Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Hope They Call Me on a Mission!

The time has come! In the next few weeks I will be receiving my mission call. My papers have finally been sent off! I can't even explain how thrilling this is for me! I love the gospel and I am so excited to share what I know with the world. Do you realize how cool this is?! People keep asking me two questions: 1) Why do I want to serve a mission? and 2) Where would I like to go?
As far as where I would like to go, I will honestly be happy going anywhere! I'm not picky. Bizarre food doesn't scare me. I'll eat anything, even if it's not my favorite. Just ask anyone who knows me well. I think the only food concern I have is how much food I'll have to eat. Haha! I just don't want to explode... ;-) Another reason I'll be happy anywhere is I love all kinds of people. Apparently I tend to attract "weirdos" anyway and ya know, I'm okay with that. Everybody has some weird in them, right? I would really love to learn another language though. We'll see. I will admit that it's on my bucket list to visit every continent (yes, even Antarctica) so going somewhere besides North America would be pretty sweet. Yeah, now I'll be called to Boise, Idaho. Haha! I'm just saying what we're all thinking. Boise is fine with me! :-)
Now for why I want to serve a mission. Someone said it must be because I'm not married yet. It took a lot for me to not laugh in their face. Is there anyone that actually does that?! Anyway, why do I want to serve a mission?? Why not?! Really. Why not? My knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a knowledge that no person on this earth should be kept from. The message that missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have is a message everyone needs to know! It's not a message everyone should know, it is a message everyone needs to know. Heavenly Father's plan of happiness is exactly that. A plan of happiness! Who doesn't want to be happy?

I have loved preparing for this experience. I've learned so much and have become more passionate about the gospel everyday. If my "why not?" answer is not good enough for you then let me give another explanation for  why I want to serve. I want to serve a mission because I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. I know that it was restored by Joseph Smith who is a true prophet of God. I'm so grateful he was curious and I am so grateful he had the courage to ask, act, and endure. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today. President Monson communicates with God and guides us to do what is right. Why would God send a prophet to those in days of old and not give us a prophet for our day? He loves us just as much as He loved them. I know The Book of Mormon is true. I love this book! Seriously. If anyone has read it and they don't love it, I can't help but wonder if they've really read it. I look forward to my personal study of this book everyday. I love the people I read about. Want to know a little secret? A few weeks ago when I read about Gideon being killed by Nehor, I cried! Yes, cried. If you don't know Gideon, get to know him. I want to be like him. These people are so relatable! At least I think so. I think that's why I love them so much. I love that I can feel their testimonies of Christ. They knew Him. I know Him. I love Jesus Christ! I know He lives. I'm looking forward to His second coming. It's getting close. I can feel it. Nephi, Alma, Ammon, Moroni, etc. all of them knew Christ would be coming soon. If it was soon for them, think how soon it is for us! Exciting!! I know that life is eternal. I'm so glad we have temples to remind me of this. They are the link in the chain between this world and the spirit world. So awesome! I know that there is power in prayer. We can pray to our Heavenly Father and He hears us. I can't think of a prayer I've offered that hasn't been answered because I believe He never leaves a prayer unanswered. Finally, one of the most beautiful, very best things I know is that I am a child of God. Isn't this wonderful?! I know He knows me and loves me unconditionally. This has been a tremendous blessing for me throughout my life. Everyday I have felt of my Heavenly Father's love. I hope you have too. If you haven't noticed His love for you, stop looking so hard. I want to give others the opportunity to know these things. I have a testimony of these things because the Holy Ghost has testified of them to me. I have felt it in my heart and I cannot and will not deny it.

I'm looking forward to helping others come to know what I know. I feel like Enos (who is my favorite, just f.y.i.) in Enos 1:26 "...having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ. And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above that of the world."
I came upon the following story a while ago and I have to say I love it! All I can say is I want to be like the missionary in this story. Enjoy! (I know this is already a long post so the story doesn't seem appealing, but it's worth the read so go for it!)
P.S. For a great song that tells exactly what I believe click here. :) I love it!

Marks Of A Man

As I jumped on board my flight from Miami to Salt Lake City, I paused for a moment to catch my breath. Seated near the front of the plane was an excited young man, probably 19, sitting with his parents. His hair was short and his clothes new and sharp. His suit was fitted perfectly and his black shoes still retained that store bought shine. His body was in good shape, his face clear, and his hands clean. In his eyes I could see a nervous look, and his movements were that of an actor on opening night.
He was obviously flying to Utah to become a missionary for the Mormon Church. I smiled as I walked by and took pride in belonging to this same Church where these young men and women voluntarily serve the Savior for two years. With this special feeling, I continued to the back where my seat was located.
As I sat in my seat, I looked to the right and to my surprise, saw another missionary sleeping in the window seat. His hair was also short, but that was the only similarity between the two. This one was obviously returning home, and I could tell at a glance what type of missionary he had been.
The fact that he was already asleep told me a lot. His entire body seemed to let out a big sigh. It looked as if this was the first time in two years he had even slept, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was. As I looked at his face, I could see the heavy bags under his eyes, the chapped lips, and the scarred and sunburned face caused by the fierce Florida sun.
His suit was tattered and worn. A few of the seams were coming apart, and I noticed that there were a couple of tears that had been hand-sewn with a very sloppy stitch.
I saw the nametag, crooked, scratched and bearing the name of the Church he represented, the engraving of which was almost all worn away. I saw the knee of his pants, worn and white, the result of many hours of humble prayer.
A tear came to my eye as I saw the things that really told me what kind of missionary he had been. I saw the marks that made this boy, a man. His feet - the two that had carried him from house to house, now lay there swollen and tired. They were covered by a pair of worn-out shoes. Many of the large scrapes and gouges had been filled in by the countless number of polishings.
His books - laying across his lap were his scriptures, the word of God. Once new, these books which testify of Jesus Christ and His mission, were now torn, bent, and ragged from use.
His hands - those big, strong hands, which had been used to bless and teach, were now scarred and cut from knocking at doors.
Those were indeed the marks of that man. And as I looked at him, I saw the marks of another man, the Savior, as he was hanging on the cross for the sins of the world.
His feet - those that had once carried him throughout the land during his ministry, were now nailed to the cross.
His side - now pierced with a spear. Sealing his gospel, his testimony with his life.
His hands - the hands that had been used to ordain his servants and bless the sick were also scarred with the nails that were pounded to hang him on the cross.
Those were the marks of that great man.
As my mind returned to the missionary, my whole body seemed to swell with pride and joy, because I knew, by looking at him, that he had served his Master well.
My joy was so great, I felt like running to the front of the plane, grabbing that new, young missionary, and bringing him back to see what he can become, what he can do.
But would he see the things that I saw, could anyone see the things I saw? Or would he just see the outward appearance of that mighty elder, tired and worn out, almost dead.
As we landed, I reached over and tapped him to wake him up. As he awoke, it seemed like new life was entering his body. His whole frame just seemed to fill as he stood up, tall and proud. As he turned his face towards mine, I saw a light about his face that I had never seen before. I looked into his eyes. Those eyes, I will never forget those eyes. They were the eyes of a prophet, a leader, a follower, and a servant. They were the eyes of the Savior. No words were spoken. No words were needed.
As we unloaded, I stepped aside to let him go first. I watched as he walked, slow but steady, tired but strong. I followed him and found myself walking the way that he did. When I came through the doors, I saw this young man in the arms of his parents, and I couldn't hold it any longer.
With tears streaming down my face, I watched these loving parents greet their son who had been away for a short time. And I wondered if our parents in Heaven would greet us the same way. Will they wrap their arms around us and welcome us home from our journey on earth? I believe they will. I just hope that I can be worthy enough to receive such praise, as I'm sure this missionary will.
I said a silent prayer, thanking the Lord for missionaries like this young man. I don't think I will ever forget the joy and happiness he brought me that day.
David Bryan Wiser