Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mission Pictures

I am so fortunate to have a family of photographers. 
I wanted to get pictures before my mission so I could look back and remember what it was like, how I felt and what I looked like! This is such a fun time in my life and I want to be able to remember them. 

I had my farewell today.
I can hardly believe it is already over with, it really puts things in perspective for how close I am to really leaving.
Time is flying and I don't know how I feel about it. 
But I especially feel blessed today from all of the love and support I received from everyone around me.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gladly Sacrificing

Last year, about this time, I did a post on my personal blog called Credit for a Sacrifice.
It was all about the sacrifice that, at the time, tons of my guys friends around me had made and the few girls who also had chosen to serve full-time missions.

I looked back on this and was amazed by 2 things.
1. How long the list really is! Seriously! Did I really know that many people serving missions a year ago?
2. The girls are steppin' it up now. That is for sure.

The list was long and I was impressed with that.
But now, thinking about how many more of my friends have accepted the call to serve in the last year is crazy. 
That "long list" from last year would be nothing compared to what it is now. 
And what a blessing that is.

Thinking about my call to serve, my call to sacrifice, and reading that post from last year, really just gets me thinking.
I was amazed that those teenagers could give up so many worldly things to serve.
That they put school on pause while they head out.

There is no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogger.
Not to mention no cell phone, computer, TV, movies.
Then of course, no friends, family, pets, significant others.

A year ago, this thought was astounding to me.
I love my social media, my movies, my friends!
It was amazing to me that these people gave it all up.

Now that I have my call and have been placed in these missionaries shoes, I have a new understanding of this sacrifice.
We many not have those worldly things, but you know what we do have?

There is Preach My Gospel, Book of Mormon, Prayer, Faith.
Not to mention, a badge, journals, a testimony, letters.
Then of course, companions, investigators, strangers in a new place, and the Lord.

I now understand why these people sacrifice what they do. 
Because the things you receive from your mission are far greater than anything else here can give you.

Facebook never made me feel the spirit so strongly like Preach my Gospel does.
My cell phone has never allowed me the constant companionship of my Savior Jesus Christ.
My friends have never gone door to door with my like my companions will.

The sacrifice of these things are small in comparison.

Small compared to the sacrifice Joseph Smith made to bring the gospel back to the Earth so that I would even have the chance to serve.

And definitely small compared to the sacrifice my Savior Jesus Christ has made 
He literally gave up his life so that I, and all of you, could return to live with our Heavenly Father again. 
I am often astounded at the thought of what Christ went through for me, and you. 
It often makes me realize how much I take for granted.

It especially makes me realize how being called to serve a full-time mission is a sacrifice, but it is nothing compared to what Christ has done for us.
I can wait to see some of my friends for 3 years.
I can handle not being able to update my instagram.
I can wait to see all the new movies and take naps all the time.

It's just not what is important.
I wish I could stress that enough.

What is important is bringing people to Christ.
Allowing them to hear the words their loving Heavenly Father wants them to hear.
Being a servant in His hands while I give up 18 months of my life to serve.

I can't wait to get out there to Washington.
I can't wait to meet those people and share with them what I know to be true.
I can't wait to show my Savior that what he did was for a good cause.
That I would not be where I am without Him and for that, I will gladly sacrifice my time and efforts for a short year and a half.

Here's to the next 40 days until I am a full-time missionary for The Church of  Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.