I enter the MTC today to serve in the Oakland/San Francisco California Mission. In addition to my calling to share the gospel, I have been assigned to serve in the Oakland Visitors’ Center.
Ever since I was about 12 years old I have wanted to serve a mission, but I don’t think it was until high school that I really started to prepare. High school was the time when I saw many people start to make bad decisions and start to go down the wrong path. It was then that I really realized that Satan and his followers were real and were acting as a test to see if I would stay on the Lord’s side.
The story in the Book of Mormon about holding on to the iron rod has always stuck out to me and has been one of my favorite parts of the Book of Mormon. It talks about three different groups of people:
- Those in the great and spacious building
- Those who caught hold of the rod of iron and partook of the fruit, then felt ashamed when they saw people in the great and spacious building pointing fingers and laughing, so they fell away
- Those who partook of the fruit and “heeded not” the people who pointed the finger of scorn at them from the building
I always knew that I wanted to be the person who “heeded not” to the world. And I knew that I couldn’t be making those kinds of choices if I was going to go in the direction towards serving a mission and going through the temple. So having those two things in my mind as my goal really helped me to prepare. In addition to those goals, I would like to share with you some of the most significant things I have been doing to prepare.
1. Do The Basics
First, and maybe the most important thing I have done is doing the basics. And by this I mean praying everyday, reading the scriptures, and attending my church meetings. Praying morning and night has helped me to feel closer to Heavenly Father throughout the day and recognize his hand in my life. I know that he is watching over us and helping us, especially when we reach out to him in prayer. Scripture study has helped my testimony to grow so much. A few years ago, my Stake President told our stake that we needed to be reading out of the Book of Mormon every day. Ever since he said that I have been reading it everyday and I have a firm testimony that it is true. That is something that is going to help me so much as a missionary because the Book of Mormon is really the keystone of our religion. This Stake President also told us that if we were inthe right place, at the right time, doing the right things, we would have the Spirit with us. To me this meant that I needed to always attend my church meetings, go to mutual, seminary, and institute, and be where the Spirit could be. I’ve always tried to do that, and there are so many times that I was at a fireside or a church meeting and I felt the Spirit so strong and learned something I needed to learn. By being where I was supposed to be, my testimony has been continually growing. Doing the basics helps me to have the Spirit and the Spirit is what missionaries need to have in order to be effective.
2. Listen To The Counsel From Leaders
The next way I have prepared is by listening to counsel from leaders. I heard a talk by Elaine Dalton about a year ago on preparing to serve a mission. She said the best advice she could give us sisters preparing to serve missions was to be “PROS.”
- P: Pray every single day, morning and night.
- R: Read the Book of Mormon daily for just 5 minutes.
- O: Obey the standards, your parents, the commandments, and the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. She said if a song has ONE bad part just get rid of it.
- S: Smile. She said that smiling invites the Holy Ghost and that the Holy Ghost doesn’t dwell with someone who is grumpy.
I was already doing most of these things, but there was one part that really stood out to me. It was when she said if a song has even one bad part just get rid of it. There were many times when I was in the car listening to the radio and there would be some bad lyrics in the song. If I hadn’t heard this talk I probably would have thought it’s just one word, but instead, this talk would come into my mind and I would change the station. There have been many talks and things that leaders say like this that have helped me so much and I’m grateful to all of my leaders.
I love this church with all of my heart and I am so excited to get to start teaching people about the gospel.
Saying goodbye to your best friend isn’t easy.
Rachel being dropped of at the MTC.
Post By Rachel Jorgensen, Blossom’s Spiritual Writer