My “Why” of Missionary Work

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Dear APG Readers,

Today’s Sunday school lesson was on missionary work.

It was surprisingly hard to teach.

I struggled, standing there trying to keep the tears at bay, my heart full as I talked with my little Gospel Principles class about sharing the Gospel. There were so many thoughts and emotions and memories going on in my heart and head that I had trouble wading through them to articulate the points of the lesson outlined in the manual, to direct a focused discussion, to not bore people to death with stories of my mission and the people I love and miss so dearly that at times it hurts.

But it’s not about the full-time mission I served, that badge I wore for five hundred and sixty precious, incredible, unforgettable days. It’s more than that. That’s part of it, but not nearly the whole of it.

I try to challenge my class each week to do something different. To act on what we learned in that room for that one hour during Church. The week the lesson was on charity, we set out to love people a little better, to love ourselves a little better. The week we learned about service, we set out to serve someone who we might otherwise pass by. Today we left class at the end of the hour with the charge to share the gospel, to spread the love of Christ a little further, and to see the people the Lord puts in our paths.

The elders beamed at me from their seats.

As I prepared the lesson, going through the gospel principles manual, searching the scriptures and Preach My Gospel, rereading entries in my mission journals and planners, I began to think about why I love sharing the Gospel.

There’s a lot of little reasons why. So many that I can’t count them – I find new ones each day. But my “why” really comes down to a few things:

It’s because of what Christ did for me. My finite mind can’t even comprehend the enormity the Atonement, but those glimpses I do catch drive me. They push me to be better. They provide light in the midst of sometimes overwhelming darkness that comes with my depression. Those glimpses, those little moments of clarity, provide me with stillness in the middle of chaos, peace in the midst of turmoil, confidence even as I am baraged by people who seek to destroy truth.

It’s because the Gospel changes lives. A fisherman became a prophet, rabble rousers became the greatest of men, the prodigals returned, all because the Savior saw more in them than they saw in themselves.

It’s because His love can’t be contained or confined to a single person. It presses forward into hearts, surrounds and fills us like the sun bursting over the hill on a foggy morning – burning away the gloom with light and warmth. It’s an infinite sunrise. It’s peaceful stillness even as it feels like the world is crashing around us into a cacophony of violence and temptation.

Father asked us to go out and share the good news. He asked us to open our mouths, knowing He would give us the words. He asked us to get to work, knowing He would give us the tools. He asked us to walk, knowing that He would put people in our path. He asked us to take a leap of faith, knowing that He would be the one to catch us. He asked us to keep pressing forward until the whole world hears, knowing that He wasn’t waiting for us at the end of the road, but that He was with us every step of the way.

That’s what missionary work is about for me. That’s what motivates me. That’s why I write this blog. It’s not perfect, but it’s me trying. Because at the end of the day, I want to sit down with all my brothers and sisters and reflect on how much our Father and our Brother love us.

It’s because I love Him so much I want to be like Him. God sent one Son. And that Son was a missionary.

We all have a different why, but that’s mine.

Love,

A Peculiar Girl

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