As of March 20th, 2013 I am serving a 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Spain Málaga Mission. For those of you who missed my talk here is some of my testimony from it. I didn't write the whole thing out but here you go! My mom will be posting from here on out. See you in 2014!
I feel grateful to have the opportunity to serve a mission and to be considered worthy, but I will admit that I feel extremely overwhelmed and inadequate. But I know that this is what I am supposed to be doing and that if I have faith in the Lord's plan he will help me become the missionary that he would have me be. I know that we all have a purpose and I believe that we meet everyone for a reason.
I know that there are people in Spain that Heavenly Father would have me meet and teach and that I can be an instrument in His hands to find those children that he loves and help them know of His gospel. I have had this confirmed to me over and over again in the five months leading up to my mission. God has a plan for us, he knows us so well, he loves us, and he wants us to share the truths of the Gospel so that all of his children can find happiness.
Pray to have missionary experiences, pray for the missionaries in the field and in this ward, and please pray for me as I enter into the MTC this week. I know that God hears our prayers and that he will answer them if we are willing to listen. There are so many new missionaries in this ward and they need your help. Go out and teach with them, give them referrals, and pray to know which of your friends or family members Heavenly Father would have you share the gospel with. I know I am blessed every time I am with the missionaries and I know that God is so grateful for any help we can give them in moving this church forward.
This time right now is critical in history. Opportunities are opening up that weren't available before. 58 new missions were just created, record numbers of missionary applications were submitted, and new missionaries entering into the field. Now is the time to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and now is the time to uphold our covenants and stand as a witness and example to all that come in contact with us that we believe in Christ. "Share the gospel and if necessary use words." Serve others, be kind to everyone you come in contact with, and treat everyone like the child of God that they are.
We all have the potential to become like God, not just church members, and as we look around us everyday we need to remember that and see ourselves and others as God sees us. Now is not the time to hide our beliefs or shrink from responsibility. These are souls and eternity at stake. Having the courage to talk to others about the church is hard. Feeling the responsibility of being a representative of Christ can be scary. Especially since I do not have a perfect knowledge of this gospel and am only 20 years old. But The Lord doesn't call perfect servants. He calls those of us who are willing. And through the Atonement he makes weak things become strong unto us. I know that if we pray to have the strength and courage to share our testimonies with others that God will help us and that he will fill our mouths and provide opportunities for us.
This Gospel is true. I testify to you this day that it is. I know with all my heart that God loves you. He is aware of everything you are going through and he wants so much for you to be happy. And I know if we are doing the simple things of the gospel like reading from the Book of Mormon and praying everyday that we will be happy. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It changes our desires and behaviors better than anything else in this world can. Reading that book literally changes lives- I have seen it in myself and I have seen it in others.
If you don't know of these truths for yourself seek out answers, read the Book of Mormon, and pray to know for yourself. Don't wait. I am pleading with you to do it and to make the gospel a priority in your life. God needs strong members to build up the kingdom. We can't become complacent or rely on others to do the work. I have such a strong testimony of the temple. It really is the house of The Lord. Go often, have a current temple recommend; if you haven't received the ordinances of the temple yet prepare yourself, make it a goal. Again don't wait. Repent, take care of anything that would prevent you from being worthy to enter the presence of The Lord.
I have been preparing for this moment all of my life. Everything I have learned and done has been preparation for my mission. I have been wanting to serve a mission since I was about 13 years old. As soon as my sister Audrey served a mission in Taiwan I knew that it was something that I wanted to do as well. I never thought this day would come but it finally has and I have never felt this excited or this nervous in all my life. But I know Christ lives and I know this is his restored church. And because I know this and have been truly converted I know that everything will be okay and I have faith that God will take care of the rest.