Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Come join the ranks

This entry is focused on the young men and women of the world who are receiving mission calls/putting in their mission papers. Just take a couple minutes off from checking your Instagram feed.... just a couple minutes - I promise it will be worth your time. 

New Companion: Elder Porter Rawlinson 
(Fun fact - Elder Rawlinson and I met each other at BYU a couple of years ago when we got our mission calls... small world! He is such a stud!)

My experience putting in my papers and receiving my mission call was a whirlwind of emotions. It was also very stressful socially. What if I get called to a place and I don't want to go? What if my testimony isn't strong enough? All I know about missionaries are jokes made about RMs at BYU, etc. Is it worth it? 

Let's say you are from Utah. Utah - a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. I was raised there, and I love it there. With all that good though, there comes a price. Most of your friends are members, you go through seminary, you dance through your Sunday School classes because you know all of the answers, your parents have taught you about Ammon and Samuel the Lamanite since you were young. Then you turn 18....19... people start asking the questions: "When are you serving a mission?" "When are you putting in your papers?"........... all the while you sit there and think to yourself, “I have been raised in this culture all my life. My mom and dad want me to go, it seems like a good thing.” So you put in your papers - BOOM REALITY SETS IN, and Satan starts to hit you as hard as he can. You start having second thoughts. Suddenly a lot of other options look a lot sweeter than the decision you have made. Maybe it’s a girl, maybe you have a sweet gig at work, maybe you have scholarship options that you have to give up.

But all your friends are going... should you just follow the crowd? What would your parents say?

My dear friends, I testify that your mission experience will change your life more than 10 years of college. It will change your life more than that cute girl ever could. It will change your life more than that job offer and that internship you are looking for. It will change your life more than your high school experiences all put together - because the mission experience is the most spiritually and mentally grueling experience you will experience up until this point in your life and you are about to buckle your seatbelt. "Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust." (2 Nephi 1:23)

You understand that the gospel has brought you and your family joy. Yeah - you don't know everything. No, maybe you got a B+ in Seminary because you skipped a couple times to go to McDonalds. Maybe you messed up in high school and haven't talked to your bishop about it yet. Let me remind you of a verse in the scriptures which says, "If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work." (D&C 4:3) If you have the littlest particle of faith you EXERCISE THAT. If you love God, you will choose to join the ranks because "if ye love [him], [you] keep [his] commandments." (John 14:15). Somewhere deep deep down inside you, you understand that the Creator of the Universe loves you because YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. You have sung it since you were a Primary child. Do you believe those words?

Do you know how many people in this world do not know that they are a child of God? They need to know this eternal truth too! He loves them just as much as he loves you. God doesn't care if you've messed up - big or little. He just needs you to love him just like He loves you. In the words of the Savior himself, he has told us to, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19) Come join the ranks boys. Come experience the most fantastic fun roller coaster of your lifetime. It will beat you to your knees and bring you closer to your Heavenly Father than you ever thought possible. I encourage all of you to look deep within yourself as you turn in your papers. Re-evaluate your motives. Re-commit to God. Repent, and come closer to him. I try to do that every day, and I have a long way to go. I know it will change your life. It sure has changed mine.  COME JOIN THE RANKS 

Sending Elder Cherd off to Chiang Mai! LOVE YOU ELDER!

Love the Lord and Laugh, 
ອັບຣາຮາມ ສະມິດ-ດິກສ
Abraham Smith-Driggs  

Nothing like welcoming a new missionary to an area than eating some mango sticky rice...that is a face of pure satisfaction.

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