but we were all called to hasten the work. The coolest part that I found about this announcement is that with every event there is planning that takes place before the main event. Before we could send more missionaries into the field more hearts had to be prepared to receive the message of this gospel. In a talk titled “It’s a Miracle” by Elder Neil L. Anderson of the 70 he said, quote, “Brothers and sisters, as surely as the Lord has inspired more missionaries to serve, He is also awakening the minds and opening the hearts of more good and honest people to receive His missionaries. You already know them or will know them. They are in your family and live in your neighborhood. They walk past you on the street, sit by you in school, and connect with you online. You too are an important part of this unfolding miracle. If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, “not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.”  If we didn’t think we were expected to be member missionaries before, the call has now been officially made. Though for us it can be difficult to find ways to talk about our religion with others there were seven simple suggestions made:


1… “LIVE YOUR RELIGION. A Latter-day Saint’s life is his or her best sermon. Our conversations ought to be open, genuine, and engaged in with a spirit of kindness. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are most believable when our actions are in harmony with our beliefs.” Know it, Live it, Love it as we come more to know then we are able to apply it by living it and we will grow to love it and others will see that love through us as we come to love others.

2…. “ESTABLISH A FOUNDATION. Rather than responding to random questions, it might be helpful to establish a foundation—explain that we embrace Jesus Christ as our Savior and accept the Bible’s teachings, but believe that the Christian world departed from basic truths, and so Christ needed to restore His Church.” Sometimes it’s hard to just jump right into specific parts of the gospel. If we just explain that we all have common ground then it may become easier for others to understand.

3…. “CONNECT THE DOTS. Try to discern the gospel principle at the heart of a question, and connect the answer back to the Savior. We do not need complicated, sophisticated arguments when the principles we try to live by come from the Son of God.” Now that we’ve laid the foundation we can connect with others about what beliefs might be similar to or the same as theirs. The prophet Joseph smith said, “Have the Presbyterians any truth? Yes. Have the Baptists, Methodists, etc., any truth? Yes. … We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up” (History of the Church, 5:517). “We don’t ask any people to throw away any good they have … ; we only ask them to come and get more. What if all the world should embrace this Gospel? They would then see eye to eye, and the blessings of God would be poured out upon the people, which is the desire of my whole soul.”

4… “SHARE EXPERIENCES. Answering questions is not about reciting memorized answers. Sharing genuine, personal experiences can invite the Spirit to bear witness and carry the message into the listener’s heart.” Bearing testimony is the most important thing we can do… President Monson told this story this year in his talk to the priesthood titled Come, All Ye Sons of God. “When I served as a mission president in Canada more than 50 years ago, one young missionary who came from a small, rural community marveled at the size of Toronto. He was short in stature but tall in testimony. Not long after his arrival, together with his companion, he called at the home of Elmer Pollard in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Feeling sorry for the young men who, during a blinding blizzard, were going house to house, Mr. Pollard invited the missionaries into his home. They presented to him their message. He did not catch the spirit. In due time he asked that they leave and not return. His last words to the elders as they departed his front porch were spoken in derision: “You can’t tell me you actually believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God!” The door was shut. The elders walked down the path. Our country boy spoke to his companion: “Elder, we didn’t respond to Mr. Pollard. He said we didn’t believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Let’s return and bear our testimonies to him.” At first the more experienced missionary hesitated but finally agreed to accompany his companion. Fear struck their hearts as they approached the door from which they had just been ejected. They knocked, confronted Mr. Pollard, spent an agonizing moment, and then with power borne of the Spirit, our inexperienced missionary spoke: “Mr. Pollard, you said we didn’t really believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I testify to you that Joseph was a prophet. He did translate the Book of Mormon. He saw God the Father and Jesus the Son. I know it.” Some time later, Mr. Pollard, now Brother Pollard, stood in a priesthood meeting and declared, “That night I could not sleep. Resounding in my ears I heard the words ‘Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know it. I know it. I know it.’ The next day I telephoned the missionaries and asked them to return. Their message, coupled with their testimonies, changed my life and the lives of my family.”

5…. “UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE. The same conversation isn’t going to work for everyone—we all have different backgrounds. And remember that a casual question doesn’t require a half-hour lecture as a reply. Be sensitive to interest, comfort, and level of understanding. Signal that sensitivity so that those who are curious can feel at ease.”  It is important to sense their comfort level with the topic at hand and go from there. We always want to make sure that people are not only understanding our message, but feel comfortable asking further questions.

6… “USE RESOURCES. The Church has created online resources that can be helpful for members to share with those who have questions. Church magazines are available online and in print, and items available at distribution centers may be helpful. Sharing a copy of the Book of Mormon may also be appropriate. You can also create an online profile on has come in handy, I was at a friend’s house and I was being asked about my religion, they were asking questions that I wasn’t sure I knew exactly how to explain. So I turned to as a resource to make sure that things were being explained correctly.

7…. “BE A FORCE FOR GOOD. Members of the Church can help clear up misconceptions and increase understanding of who we are and what we believe. People may see differences between what they believe and what Latter-day Saints believe, but they may also find common ground on which to build better relationships.”  Just living our lives and doing what’s right, as talked about before, can change people’s lives. I was talking to my friend about my mission and comparing how it felt for someone to approach your door and say they have a message for you. I asked her and in a way assumed to her that she wouldn’t be too excited about it. But just as quick as I was able to assume, she was to correct me and said that she would probably let the missionaries in just because I was going and she would like to know more. That was an eye opener for me and it really touched my heart. To know that through my example someone’s heart had been softened.

These seven tips opened my eyes to a new way of being able to approach the topic of the gospel in an easier more relatable way. Just remember that the call to serve applies to us all. It is our job as members to bring people to the missionaries. My mom and I in discussions of missionary work have often talked about the fact that missionaries come and then they go, but the ward stays. Yes, the missionaries teach the lessons and bring converts to be baptized, but once that missionary leaves, it’s as if a crutch has been taken from them if they don’t receive that support from the ward members, and then they are unstable. President Gordon B. Hinkley said in 1997, “each new member of the Church needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with “the good word of God”” We need to become a friend, be a reason why they come each week and in turn are nurtured with the good word of God.   We as ward members play a huge role in missionary work, a role that we should gladly accept.

Finally; being prepared to share the word of Christ. In preparing to serve full time I realize that at all times of the day as a missionary I need to be prepared to share a message of this restored gospel. But not only is being prepared essential for serving a mission but also in everyday life as a disciple of Christ. How often does the topic of religion, or yours specifically come up in conversation and we are caught off guard? I don’t feel that this should be the case. Just as the apostle Peter said, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh a reason for the hope that is in you.” Elder Russel M. Nelson also said in his talk Catch the Wave, “Meanwhile, your exemplary lives will attract the interest of your friends and neighbors. Be ready to give an answer to those who ask why you live as you do. Be ready to give a reason for the hope and joy that they see in you.” In high school I was always asked why I was so happy when I had to get up so early for seminary and then come to school. I was never spiritually prepared enough to have that conversation, so I would simply shrug it off, say that I was just a happy person. If I had been prepared I would have had the courage to say that it is because of this gospel that I am happy each day. I would have been more comfortable bringing up the topic of religion if I had felt more prepared to do so. I feel like there are two very important things that can apply to us all when it comes to being prepared, scripture study and a relationship with the Holy Ghost. President Monson outlined a formula that will ensure our success in preparing to serve. His first bullet was to search the scriptures with diligence. He said, “Let me provide but one reference which has immediate application to our lives. In the Book of Mormon, the 17th chapter of Alma, we read the account of Alma’s joy as he once more saw the sons of Mosiah and noted their steadfastness in the cause of truth. The record tells us, “They had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” As we search the scriptures diligently we are able to better understand the gospel and its principles. Also as we follow promptings of the spirit and develop a companionship with the Holy Ghost we will be better able to rely on the spirit and be able to say the things that need to be heard. In the words of president Ezra Taft Benson, “The Spirit is the most important single element in this work. With the Spirit magnifying your call, you can do miracles for the Lord in the mission field. Without the Spirit, you will never succeed regardless of your talent and ability” It has been promised to us that “as you pray to know with whom to speak, names and faces will come into your mind. Words to speak will be given in the very moment you need them. Opportunities will open to you. Faith will overcome doubt, and the Lord will bless you with your very own miracles.” I know that as we study the scriptures and doctrine and come closer to the spirit that we will be more prepared and ready to talk about our beliefs and know the right things to say when we need to, and that we will be able to witness personal miracles.

Brothers and sisters I know that these things that I have talked about today are true. That we can change people’s lives, that we are all called to this work, and that we need to be prepared. Just a few more thoughts from the talks that I have mentioned before, “Isaiah foretold that God will do “a marvelous work and a wonder.” That is now being fulfilled by the sacred work of our growing army of missionaries.” “Missionary work is an identifying feature of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” “your role is critical, truly crucial to the success of this work. If you catch the wave with faith and enthusiasm, others will also.” “I promise you that if you  will respond to the invitation to share you beliefs and feelings about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, a spirit of courage will be your constant companion, for “perfect love casteth out fear.”

            I know these things are true. I know that we all have missionary opportunities every day, we just need to open our eyes. I am so grateful for this gospel in my life and for the amazing blessings it affords to me. As I said before, I know that I am happy each day because of the things this gospel teaches me and the things I know. I am so grateful for my family; my ward family and all the leaders that helped me to grow into the woman that I am today. And to my immediate family for always supporting me, and being an example to me each and every day. I am so grateful that because of this gospel I know that my family can be together for the eternities. I love my savior Jesus Christ, and I know that he died that day on the cross and atoned for me specifically, and that he did the same for each and every one of you. I know that I am about to embark in His work, and that he will be with me. I challenge us all to be more prepared as missionaries in this lifetime. In the name of my brother and savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

…. If your time permits read Elder Holland’s talk on missionary work and the atonement. It is amazing!



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Introduction to Missionary Work

[Dear Sister Thornton:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Brazil Curitiba Mission.... You will prepare preach the gospel in the Portuguese language]
                That’s how it all began in June 2013; I had finally been ‘called to serve’. It has been a long 6 months wait for my date to serve but now the month of my departure is upon me, and I couldn’t be more excited to serve. For those of you who don’t yet know my MTC date has been moved up a week! Talk about surprise! Either the Lord thinks I’ve waited long enough or He literally needs me right now. But no matter the reason, I am just excited to serve.

I am serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Though I will only have one companion at a time, I like to think of it as I am entering a field of 80,000+ missionaries serving all around the world doing the same work. Now I know a lot of the time when I tell people I am serving a mission they assume I’m going on a service mission to just do humanitarian work. But, while the service is a great part of the mission that I will be serving, that is not the main focus of my mission. The biggest struggle for me is trying to tell people what a mission truly is when they already think it’s a humanitarian service mission. So I have dedicated this first post to clarifying what exactly I will be doing for the next 18 months of my life just a little. So, what is an LDS mission?

                Mish-uh-ner-ee (noun): Someone who leaves their FAMILY for a short time, so that others may be with their families for ETERNITY.

It all begins with the call. Missionaries request to be sent on a mission and our papers are sent to church headquarters in Salt Lake City Utah and it is there that through inspiration we are all individually assigned to the place where the Lord feels we need to be. We then receive our calls, report date, and information specifically about our mission and what we need to be prepared to serve there. We then prepare and wait (anxiously) for that day to arrive when we say goodbye to our families and become missionaries for either 2 years (boys) or 18 months (girls). And then the journey begins!

             Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to come to the knowledge of the restored gospel (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and receive it through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement. Our goal as Latter-day Saints is to bring the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the ends of the earth so that all may be able to have the answers to the questions; Where do we come from? Why are we here? and Where do we go from here? Full time missionary work is just a small portion of how we do that work. We as missionaries ideally work with the members of the congregation to find people who are interested in learning more about the gospel. Other times we meet people on the street in our travels, or knocking door to door. As a missionary our week consists of one personal/preparation day in which we are to do the things necessary to carry on throughout the week, such as laundry, grocery shopping and emailing and writing family and friends and our daily routine. Our routine goes something like this:
 *6:30 a.m. Wake up, pray, and exercise
 *7 a.m. Prepare for the day and breakfast
 *8 a.m. Personal study of The Book of Mormon, other scriptures (the Bible) and Preach My Gospel
 *9 a.m. Companion study
 *10 a.m. Language study for 30 or 60 min, then begin proselyting (an hour for lunch and dinner) –  this is the time where service is performed as well for those who need it or request out help –
 *9 p.m. Return home, prepare for bed
 *10:30 p.m. Pray, Retire to bed
                Missionaries should remain completely focused on the task at hand, which is why; we are only given one day to write or email home to family and friends, we are asked to only listen to uplifting and spiritual music and we refrain from doing worldly things such as using Facebook. We dress modestly and wear our name tags because as missionaries not only do we represent out church as a whole but we stand as representatives of Jesus Christ. 

                So that, in a nutshell, is my definition of what an LDS mission is. With this blog I plan to post (or have my Mother post) weekly updates about my life, progress, and experiences as a missionary. So stay tuned! I can’t wait to share my experiences with you as I set foot on new ground, begin to teach in a language I have only heard of before, and serve others.

My Missionary Commission

 by Elder Bruce R. McConkie

I am called of God.
My authority is above that of kings of the earth.
By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him--to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me.
My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my doctrine is His doctrine.
My Commission is to do what He wants done; to say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous Latter-day work.
How great is my calling!

             So many times in my life people have asked me why I am always happy or what makes me so happy and I haven’t always had the courage to tell them. But I can honestly say with all my heart that it is because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I wake up and endure each day with a smile on my face. It is the eternal perspective that this church gives me that allows me to make it over each stepping stone or roadblock in my life. I know that this gospel is the source of my joy and that my life is blessed each day because of it. And it is because of this knowledge that I have that I feel the desire to share this gospel with others so that they may also have experience true joy and feel of their Savior’s love for them personally each and every day.

Doctrine and Covenants 4:3 - “Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;”

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