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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  1. Seriously?!?!?! Could you be any more awesome? You are going to be an amazing missionary and I cannot wait to share your experiences with my family each week (you will be sowing seeds for these future missionaries) :) Love you much! The Davie's

  2. Brought tears to my eyes! Love you, sweet girl! Tear it up in Brazil! I am so looking forward to reading about your experiences! Best of luck to you!
    Cheryl Babcock (aka Lacee's mom)