Sunday, November 3, 2013

Called To Serve

"Dear Sister Faulkner

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Washington Kennewick Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, December 4, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English Language...

You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored gospel. You will be an official representative of the Church... As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs, the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the Restoration and of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end..."

This is part of my mission call. Most of it, actually. It came on Saturday, October 5, 2013. It was signed by the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. It was assigned to me by one of the Apostles. A huge responsibility in a big, white envelope.

Am I nervous? Not intensely. As Shakespeare might say "No more than reason" (Much Ado About Nothing.) I know that it will be difficult, but I also know that the Lord does not give commandments to His children without preparing a way for them to accomplish them (1 Nephi 3:7).

I am nervous about leaving my family and friends behind. Not that my presence here in Arizona or in Provo where I live most of the time really ensured anyone's safety or good behavior before; it never did. I just feel a little bit helpless so detached from struggling friends and family members.

I've been planning on serving a mission since I learned what missions were. It was always part of my plan. Luckily, I've got a really supportive family that told me I could do anything and taught me to go to the scriptures for answers (My mother played a large role in that). I've also never been shy, as my family can attest. Talking to strangers has always been one of my favorite pastimes (I get that from my Dad), to the chagrin of my mother who tried hard to teach me that it wasn't always safe to do so.

So here I am, finally old enough to serve-

"But wait, Caroline, The mission age changed a year ago. Sisters are going at 19 now. You're 21!"

Very astute observation, my friend. I was at school when the age change happened. I had to wait to get out of a contract with the apartment complex in which I was living. Moving on.

So here I am, finally old enough to serve with only one month to go before I can leave. My sister says "Caroline, I'll run a blog for you and post your letters while you're gone." I'm thinking...

Most brilliant idea I've ever heard. Remember what I said about having a supportive family? Also- this is my first meme.

Preparing to serve a mission is exhilarating. I'm learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ, studying more than I did before, and making new covenants in the temple, which I've been eager to do for a while. All of the learning is an incredible opportunity. I've been teaching my mom for practice, and she might be my most difficult investigator. She gives me a run for my money.

This is my temple, the Mesa temple. The Gilbert, Arizona Temple will open while I am gone.

And then every once in a while, I remember that I am supposed to be working on the 18 minute talk that I am giving in church on Sunday the 24th, or the ten minute talk I am giving to another ward on the 17th.  The Stake President, President Thomas really wants me to learn to talk to people before I leave- which is no big deal. It's writing the talks and working 40 hours a week on top of the extra studying that worries me.

Doctrine and Covenants section 4 offers some great advice:

"1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.

2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;

4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;"

I'll let you know how that goes.

No comments:

Post a Comment