I want to be a missionary now…

I get asked all the time if and where I served an LDS mission. I never know how to answer. Usually I resopnd with “Actually, I never served a mission” but I always want to respond by saying “I’m currently serving a mission. Right now.” It doesn’t ever bother me but it does cause me to wonder–no matter how often I’m asked or how often I tell people why I didn’t serve–I still wonder how my life would be different if I went.
Sometimes I get funny responses. One guy responded “that’s okay– girls aren’t supposed to serve missions… it was only the best two years of my life.” What do I to say to that? Plus, how unfortunate for him that the best 2 years of his life have come and gone! The comments I enjoy the most are the well-intentioned but short-sighted gentlemen who vow to only marry a woman who has served a mission. I follow the logic but… if only they knew what they were missing.
I wonder this about many things I have yet to experience. Am I missing out? Usually I think – How can I do the most possible? And then get sad when I obviously can’t do everything. This often backfires in many ways but I still can’t shake the desire.
Some thoughts on the subject my brother shared with me have helped:
President Brigham Young said, “There is neither man or woman in this Church who is not on a mission. That mission will last as long as they live, and it is to do good, to promote righteousness, to teach the principles of truth, and to prevail upon themselves and everybody around them to live those principles that they may obtain eternal life.”

Neal A. Maxwell said, “One’s task is to do more and to perform well within his callings, but it is not something else or another work he should seek. God will not judge us according to the calling of another. Therefore, how we utilize the seemingly ordinary experiences of our life and how well we keep the commandments are true tests of our performance in this second estate. One can, while in the employ of a railroad company, learn something of patience while struggling to keep the train schedule meticulously up to date. But the patience will long outlast the printed train schedule… But it is also true…that a civil servant who has forgotten how to be civil may have some sway now in the procurement division of a vast governmental direction, but he is headed in just the opposite developmental direction needed for sway in the next world.

“On the other hand, one who listens more and more effectively to others with a genuine desire to understand and to help, if not always to agree, will have no regrets later on. Such an individual may occasionally run out of time here, but he is fitting himself for eternity. Love and patience are never wasted; they only appear to be. The devoted wife and mother who is a quiet but effective neighbor but whose obituary is noticed by a comparative few may well have laid up precious little here in the current coin-of-the-realm, recognition, yet rising with her in the resurrection will be relevant attributes and skills honed and refined in family and neighborhood life. Contrariwise, the civic leader whose thirst for recognition causes him to do things to be seen of men has his reward. He too will receive the gift of immortality during which expanse he can work on meekness and humility.”

This also can stem into a conversation about the pressures for men and women to build a career and a reputation rather than fine-tune divine attributes and qualities. Possible to do both? Yes, but only with a concerted effort.
Kind of random. But also connected in some way. I’d love your thoughts.
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4 thoughts on “I want to be a missionary now…

  1. Linds, I will never stop appreciating the way your mind works. And…oh, you. :) Isn't it funny how our natural tendency seems to be that we look at others lives and wonder why ours aren't the same as theirs, or why theirs aren't the same as ours? I know I struggle with that more often than I care to admit. (Except I just did admit it.) Ha!I think it takes effort to look at the lives of others, as well as our own, and choose to learn from the differences, rather than question them. Especially when the differences are good. "The worth of every soul is great in the sight of God…" is it not? Thank goodness for the refreshment of variety, and that we are all different, yet essentially the same. I take comfort in the knowledge that all along the way are people who take the time necessary to see others for who they are, not what they may or may not have done. Our efforts are certainly important, and continuing on/pressing forward continually is a great mark of success. But remembering people are more important than things feels closer to the kind of example I want to be. And that can be accomplished in many ways. Mission or not. Title or not. Every life event can have eternal value and significance. I love that. And you. :)

  2. I just saw your blog on Facebook and decided to take a look, its great! Thanks for your thoughts. I completely understand about the whole mission thing,I get that A LOT as well. I spent about a year really feeling bad about it, but then I figured some similar things out and felt a little better. I love those quotes, thanks for sharing :) — Shannon Wilde

  3. I'm glad I have you to experience the seemingly awkward moments of being asked if I've served a mission. We're having our own missionary experiences in DC, but we can't call ourselves missionaries unless we're actually doing something to help spread the gospel.

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