|Elder C loves serving in Miri!|
|Sister Hawea finished her mission recently and went back home to New Zealand. |
Elder C describes her as a really, really great missionary and will miss working with her.
|A mission is all about the people!!|
(A friend of Elder C's who is preparing to leave on a mission asked if he would answer a few questions for her. This may be my favorite mission email yet :)
Why did you choose to go on a mission?
A mission has always been part of my plan - but the key thing that motivated and still motivates me is that I have been given so very, very much. I know God has been so merciful to me, blessing me with a loving family and the Gospel, and has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow. I think this desire to offer myself to bless others for just two years is why I chose to go and stay on a mission.
How has your mission changed you?
The biggest thing I have learned on my mission is what real humility is. Usually we think of humility as the opposite of thinking we're better than other people - but I have also learned that a major bit of humility is giving the glory to the Lord. He's the one who touches people's hearts through our words and efforts, and He's the one who lifts our weakness and turns it into strength. Being humble and realizing you never ought to compare yourself to others, but you need to give the credit to the Lord and be willing to accept what He sees fit to give and inflict upon you. That's been a huge change for me.
What is serving a mission all about?
It's all about the people! The people the people the people and love for them. The second you worry about yourself and what people think of you, or desire to achieve mission leadership, or you try to get baptisms to lift yourself up or to make yourself important, that's the second the Lord withdraws His power and help. Instead, focus on loving these people and bringing them to Christ through the Gospel. The Gospel will bring any person greater peace and happiness - that's a guarantee! So that's what it's all about. Loving the people and praying mightily and fervently for the charity needed to love the people better and also the power to bring this amazing message to their hearts!!
How does Christ play a role in your life as a missionary?
Without Him, it's all useless! He's the one who makes everything possible. I learned last week just how crucial it was to have His grace to work with and work through us! That was something that I didn't fully understand - but we really can't do it without His help! It's funny - we try to do this work to demonstrate our love for Christ / to pay Him back in some way, but without His blessings, we can't do it - so basically we're just useless hahaha.
If you could tell all the people preparing for missions one thing what would it be?
Get in the habit of daily personal scripture study!! Every day. That's the biggest thing that most missionaries have to learn!! Just get in the habit and then there's no difference. Also, don't go too hard in the MTC. It's a ridiculous place and doesn't have that much of a connection with the field. Don't go too hard in there.
What would you tell someone who doesn't want to serve a mission?
You'll never regret serving. All the things you learn out here are amazing. Daily personal study, depending on the Lord, learning to pray, learning to be patient, the benefits of actually having a legitimate sleep schedule, working in behalf of someone else - not to mention becoming buds with some of the sickest people in the most random places and seeing the world / different parts of the country - it's awesome. You'll never hurt as much as you do while working as a missionary, but you'll never have as much joy either in the service of the Lord.
What's your favorite part about being a missionary?
Missionary work is the best because of all the people you get to meet and all the lives you can hopefully touch. You're probably not going to be a game-changing missionary for your whole mission, but you can be a great missionary for those people you teach! You can make a contribution, and little by little, you can help the church progress. You can be satisfied with the work you do as you love and give it your all. There's nothing like going home after a long, exhausting day and feeling dead but knowing that you did all you could. This work is the best. You also do ridiculous things that you're not expected to do at any other time in your life - eg riding your bike through torrential downpours! hahaha
What's the hardest part of being a missionary?
Dealing with a lack of success. That's something that can cut to the core. That's something that really has been difficult for me to deal with - what if i'm not helping enough people, time's always pressing on, I'll have wasted my mission, etc. But the thing that helped me work through that is making sure that I'm keeping the right standards of success for my calling as a missionary. Understanding the limits of my job description, in a way. I'm not out here to baptize - that's basing my success off of someone else's agency/ ability to choose. I'm out here to do EVERYTHING I POSSIBLY CAN to help people be baptized - which includes getting the Spirit, working with members, etc and then I can know I did what the Lord asked and have faith He will grant unto me the success that He wants me to have. Then, according to your faith, He will do just that!
What have you learned on your mission that will affect your life?
Personal scripture study and to focus on the needs of other people. I've talked already about the first one, but really putting others first and not thinking about myself all the time is a huge thing for me. By thinking of others before myself, I'm more motivated to work and be diligent and be selfless and Christlike. When it's all me me me, there's none of that. I know that will help me be a better son, brother, friend, and (one day) husband.
What did you learn while in the MTC?
Malay! And beyond that not as much as I wish - mostly about Preach My Gospel ch. 1 My Purpose. If I could go back, I would change how intense I went there. The white handbook is great, a book of blessings - but you can't force anyone around you to follow it!! Just make your personal decision to be obedient, and then stay true to it, and love those around you whether or not they follow the rules.
Do you feel your call was inspired?
100%. I know that the Lord's hand is in my call and is still involved in each of the companions I work with. The Lord is involved in the details, and if we pray for that to be shown to us, we can see it as well.
|Getting soaked to the skin while riding bikes-- all in a day's missionary work!|
|Preparation day fun|
|Elder C loved working with these amazing sisters in his zone. What a jump shot!|