Sunday, March 28, 2010

Getting Left Behind

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Provo temple with Garrett, Juliana (one of my best friends, here at BYU), and Braden (one of my best friends from the Hill Cumorah Pageant). At the Provo temple, they have you do confirmations for one set of names, first, before going to do baptisms for another set of names. We sat together as a group while waiting to do confirmations. By the time that I’d finished doing confirmations, Juliana and Braden were also done. However, before Garrett was done, some people with family names sat down by me. Because they had family names, they were going to do baptisms before confirmations, so that they could do all of their names.
Because they were there, when Garrett was done doing confirmations, he was separated from me, Braden, and Juliana. I felt bad about it, thinking that Garrett was, in a way, “left behind”. When the line for baptisms started moving, I let the people with family names go ahead of me, so that I’d be sitting by Garrett again. I doubt it was a big deal for Garrett that I went back to sit by him, but to me it meant that he wasn’t being left behind. Though it hadn’t bothered him to be separated from the rest of us, I felt better, knowing that none of my friends had been left behind or left out of the group.
This got me thinking about the situation in a spiritual sense. Around the time that I got my mission call, someone (I can’t remember who it was) told me that before I came to Earth, I made promises to the people that I’ll teach. I promised them that I’d find them and teach them the Gospel. Though I can’t remember making those promises, I know I made them and I’m going to do everything in my power to keep those promises. Like the situation with Garrett at the temple, I refuse to leave those people behind. I promised I’d find them.
I know this church is true. I know that I’ve been called of God to help other people come to know what I already know. Today, I have two months and five days left until I go into the MTC. However, my training as a missionary doesn’t start there. It didn’t start when I got my call. It didn’t start at the beginning of the semester when me and Garrett thought up those ways to prepare. It started when I was young and it’s a constant movement closer and closer to the Savior. It’s a constant movement to where and to who He wants me to be. I testify with all my heart that the church is true and the Book of Mormon is the word of God, alongside the Bible. Again, I promise that as a missionary I will commit myself to finding those people that I promised to find and I will not leave them behind.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dear Elder Ficiur...

“You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Canada Toronto West Mission.”
After a month and a half of waiting, I finally received my mission call on Wednesday. Going back to my apartment in mid-afternoon, after finishing most of my classes, I found out my call was there. After that, I went back to campus for my dance class. I told one of my friends in that class that my call was at my apartment and she said “How are you even here right now?” (I was there only because we had a Cha Cha test).
After that class was over, I went back to my apartment and after several of my friends had arrived, we started calling my family. Four speaker phones and one long 10-minute video recording later, my call was open and I knew I was going to the Toronto West mission.
I’m so very excited to serve the people of Ontario in my mission. On June 2, I go into the Missionary Training Center and I’m so excited to go in. Several times, walking to and from the Provo temple, I’ve walked past the Missionary Training Center. I’ve seen missionaries from the Missionary Training Center heading to and from the temple. In two months and twelve days, I’ll be one of them. I’ll be a missionary.
I know that this church is true and I’m so very excited to help the people of Ontario come to know that as well. It’s true and no one can tell me it isn’t. Though the strength of that conviction may vary, slightly, I know that I’ve felt the Holy Ghost tell me that it’s true. Even if I can’t feel it at any given moment, I can remember that I have felt that witness. I testify that it’s true. I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, alongside the Bible, as long as it is translated correctly. This is God’s church and I know that it is by Him that I am called to teach.
The video below is the last 4 minutes of the 10 minute video that was taken of me opening my call.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Called to Serve

So I have some bad news and some good news. Bad news is that despite what I thought about my call, it was delayed. Good news is that that’s over now! I’ve been cleared to serve a mission! Not only that, but today Bishop Andrus (my bishop, here at BYU) checked and found out that my call was issued last Friday! That means that it’s coming here on Thursday!
I’m really excited now, but what makes me more excited is that I’m definitely serving a mission! Even before I knew that my call had been issued, I knew (from my bishop) that I was cleared to serve a mission (he sent me an email on Tuesday night). As I think I noted before in an earlier post, a huge thing that had been bothering me about the delays was that I didn’t know if I’d even be serving a mission and that drove me crazy. However, now I know that I’m going to serve and I’m feeling a bigger push now to prepare to serve because I know that I AM going to serve.
The title of this post, “Called to Serve”, is appropriate because, while I don’t know where or when I’m going to serve, I know that I’m going to serve and I’m going to do everything I can to prepare to be the best missionary I can be.
I know this church is true and I know that the call I’ve been issued (wherever and whenever it is) is from God and while I am not perfect, He is perfect and He will help me along the way as long as I stay faithful and humble. I can’t wait until I can serve in the mission field and I can’t wait to tell people about the gospel. It brings so much happiness and peace in my life and I know it can do the same thing for them, whoever and wherever they are.
Until next time (when I’ll have my call and you’ll hear about it), don’t forget to smile!