~~Preparing to serve the Lord~~
Dear Ellie’s seminary class,
So you wanna go on a mission.
Everyones like “go iron a shirt” or “wash your clothes” or “go to bed at 1030 and wake up at 630”.
Although as important as these things may be, and how beneficiary they can be for you, to be honest they aren’t the most important things you can do pre-mission. They would be great for you for physical reasons, physical adjustment; but the mission at least over here for me is mostly a mental thing.
Your mission has a way of pinpointing your weaknesses and infirmities more than a mulungu (white person) like me sticks out in a township in South Africa. Meaning that it throws all the things you’re bad at or need help on in your face, making you sometimes feel like an idiot, or useless or unqualified. It drives you to your knees, through tears praying to God to know what to do, if He loves you, asking for divine help from above. It makes you wonder if you’re really supposed to be out there. If you’re adequate or worthy enough to be out there. It makes you wonder if Heavenly Father is really aware of your struggles. “Why is he allowing me to struggle so much!!?” I tend to think stuff like this all the time.
But I guess the answer of why we struggle comes from a song by our favourite lil mama Pink.
“what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
Whaaat worst song in the world but it has some real substance to it.
God allows us to struggle out here on missions cuz he’s trying to shape, or mold us into someone who is more fit for His kingdom, therefore allowing us to touch others to make them fit for His kingdom. There are some lessons we learn in life only through adversity, or super hard challenging stuff. Growth is painful, but certainly necessary for our end goal: The Celestial Kingdom, and eternal life with God. The greatest of all His gifts. Salvation isn’t easy, it’s not a cheap experience according to Elder Holland, but I’d bet you my skis and even my jeep that it’s sure worth it, even though it means going through allota rubbish.
In a nutshell, at least from my point of view, the overriding experience divised by our Father in Heaven for the missionary in the mission is to learn who God and Jesus Christ are, and to develop a relationship with them, through serving others, and through adversity. John 17:3: And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
God allows us to get to know Him and His Son, through adversity and serving others, to qualify us for Eternal Life. I’m sure Eternal Life is off the chain, straight sunny pow day in January.
So what do you do Pre-mission?
You develop a personal love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. The same guy who died for you because God loves you. You pray alot. You don’t just read scriptures one verse a night like I did to justify myself saying “i read every day” lol you guys are probably alot better off already than me.
If you don’t know what to read, just study the Atonement. Particuallarly out of the Book of Mormon, the book of mormon seriously is legit. But yeah to the atonement: Everything else is an appendage. Study the Atonement, and begin to understand how big and necessary and personally important it is for you in your life. Every other principle, doctorine, attribute etc branches off from it. Develop a humility, love and gratitude for Jesus Christ. We all don’t even stand a chance at all without Him.
That’s all you need. You just need to love our Savior. That’s the secret to a mission. You keep going every day because the Savior kept going all night through Gethscenemy. If you love the Savior, you’ll be chap(fine). Go on a mission because you want to serve your Master.
Anyways, I wish you guys all the best. Think of how cool it is that you’re in the only true church on the face of the earth. Also think of how many lost brothers and sisters you have out there in the world waiting for you. Whether it be in Africa, Idaho, Europe, Austrailia, or heck maybe even China for you guys.
On mission it’s sometimes hard, but you start to just catch glimpses. Glimpses of a plan so grand, so pure, so beautiful. Glimpses of God throughout the land. Glimpses of His love. Glimpses of his arms of safety outstretched touching all his children, no matter the color of skin, all throughout the far corners of the earth. You start to tap into some kind of realm that you’ve never before seen. Something more real, more beautiful, something unexplainable that comes with the changing of one’s heart to point towards Christ, whether it’s the heart of an investigator, or your own personal heart. This is the work of Salvation. This is the only real work on this Earth, that has real inevitable Eternal, lasting blessings attatched. Basically it’s the most important and most beautiful and most fulfilling, and you can be a part of it. Essentially it’s the most important work for you and for others that you will ever do, in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father.
The best part is it’s okay if you’re imperfect, it’s okay if you don’t have a testimony. That was me 4 months ago, and still me in a sense today, although my testimony has grown since then.
Sorry to get a lil spiritual on ya, this whole spiritual aspect to life is a new thing to me if I’m honest. But in the end you have to keep in mind that a mission is meant to be fun. Seriously some of the funnest, happiest times have been experienced while seriving over here in mZanzi. But I just want to end with a quote that sits in my shirt pocket every day out here:
“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved”
-Thomas S. Monson
Love you guys, you’re His elect, and the world needs you. Don’t let your personal issues effect you from serving. Fix them if you have to, but make sure you get out here on a mission.
Saligahle (the hl makes a clicking noise)
Elder Tanner Clegg
Also just the nature of Africa, or wherever you go, there’s alot of wicked, it’s like Babylon outside of Utah. You gotta have courage like the Army of Heleman, so remember these scriptures as well-