Q: Why did you choose to serve a mission?
A: The reason why I served a mission is kind of complex. I was nineteen years old, and in the Mormon religion this is a tough age. People say that young men aren’t pressured to serve a mission, which is not the truth. For myself I was pressured into serving a mission. I did not want to go, life was good for me where I was at. I was nineteen years old I was attending a LDS institute class, we were studying in D&C 121. As we read verses 34-36, the words “…Many are called, but few are chosen…” really stuck out to me. In my head this meant God chooses favorites. I walked away from that class saying to myself, if God doesn’t want to pick me, cool, I’ll do my own thing! Later that night something told me to study that section again. As I read verses 34-36 in section 121, it hit me like a brick! God doesn’t choses favorites, we decide if we get to be chosen. Right then I told myself I’m going to do everything I can to do to have God choose me, and the first step was serving a mission.
Q: Do you believe that serving a mission is important? Why?
A: Yes! It is the greatest decision I’ve made in my short lifespan. As a missionary you learn so many things. Of course you learn the gospel; you go from believing its true, to knowing its true. Also you learn life skills, you have to make choices for yourself you can’t call mom and dad to help you make a decision. The greatest thing missionaries learn is how to love. I look at young men who don’t serve missions and I used to be mad at them, now I feel sorry for them. It is sad when young men don’t go because they miss out on so many lessons and blessings.
Q: What was the most rewarding thing about serving a mission?
A: The most rewarding thing about serving the mission was being able to teach people. As we knocked on doors and people let us in, being able to teach them was the best feeling anyone can have. You bring light to a dark room. Still to this day I’ll look back and say did I really teach people? Did I help them on the path to their Heavenly Father? Yes I did, and there is no greater feeling than knowing I helped my brothers and sisters get in the right direction. The Savior did so much, so teaching and serving my fellow man is just a one way I can repay for what He has done for me.
Q: What’s a personal experience you had on your mission that changed you?
A: There was this couple named Tatho and Kede. I had just gotten transferred to new area called, Phuthaditjhaba. My companion and I was walking down the street and came across this couple sitting outside doing their washing. Of course we pretty much ran up to them to talk to them. They tried to run in the house, but we go there just in time. They were the nicest people you’ll meet. We taught them and invited them to church, they said they’ll come. Sunday rolls around they are nowhere to be found, so on our way home from church we stop by and they were sicker than dogs! So we made an [appointment] to see them later in the week. We went there and they ready for us, they had not only read the pamphlet we gave them, they had it marked as well. We taught the restoration, it was the most spirit felt lesson I ever taught. We saw them every day teaching lesson after lesson, they could not get enough of the gospel. When we taught the Word of Wisdom they poured out all the beer and wine. We taught the Law of Chasity, they couldn’t afford to move on their own, but Tatho started sleeping on the ground. They wanted to do everything they could to live the gospel, after that first Sunday I never saw them miss another Sunday. Their parents did not approve of them or the church, this cause[d] a great [trial] in their journey. After many struggles, we throw them a wedding, we [barely] had any money but it didn’t matter it was the best wedding I’ve ever been to. The next day both of them entered into the waters of baptism, one year to the day they entered into the temple with their son to be sealed for time and all eternity. They changed my life, I don’t know how my mission would have been if I didn’t meet them. I looked at them as we taught them and they had become more converted than myself and I was the teacher. One of many lessons I learned from them was, they know the gospel was true and they were going to do everything they could to live it. I made it my life goal to be as faithful as these two are. They used to joke with us saying “you guys were made to be our missionaries” it is so true for the first day I walked in we were best friends. If it wasn’t for them I truly don’t know how my mission would have went.