A Successful Missionary
When I was preparing to serve a mission, I would often hear stories from returned missionaries who would tell me funny stories, uplifting stories, or bizarre experiences they had on their missions. A mission sounded like such a unique time of life– I came to realize that that is true! At the time, however, I wondered how I would know if I was a successful missionary while serving a mission? Would my success be measured by how many cool stories I could tell in my homecoming talk? Or by how many baptisms I had? Or what assignments I held as a Missionary (District Leader, Zone Leader, or Assistant to the President)? I don’t think I really found the answer to this question until my time on the Lord’s mission was growing short. In this blog I will do my best to help YOU future missionaries prepare to have the correct idea of what success looks like, and how you can prepare now to develop the correct attitude towards your mission.
These 10 concepts come directly from Preach My Gospel pgs 10-11.
#1 Feel the Spirit testify to people through you.
Before you leave for your mission you can practice bearing your testimony either in fast and testimony meetings, or to family and friends outside of church functions. In order to feel the Spirit testify to the people through you, you need to first gain a testimony by study and by faith in action. As you bear simple testimony, you will feel the influence of the Holy Ghost guide your thoughts and words.
#2 Love the People and Desire their salvation.
How do we show that we truly love someone? I’ve found that when I truly love someone, I serve them (among other things). I will do kind acts of service, and express my love for them in public and in private. I desire their salvation more than their immediate comfort– meaning that I wont be afraid to correct or help them change course in life.
Before your mission, be sure to be involved in service projects and do your chores around the house. Visit justserve.org to find service projects near you.
Mosiah 2:17″And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
#3 Obey with Exactness.
Before your mission, be sure to study and live the standards set in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. These standards are not just guidelines but are the words of the Prophets for us in these Latter-Days. If you strictly live these standards, the rules found in the Missionary Handbook will not shock you at all.
D&C 130:20-21″There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”
#4 Live so that you can receive and know how to follow the Spirit, who will show you where to go, what to do, and what to say.
Living this sort of a life 24/7 is quite a challenge! This requires the kind of faith that Lehi had when he hears the voice of the Lord and then acts immediately without delay. My mission president said that this was the “third level” of obedience (levels one and two are comparable to the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms)
1 Nephi 2:2 “And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.”
4 “And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.”
#5 Develop Christlike attributes
Developing Christlike attributes is a life-time process, however if you start before your mission, you will have progressed that much farther than if you had waited. For more ideas on how you can develop Christlike attributes, visit this page!
#6 Work effectively every day, do your very best to bring souls to Christ, and seek earnestly to learn and improve.
Make sure to get a job before your mission that requires you to work hard! The greatest Missionaries I knew where the ones who worked on a farm growing up. A mission will teach you how to work (that was a big lesson I learned), but if you can work hard before your mission, you will not be surprised when you get out into the missionary field.
D&C 107:99-100 “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen.”
#7 Help build up the Church (the ward) wherever you are assigned to work.
You can start doing this now by inviting non-member friends to join you for youth activities like mutual. You can invite less-active friends to join you at church or other activities. You can be a faithful home/visiting teacher to help build up the members around you. There are many things you can start doing now, in your own ward, that will prepare you to be a successful missionary in this aspect.
This is what Elder Anderson has said recently about building up the kingdom where we are. “Thy Kingdom Come”
#8 Warn people of the consequences of sin. Invite them to make and keep commitments.
A great way to prepare to invite others on your mission is to go out with the missionaries now and invite others to come to church with you or read from the Book of Mormon. We can share our testimonies where ever we are and invite others to learn more. Social media also provides a great way to invite others to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit the Mormon Facebook page for ideas on what you can share.
D&C 88:81 “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.”
#9 Teach and serve other missionaries
Ask your Bishop to see if you can share a lesson in Gospel Principles class, or in Primary, or young men/young womens. We read earlier that as we teach and serve others we are only in the service of our God. On your mission you will have many opportunities to help other missionaries feel welcome, feel loved, or feel like they have a friend. The most important people you can serve is your family right now, but when you are in the missionary field, the most important person you will teach and serve will be your companion.
PMG pg.3 “The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes.”
–President Harold B. Lee
#10 Go about doing good and serving people at every opportunity, whether or not they accept your message.
To me this principle suggests that we need to have integrity and remember who we are, where ever we are. We are all disciples of Jesus Christ, and as such we should always seek to go about doing good in the world. Since the Savior was not phased when others opposed or rejected His message, we to should stand true and faithful to what we know to be true. Elder Worthlin speaks to us about this in his talk called Personal Integrity.
In the Mission field there may be many who do not accept your message, but you will never be discouraged if you remember how to measure your success as an Ambassador of the Lord. I know these principles and teachings are from the Lord’s representatives, the Elders of Israel whom the Lord has chosen. And I say that in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.