As of Thursday night, my papers have been submitted to Salt Lake City and are awaiting assignment as I write this.
It seems so unreal.
In a few short days, I will have a destination for the next eighteen months of my life. I will know the place that will become my home, where I will expend all of my energy and all of my love serving the people.
In all honesty, this isn't the important part. Where you go should have little effect on how you go. The people in Tampa, Florida need the gospel and the Lord's love just as much as the people in Hong Kong or Frankfurt, Germany.
When I think about it, it's hard not to judge myself by the "coolness" of my mission, wherever that ends up being. Am I less of a missionary for being called to serve in Boise, Idaho? Is there something uncool about my personality that would keep me from being a good fit in Paris or Rio de Janeiro? Am I less intelligent because I was called to preach the gospel in my native tongue?
I wish I could say it a million time over.
No. No no no no no no no.
Never think that you are less than because of where you are going, because honestly, that "cool" factor? Completely subjective. Someone living in France might think that Boise, Idaho is a lot cooler than Paris. Someone in Argentina would love to take your place in Tampa. Australia isn't all that cool to an Aussie.
|The coolest mom (mine, sitting on the table) who served |
her mission in Seattle, Washington.
But think of it this way. Where do you live right now? I'm in a tiny town in southwest Virginia. We're a part of the Charleston, West Virginia mission.
What if I wasn't a member of the church? What if I was waiting in this little town, knowing that my life was incomplete without knowing what I needed?
What if nobody served in West Virginia because it wasn't cool enough? Or what if I was the missionary that someone was waiting for, to explain the church and its teachings, as only I can, to make them understand and truly feel the Spirit? And what if I never go? What if I go grudgingly, with a bad attitude, because all I can think is "but Lord, I wanted to go to London"? What if that meant that my heart wasn't in the right place to be able to reach someone else's?
The willingness of Latter-day Saints to respond to calls to serve is a representation of their desire to do the will of the Lord. That arises from the individual witness that the gospel of Jesus Christ, restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and contained in the Book of Mormon, is true.
Our baptism is a call to lifelong service to Christ. Like those at the waters of Mormon, we are “baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that [we] have entered into a covenant with him, that [we] will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon [us.] -"Called to Serve," Boyd K. Packer
I know that there are certain places in the world that I really, really want to serve in, because I think that they're cool. I also know that, chances are, I won't be called to serve in any of those places.
|The coolest dad (mine, in the MTC) who|
served his mission in Los Angeles, California,
The Lord will fill your heart with His love for His children that you have been assigned to serve, if you let Him. And He won't punish you for that first disappointment, if you have it. He hasn't called us to an easy work. He knows that there will be challenges. Maybe your first is coming to terms with your call.
But I know, I know it I know it, that missionaries are needed all around the world. Don't be afraid to answer the call because you don't want to go where you have been assigned, or you don't think you can speak the language, or you don't know if you are a good enough missionary or not.
You are. Have faith. The Lord will make it work.
And you know what? I think that you'll find that your mission is pretty cool, after all.
It is not in the proper spirit for us to decide where we will serve or where we will not. We serve where we are called. It does not matter what the calling may be. -"Called to Serve," Boyd K. Packer