Why I Serve - Mormon Missionaries

Recently I spoke at a presentation about Mormon missionaries explaining what has motivated me as well as many other young adults to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In a society where time is so valuable, it is hard to imagine a young adult willing to give up one to two years of his/her life to service. As the summer temperatures soar and the freezing cold winters arise, it is even more unbelievable to see young men and woman riding bicycles in skirt or a suit and tie. Many people have passed them on the streets and perhaps you have even talked to them and wondered what they are doing this for?

These missionaries are often between the ages of 18-25. Young men and woman who should be at home experiencing the good early years of adulthood right? Why are they, then, volunteering to leave home and loved ones for so long?

They are basically volunteering to spend 1- 2 years of their lives, working seven days a week, 12 hours a day studying, proselytizing in public squares, knocking on doors, talking with people on the street, teaching, serving and trying to help the people in whatever country they are assigned to serve. That’s right; they are assigned to serve in one of the many countries all over the world. It could be a country of poverty or high class, hot or cold weather, wet or dry. They may be assigned to serve in a foreign country with a totally new language, culture, food and lifestyle.  They will have to stay with a companion, 24-7 regardless of whether they get along. They have to learn how to teach and talk to complete strangers they've never met before and they can only email family once a week and Skype home two times a year.

With the missionary life, we often face some tough responses from those who may not understand what it is we do. I know of missionaries who have had dogs chase them, people curse at them, milk, dirt and other things thrown at them, bible bashing, threatening with guns and knives and other crazy responses. I have even had a big scary guy look at me as if I am going to eat him!  
At the end of every day you’re physically, mentally and emotionally drained!

And on top of all of this, how much money do we get paid for this...? NOTHING. In fact we pay for ourselves to come and serve.

Receiving my mission call to England London South
Now perhaps you are wondering at this point, WHY ON EARTH would ANY young adult volunteer to do such a thing? No one forced us here, but a feeling and desire in our heart made us more than willing to sacrifice this time.

From my own experience of deciding to serve a mission, it not as straight forward as picking up and leaving. It took a bit of thought. I had been thinking a lot about what to do next with my life after graduating from university. Would I continue with education, pursue a career in music etc??

I remember one day really thinking about what the best thing would be for me to do at that time. I decided it was a decision worth praying to Heavenly father about. After praying I felt impressed to flip the scriptures open and so I did… and the first scripture I saw was all about missionary work and bringing souls to Christ.

It really hit me at that time. 

My brother Adam serving in Arizona Tempe Mission
All my life I have been blessed with the knowledge of my Savior Jesus Christ. It has brought me more joy than anything else in the world. It has made me who I am and makes me want to be a better person EVERY day, and to reach my full potential. It helps me to overcome the hardships we all face in life knowing that there is life beyond this and that families can be together forever. And that is why I just had to go, this is why I so wanted to serve a mission and do whatever it took to get me there; including saving $9000. Any sacrifice I would make to get here or the hard work that I would have to do while serving with all my heart would be worth it if it meant that I could help even just one person to have this JOY. So far, it has been the best decision I have made and one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I am so great for my Heavenly father and for the love he has for every one of his children on this earth. I am so grateful that he trust us young adults, as imperfect as we are to spread his glorious message to the world.

I know this gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that it blesses families and individuals lives and I know that this is the reason 80,000  young adults are serving mission  for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all over the world. They know this too and are so keen to share it.

A song I wrote for the presentation - Go Forward with faith

Go Forward with faith - Lyrics

Verse 1
Someone out there is searching in their soul
For the answers of where he needs to go
It reminds me of myself not long ago
When I was praying to know
Its so clear to see why this is changing me I'm 
Becoming who I need to be
And this joy that I've found, I want to take it all around
From sea to sea

So/And I will go forward with faith into unknown waters
Ready to spread this light
Maybe there's someone whose waiting to feel of his love,
Searching I hope they find, Peace in their life

Thinking over, how this shaped my life
All the choices I 've made have lead me to this time
Is their any wonder of the reason why, 
I am going to leave behind
All the people that I love, as Im searching for the one
Who will hear his word
One day when the moments right and he prays with all his might
He will be heard

Ahhhh x2