|When he came out in his baptismal clothing he was like, "I work for NASA. I'm going to the moon really quick. I'll be right back. Just call me Neil Armstrong!" I was laughing so hard. He's the funniest grandpa ever.|
I hope you all had the opportunity to watch or listen to General Conference this past weekend. General Conference is honestly amazing! What a blessing it is in our lives to be able to listen to the words of our living prophets and apostles. Conference weekends are the best weekends. I definitely give them a 5 star rating.
I especially loved Elder Bednar's talk from the afternoon session. He addressed his talk specifically to those people who aren't members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (in other words, Mormon Muggles). He said, "I know a lot of you must have this question in your minds: 'Why are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so eager to tell me about what they believe? And why do they always invite me to learn more about their church?' " His question made me laugh as I thought about us 88,000 full-time missionaries serving around the world. I'm sure this is a question that more than one person has had as they meet and interact with us Mormon missionaries.
Mormon missionaries: all day, every day, we knock on doors, talk with people on the streets, and invite people to learn more about our church. But why? Surely we, a bunch of 18-25 year olds, have better things we could be doing with these 18 months or 2 years. We could be in college, we could be working, we could be living a normal, young adult's life. But we're not. We're working hard from seven days a week. We live in other countries, eat weird food, speak different languages. We get laughed at and mocked at, get rained upon and sunned upon. Sometimes we get robbed or get kidney stones or have some weird fungus growing in our ear. But it doesn't matter. Because we laugh, and we cry. We learn, and we grow. And we serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. And even though it's hard, we keep marching on, day after day, week after week, month after month. And some of you might say, "But why?" And it's a good question. If serving a mission is such a sacrifice, we do we do it?
Elder Bednar's question to the Mormon Muggles made me ask myself that very same thing. Why am I a missionary? Why am I here? Why do I do what I do?
I do what I do because I have a testimony of this church. I have an unexplicable knowledge deep within my heart that this is the truth. I don't doubt. I don't even have the capacity to doubt. Because I know that this is true. I know that it's true because this gospel has made me who I am today. It's changed me. It's made me a far better person than I could ever be without it. I so wish that each of you could see the change in me. Maybe it's not huge or drastic, but it's real. I know it's real. Because I've seen it in myself. Okay, let's get one thing clear, I'm not just referring to the terrible and visible physical changes (aka the grey hairs and the weight gain) that have happened these past 11 months, if not the changes of my very being BECAUSE IT'S THE INSIDE THAT COUNTS OKAY.
So anyway. I'm not the same judgmental, self-critical, negative, perfectionist that I was before. I'm happy. And I love everyone. And I'm not perfect. But I'm okay with that. And each day I'm working to become the person that God wants me to become.
I know that The Book of Mormon is true. It's the word of God. We will grow closer to God by reading and abiding to the principles in The Book of Mormon than by any other book on Earth. I invite each and every one of you to read The Book of Mormon and see if your life will not change. And I promise you that it will.
I'm a missionary because I love my Savior and my Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. I'm a missionary because I know that He lives and I know that He loves me. Sometimes I can't belive it, but He loves me. Isn't it amazing that the most perfect being, the being who died for each one of us, loves me personally? Despite my imperfections, despite my sins, despite my shortcomings, despite what the world says about me, He loves me. And He loves you as well. And if you don't believe me, get down on your knees and ask. Pray, ask, and see if your life will not change. And I promise you that it will.
I'm a missionary because God has given me everything that I have. And even though I'll never be able to fully pay Him back, I can at least try.