Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Bit from my Farewell - Why I want to serve a mission.

Speaking in church for my 'farewell' really gave me chance to put why I chose to go on a mission in writing. So here's a little bit of it. Just wanted to share that with you all, before I go...

Just a few weeks ago I went through the temple for the first time and I was fortunate enough to be in a session with many of the people from both my family and our ward family, who have helped me throughout my life. Just being there was amazing. But being there with these brothers and sisters whom I love and admire inspired me. It was these people that - when I struggled - showed their faith in me, taught me, and exercised overwhelming patience and brotherly kindness. This was done showing the same Christ-like love that I now understand He has for me. You see, I’ve experienced struggles along the way. But through these people and others who were great examples, with their humility, patience, and above all, diligence, I was able to begin to find my own way. As I began to truly understand the atonement, I was able to embrace its blessings and begin to live up to my potential.

That memory - of my friends and loved ones in the temple; of seeing them all together - brings me such great joy! This was truly the first time I was able to grasp the feeling of how truly marvelous the plan of salvation is. The joy I'd felt from these real-life examples of Heavenly Father’s plan, and of how the atonement enables our exaltation, all came together and I finally understood how we can be together forever as one celestial family. I can only imagine the overwhelming joy we’ll feel in our hearts, as we enter into Heaven and see the smiling faces of those who have loved and believed in us along the way!

But, even as happy as this thought makes me, nothing saddens me more than the thought of an empty chair beside me where my friend, brother, or even a stranger could have been sitting, had I just done my part. The joy of having the gift of the gospel makes me want to help to make sure every single one of our brothers and sisters makes it back to the celestial kingdom, and that's what I've chosen to do.

Please pray for those in the Alaska, Anchorage Mission (the whole state and the Yukon Territory); the Elders and Sisters, President and Sister Dance, and the people, so that we can help those who are searching to find the truth.



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