Thursday, June 4, 2015

The One Where I Talk About Missionary Papers

I swear I've had this post written for over two weeks, I just haven't had the chance to sit down and edit it. I did mention that I was terrible about keeping up with these types of things though. Anyway, MY MISSION CALL CAME TODAY!!!! I haven't opened it, and I'll be talking about that experience in another entry later but before I write that post, I wanted to write about some of the suggestions I have for filling out missionary paperwork. So, here it goes.

Things you need to think about while filling out your papers:

1.       Be Excited!
This is an exciting time! This is one of the only times in your life that you are putting yourself entirely into the Lords’ hands. As my stake president said, “This is the only time in your life where you get to have laser focus on the Lord and the life that He wants for you. Your family will be fine without you for a while, your school will be waiting for you and when you return you’ll have a line of boys (or girls for you men out there) waiting to date you!”. This is the only time in your life that your sole focus will be on serving others. It is the only time when you have the chance to let go of everything else and give yourself entirely over to serving your Heavenly Father and helping Him bring His children and our spirit siblings back to Him. 

2.       Scan through it on your own first.
Figure out the information that you need answers to. Figure out who you need to get answers from and start making your appointments. There are lots of questions about your parents, your ancestry, insurance information and questions about health. You’re probably not going to know all the numbers and the answers to these questions on your own, so make a list of the things that you know you’re going to need help on.

3.       When you get your parents to sit down to help you once, Keep them there!
This is why I suggest scanning through the papers on your own first. If your parents are anything like my parents, it is almost impossible to get them to sit still long enough to answer the questions. For a couple of weeks, my parents and I played the “who will be at work whenever the other is at home?” game. This is the game where whenever you are at home, ready to conquer the world, your parents are at work or vice versa. It took me WEEKS to fill out the insurance information. I finally cornered them in their room long enough for me to get all my answers but my point is, go through it on your own first so you already know all the information you need from your parents. This will make it less painful for all of you.

4.       Know your health.
If you know that you have some health issues that could slow down the process of filling out your papers, start working through those health issues in advance. Get your wisdom teeth out, ask your dermatologist about that suspicious mole, get that cavity filled, and talk to your doctor about your headaches or your anxiety. Depression and/or anxiety are big concerns as a missionary, so if you feel like those are something you could be struggling with, please talk to your bishop and your doctor. Also, talk with your Heavenly Father about your health concerns. Prayer is a powerful healing tool. Ask for priesthood blessings. Fast and pray for Heavenly Father to be with you and to help you through your trials. He wants you to fulfill every righteous desire that you have and He will help you be on the path in life where He needs you, so trust in Him to help you get ready to serve. 

5.       Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help.
For me, this was a big one. I’ve always been one of those people that likes to do things on my own. I’ve been raised to be independent. I swear that I’m one of the only teenagers I know that can call up my doctor and make my own appointments, so naturally I don’t enjoy when I have to ask others to help me out. I especially don’t like asking people to help me pay for things, but me being the starving college kid that I am, I’m not able to pay for the whole mission on my own. Ask your family members, talk to your bishop, pray to Heavenly Father for His guidance on what you should do and (here’s a huge one) keep paying your tithing! It’s no secret that Heavenly Father blesses those that follow His commandments, so keep paying that tithing even though you may be trying to save up.

6.       Spend time around current missionaries in your area.
Have your mom invite them over for dinner. Go on splits with them. Participate in those cool mini mission programs that some areas have (A type of program where the youth get to spend more time with current missionaries, some stakes even have youth camps where the young men are put in companionships and live like missionaries for a weekend). Ask the missionaries questions about their daily routines. Ask the missionaries what caused them to want to serve a mission, some of those stories are absolutely incredible! Get involved with the missionaries as much as you can so you can learn how they teach and maybe even increase your own desire to serve. Talk to RMs or research blogs online about missionaries, or on I have spent a lot of time researching missions and I still don't feel like I've learned enough!

7.     Take Mission Prep and Temple Prep. (And take them seriously)
     These classes are great preparation classes for your mission (hence the names!) but they really do make a difference. I took a mission prep class at my university and I loved it! I had a fantastic class and my teacher was incredible. One thing that I loved about my class that I guess is different from other mission prep classes, is that we had RMs there in the room with us. The RMs would share experiences with us, they’d help us learn how to teach investigators and let us laugh at how awkward they were readjusting to regular life. We did a lot of role-playing in my mission prep class and I loved when the RMs would critique the way I taught. I felt like I learned so much about my strengths and my weaknesses, especially as a teacher. Temple prep is important because going through the temple to get endowments is the next step for us on the ladder to eternal life and it’s important that we know the importance of the covenants we are making when we go through the temple. Plus, learning about all the symbols included in the temples and temple work is pretty darn awesome!

8.       When you make the decision to go, don’t procrastinate your preparation.
Satan is tricky and because he was our brother, he knows our weaknesses. My Stake President said something that really stuck with me about this, he said: “This is the time when Satan will be working on you the hardest. You’ve officially declared which side you’re fighting for. Not only that but you’ve declared your willingness to be put on the front lines of this war.” You will be getting a power as a missionary that Satan will have a hard time combating and he knows how important the work is that you will be doing as a missionary. Do not let yourself get lax or lazy in your preparation because that’s when Satan will sneak in. This April (2015), during General Conference, Elder Ballard gave a talk called, “The Greatest Generation of Young Adults”. In this talk, Elder Ballard talks about how much the church needs youth who are willing to put their “whole hearts and souls” into the church. He wants members and missionaries to “raise the bar” on how they live the gospel. We need to share more, study more, teach more and serve more. 

These are just a few of the things that I found most important while I was filling out my papers and I hope some of them help. I have officially received my call now, and I have to say, waiting for my call to come is the hardest part. Filling out the papers was easy but having the patience to wait and go through the rollercoaster of excitement and disappointment every time I worked up the nerve to check the mailbox was hard. There are two things that my Stake President told me to do while I was waiting for my call, he told me to; 1) Pray for the Apostles as they are trying to figure out where the best place is to put you, pray that they’ll have solid inspiration from Heavenly Father on where you should go, 2) Pray for yourself, pray that you’ll recognize the Lord’s hand in your calling and know that He is sending you where He needs you to go.

 I know that missionary work is an incredibly important work in these latter-days and I’m so grateful to be able to serve my Heavenly Father in such an awesome and unique way. I can't wait to see where I'll be called! 

Have a great Thursday!

Mindy Mint

1 comment:

  1. This is the best article i have read so far. You had a wonderful time and the last picture was just lovely. I am loving this food though i am a little vegetarian.