Sharing the glad tidings of the gospel and the blessings that come by living according to its precepts is one of the noblest act of service that a faithful young man or woman of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can do. Serving as a full-time missionary requires sincere effort and preparation. The preparation of each aspiring missionary varies at length, degree, intensity and many other aspects. Here are some thoughts of faithful members who recently returned from serving as a full-time missionary.
Joyce Larene Perez – Utah Provo Mission
As a full-time missionary, you get stretched in every direction. It can be overwhelming; it can be challenging but as you prepare way before you enter the field, you will be guided. Preparation includes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual training. Train your body to wake up early and to exercise at least half an hour daily. As much as possible, work with the missionaries and observe all their daily activities and follow missionary schedule. Expect challenges– big and small. Read the scriptures, study and familiarize Preach My Gospel and practice teaching the missionary lessons to a friend or in a family home evening setting.
Thomas Louie Co – Philippines Quezon City Mission
Being in the mission field for two years means two years of service. Having a heart dedicated to service does not happen overnight but takes actual service experiences. There are many service opportunities in the Church that young man and women can attend and enjoy while preparing to serve full-time missions. These service activities will teach you to work hard and give willingly without expecting goodness to be given to you in return. I see this as an important factor of missionary preparation since everyday will be a day of service in the mission field.
Princess Stephanie Donato – Washington DC South Mission
Preparation for me did not start a few months nor a few years before my mission. It started when I raised my hand in primary when the teacher asked “Who wants to go on a mission when you get older?” First, I found out that the three basic things I do as part of my spiritual life played the biggest part on my preparation to go on a mission: CPR (Church, Pray and Read). Making these things a habit helped me to more fully understand the Holy Ghost. Second is by attending the activities and learning experiences provided by the Church: Seminary and Youth activities. Seminary has increased my gospel knowledge through scripture references, Book of Mormon examples, and scripture mastery. I was able to teach better using the scriptures to investigators because I knew what I was teaching. Attending Youth/ Young Women activities are the best. It helped me by increasing my confidence, my standards and my relationship with Heavenly Father. Talking to strangers when tracting could be really hard, but whenever I remember my experiences of meeting new people during youth conference or mutual activities, I would think to myself, “If I was able to meet people that I did not know back then, I can also now. They can also be my friends here and I can share the gospel to them.” Activities for Young Single Adults are also good opportunities to be uplifted, feel the spirit, meet other people and prepare for missions.
Casiano Aniel – Philippines Naga Mission
Preparing to serve for me entailed finding a job and working hard to save up for my mission. I feel that aspiring missionaries must prepare financially well to support needs in the mission field. This is a very important aspect of being self-reliant. It is also a prerequisite to live righteously every day. Righteous living in the mission is a must if you want the Holy Ghost to be your constant companion so you might as well start early to strive to live righteously every day and make it a lifelong pursuit.
Naomi June Hernaez – California Oakland/San Francisco Mission
You can prepare to serve as a full-time missionary by doing small and simple things to serve others. It can be through your smile, offering a helping hand, talking to the people around you, etc. This will help you learn how to love our brothers and sisters. More importantly, it will help you feel and understand how our Heavenly Father and our Savior loves them. Missionary work is not just work, it’s a labor of love.
There are many ways to prepare to serve. However the core preparation steps are to strengthen gospel knowledge and testimony, increase personal worthiness to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, understand the value of hard work, be physically and emotionally healthy and be financially prepared. Preparing to serve as a full-time missionary plays a vital role in laboring in the Lord’s vineyard. There are many unseen circumstances that will try to shake the faith of missionaries but the Lord has promised that “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear” because He has His servants under His care as they continue to spread His gospel. (Doctrine & Covenants 38:30)