Oh hi. Happy weekend.
I spent mine interviewing for jobs. Slash driving through what looked like four different seasons. I heart Idaho.
But enough about me. Let’s talk about you.
Actually, let’s talk about my friend Dain.
Dain is a talented blogger who writes about missionary prep.
She knows what she’s talking about because well, she’s fully emersed in it herself. Yep, Dain will soon become Sister Broadbent. Kind of a big deal.
Seriously. Check her out. She’s amazing.
But first, read about what she’s doing to prepare for a mission.
I never, ever, not in a million years thought that I would want to be a missionary. I’m not the kind of person who can stop strangers on the street and talk to them about anything, let alone talk to them about religion. I’m not the kind of girl who likes to wear skirts and dresses all that much. I don’t like the idea of being asked to give a talk on the fly, even less if it is in another language. I feel like I know about 2% of what a missionary needs to know in order to teach others about the gospel.
Basically, I was not born to be a missionary.
At least, that was my excuse for the first nineteen years of my life.
If you ask any missionary, past or present, they will tell you that there’s no such thing as the perfect missionary. In the same way, I think that there is no perfect way to prepare for a mission, and there is no perfect personality for mission life
You may not think that you were born to be a missionary; in fact, you were born with traits that are very much the opposite of the traits desired by a missionary. I have a secret to tell you: so was everyone else. No one is perfect. The people who seem like they are really aren’t. Just ask them. Remember, the Lord doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.
The church has created programs and other ways to help us prepare to be missionaries. You can attend a Mission Preparation class, either in your Sunday meetings or in Institute (or if you go to a BYU, as a real class), or you can take another Institute class and study different things about the gospel. You can buy a copy of Preach My Gospel and read that, or even find someone to practice teaching the discussions to. You can go on splits with the sister or elders.
These are all things that are priceless to your preparations, but they are not the only preparation you will require. As is true for everyone, hopeful missionary or not, your relationship with the Savior must be deep and personal in order for your heart to take on the shape that will be required of it during your service as a missionary and your life as a member of the church. You must learn how to love yourself, others, and most importantly, the Lord, in order to understand God’s love for us, because you must understand it to be able to teach it.
Just as our relationship with Christ should be deep and personal, so should our mission preparation. When it comes down to it, a mission isn’t a sabbatical, and it’s not a sacrifice of eighteen months or two years to prove something to yourself, your family, or anyone. A mission is a voluntary surrender of your will, of all the things that you want and hope for, in order to be an instrument of salvation in the hands of the Lord. Your number one priority when you are on a mission is not yourself, but the people that you reach out to every day: your investigators, your ward family, your companion, your mission president.
When you put on that black nametag every day, you are putting the name of Christ’s restored church next to your heart. That is what you are representing. That is why you are Sister or Elder, not Sarah or Jake; you are you, but you are also more than you; you are an ambassador of Christ, working 24/7 to serve others in his name.
Christ has promised (in Mark 8:35) that “whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it,” so, get ready. Be prepared to lose your life, all of your ambitions and dreams of the moment, for the sake of Christ and the gospel, for the sake of that sweet family who wants to know how they can be together forever, or that old woman in your apartment complex who is looking for a church that contains the truth. You have been blessed with the light of Christ in your own life; it is your great privilege to share that with others.
It doesn’t matter if you feel you are a good missionary or not, because the Lord has called you to preach his gospel and find the people that only you can reach. He will prepare you, has been preparing you long before the thought of a mission ever seriously crossed your mind. If you still think that you weren’t born to be a missionary, think again. You were born to create something of yourself and of your life that nobody else could. Why not make a missionary out of what you have been given?
I testify that by placing yourself in the Lord’s hands, giving to him everything you have ever wanted from the life he has given you in exchange for a few months of dedicated service to others, he will hand you back a life that is more wonderful than you could ever have dreamed.”
Sister Broadbent has recently submitted her mission papers and is waiting for her call. Thanks for your testimony, friend. Good luck, sister.