Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Day In The Life Of A Sister Missionary

If I had a nickel for how many times I've been asked what I do all day on my mission I would have... a lot of nickels. I've spent the last 16 months of my life as a missionary and sometimes I forget that regular life is a little different than missionary life! Today I'll take you through a normal day in the life of a sister missionary serving in Mesa, Arizona, plus a little bit about our purpose as missionaries and why we do what we do.

Arising at 6:30 AM this is the first thing I put on in the morning! For 18 months I have the immense privilege of wearing Christ's name over my heart. Wearing my name tag gives me a sense of purpose and responsibility to tell people about Christ and how He has helped me and so many millions of other people on the Earth.

On to the morning routine!

We missionaries have to take care of ourselves!

If we're expected to teach people about Christ and the gospel, we better know what we're talking about! Luckily we have two hours every single day to study, both personally and as a companionship, the Book of Mormon, the Bible, Preach My Gospel (the missionary guidebook), and lots of other resources to build both our knowledge and our testimonies of the restored gospel.

"Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men."

Here in Mesa we have the wonderful opportunity to share the gospel online! We use Facebook, Skype, and blogs (like this one!) to spread the good word of the gospel.

Lunch time!
Eating is probably my favorite hobby besides sharing the gospel.

Then off we go!! My companion and I are in charge of two wards (congregations) and our job is to share what we know to be true with everyone! We have lessons with people that we are already teaching, we talk to people on the street, we do service for people, we visit those who are already members of our wards, we do all sorts of things!

This brings me to our purpose as missionaries. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

We aren't here to prove anything, we don't want to force anything on anyone, we are simply out here on our missions because we have found happiness through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the last General Conference Elder David A Bednar gave a wonderful talk about why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has such a large missionary force. He said... 

"When we invite you to attend church with us or to learn with the full-time missionaries, we are not trying to sell you a product. As members of the Church, we do not receive prizes or bonus points in a heavenly contest. We are not seeking simply to increase the numerical size of the Church. And most importantly, we are not attempting to coerce you to believe as we do. We are inviting you to hear the restored truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ so you can study, ponder, pray, and come to know for yourself if the things we are sharing with you are true."

(You can read his full address here: Come and See)

Our Heavenly Father has given us the beautiful gift of agency, the ability to choose whether we will be obedient to the commandments He has given us. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ we want everyone to have the opportunity to study out this gospel and discover that it's true for themselves.

I have met so many people on my mission that were searching for the truth. They looked and looked and searched but never found the absolute and complete truth. But when we introduced them to the Book of Mormon they start finding answers! We never ask anyone to take our word for anything, we simply invite them to read the Book of Mormon, learn about the gospel, and pray about the things they learn.

So why am I choosing to give a year and half of my life to be a missionary? Why am I making so many sacrifices to hopefully help at least one person come closer to Christ? Because this gospel saves my life every single day. I can't not share the thing that has single handedly brought me the most happiness in my life with the world. I wouldn't be showing gratitude to my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, if I didn't give everyone I meet an opportunity to feel that same happiness.

Whether the people I meet accept my invitation or not, it doesn't make or break my testimony. I know that I am doing right because of the happiness I feel every single time I read the Book of Mormon or pray to my Heavenly Father.

I simply love God, Jesus Christ, and the gifts they have given me. Nothing more than that.

The most gratifying part of being a missionary.... seeing others come unto Christ!

So there you have it. A day in the life of a sister missionary and what goes through her head almost every single day. Hopefully you can understand a little bit more about why we do what we do

Finally, at the end of the day, we go home to our apartment, plan for the next day, pray, and hit the sack by 10:30, ready to get up the next day and do it all over again.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Just a forewarning, I cry every single time I watch this Mormon Message. So.... enjoy!!

Obviously today I want to talk about service. Both planned and unplanned acts of service soften hearts, open doors, save lives, and generally make the world go around.

That video is a beautiful example of Christ-like service. A young boy saw a way he could make someone happy and he followed through with that. Service is simply that, seeing something we can do to help someone and bring a smile to their face, and doing that thing. This world is full of imperfect people, imperfection means we can't always do absolutely everything for ourselves. We are designed as human beings to benefit from each other. Our human tendencies lead us towards helping others and making others happy.

This world that is so quickly spiraling downward from common decency is trying it's hardest to deny that we, as humans, need each other. But at some point in our lives, we all have to accept that sometimes we just need help.

It can be so scary relying on other people! I know for me personally I get very nervous when I have to trust someone else with something that's important to me. But I know that when those helping me and serving me are doing it out of love and respect I can trust them. When I try to serve others I hope they can trust me with things that are important to them.

So that's my rant on why we all need each other! Basically, we should be following the example of Christ in every aspect of our lives, and one of those aspects is service! Let's look at an example straight from the life of Jesus Christ. This comes from John 13 verse 4-5 in the New Testament.

"He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded."

Now let's think about this for a second. Christ is with His twelve best friends, His apostles, and He knows he's nearing the end of His life. His choice of activity was to wash their feet. Remember, they lived in the dusty desert and they always wore sandals. I can only imagine how dirty their feet must get all the time. And yet, Christ wanted to serve them and do something special for them, so He washed their feet.

I can only imagine if the entire world followed this example. If everyone saw a need and just filled that need without a second thought this world would be a very different place. There was no act of service that Christ was too good for, so there is definitely no act of service that I'm too good for. When there is a child of God in need, there's no way I can deny them any service that I can offer.

Since washing our friend's feet isn't a form of service we often encounter in our day, how can we follow this example? Service can be done is so many different ways. It can be done in big ways through community or neighborhood service projects, it can be done within our own families by helping make our family members' lives easier in some way, we can even do service by smiling at others as we pass by and using common courtesy. We never know how much good we do when we think about others throughout our days.

Service can be fun!

On my mission I've had the opportunity to think about others more than I ever have my entire life (maybe not the best thing I can say about myself), but I can testify that as I've devoted myself to serving others I've found more happiness than I've felt at any other time in my life.

So, my challenge to all of you today is to go out and find some way to serve someone TODAY. You don't need to plan out a complex service project, simply find someone who needs something, anything, even if it's just a hug, and fill that need. I can promise you that you will feel better for doing it.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Daughters Of God

Ok Sisters, this one's for you! Watch this Mormon Message about how women all across the world are making an impact through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It makes me feel so good to know that I'm a part of that world-wide women's organization. Relief Society! As a Mormon woman I feel empowered and strengthened by my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I love the confidence I see in this video. Nothing makes me feel better than to see women who see their potential, their strengths, and how strong their influence can be in the world. In the April 2004 General Conference, Thomas S Monson gave a talk about our personal influence. He said "As we follow that Man of Galilee—even the Lord Jesus Christ—our personal influence will be felt for good wherever we are, whatever our callings." (Read his full address here)

I know that this is true. That as we strive to exemplify Christ people will notice. Through our efforts to live the gospel we can make the world a better place. Women have such a powerful force in the world right now, take advantage of that and make a difference for the better!

In a talk about the Moral Force of Women, Elder D. Todd Christofferson said "Your intuition is to do good and to be good, and as you follow the Holy Spirit, your moral authority and influence will grow." As women, we have a certain attributes given to us from God. Those are the attributes that will help us prosper in this life and help as many others as we can.

So, while I'm all about girl power and feminism, let's remember that we were made the way we were made for a reason. I am proud to be a Mormon woman, I love being strong and feminine at the same time. I know that as I live the gospel of Jesus Christ I can have an influence in this world and in my family. A past General Young Women's President, Margaret D. Nadauld gave a wonderful quote that I will end with.

"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."