Friday, October 21, 2011

Dying for Happiness: The Mission Process

Going on a mission is a process, there is a lot of preparation involved, but every second of that preparation is worth it!

Of course the preparation for a mission begins from a young age, in primary, like with singing the songs, "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission," and "We'll Bring the World His Truth." Also, gaining a testimony of the gospel was a large part of the preparation for a mission. For the purposes of this post, I will talk about the preparation right before going on a mission. However, I do not want to minimize the importance of having the desire to serve, and having the knowledge and strength in order to do so. For anyone who is planning on going on a mission, or should be planning to go on a mission, start now. Start now to prepare, to learn how to study the scriptures and Preach My Gospel, how to get answers to your prayer, and how to follow the Spirit. All things that you will treasure on your mission. And start right now by gaining a testimony of this great gospel for yourself! The promise of Moroni is not exclusive to certain people. "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:4-5) We all can and all must receive a personal witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

On the Album, "The Work: A Nashville Tribute to the Missionaries" Brother Jason Deere wrote a wonderful song about gaining a personal witness of the truthfulness of the gospel before serving a mission. The song begins about how he knows that everyone expects him to serve, and that is great, "But I still need to ask, just for me, I'm down on my knees, asking my Father above to hear my plea. Can I have a witness just before I do this? Let my soul acquire its humble desire, let my heart burn like fire, once more before I leave."

God will answer your prayers, he has answered millions of people's prayers, he has answered mine, and he will answer yours. Ask Him!!

For me, the preparation leading up to submitting my papers started as I went to speech therapy, with Dr. Susca (See Trial of My Life Part 2.) I had to learn how to talk again, so that I would be able to serve a mission. Once I got to BYU I met with my Bishop there and than began the paper work process, which included much typing and filling out all of the information that the Church requested. And then of course all of the dentistry and medical work that needed to get done. Then finally after a few interviews those papers got sent in. And I waited...

And waited. Those two weeks were some of the longest two weeks ever. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I went to Rexburg Idaho to spend Thanksgiving with my brother, his wife and our grandparents. And of course, it came while I was in Idaho. So it sat in my apartment until Saturday afternoon when I finally got back to my apartment. Not long after, that letter was ripped open, and read to a few friends that were there with me, and to my family over the phone. "Dear Elder Jordan Lyman Dye, 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... Tennessee Nashville Mission."
So I had the call, now what? My first thought, was that is not in a foreign country, and then, where is that, and oh, I like country music. To be perfectly honest, Tennessee is not what I expected by any means, and I especially didn't expect to go English when all of my brothers went Spanish. I was a little disappointed. The next day was Sunday, and church was great. As I sit in Sacrament meeting while the priesthood passes the bread and water I read my patriarchal blessing, and that day, I had a special experience. As I got to the section that talks about me serving a full-time mission it felt as if the paper said that I was supposed to go to Nashville Tennessee. I knew at that moment that the calling to Nashville English speaking was of God, and that it was where I was supposed to be. Since then I have had many experience that have confirmed that I was called of God to be here!

Then, from that moment I needed to make sure that I stayed pure and strong so that I would be ready to represent the Lord in Nashville! After returning home from school, I was endowed in the temple. The nearest temple to us back home is an hour and a half away, a blessing, but I was worried that I would not be able to attend very often before I went on my mission. Thanks to a close friend, that worry was taken away. He owns his own business and he was able to leave work early once a week so that we could go to the temple together. That was such a special experience, that I cherish so much, even to this day. We had the opportunity to have good conversations about life and the gospel on our car rides and to be blessed and uplifted by our service in the temple! The temple is a special place and I am so grateful for the blessings and strength that I received there to stay strong and be prepared to serve my mission.

The Sunday before I left I gave a talk in church, then that night I was set apart as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Then off to the Missionary Training Center. Wednesday morning my parents took me to the airport in Modesto California where I then flew to Salt Lake City Utah, my roommates from BYU picked me up from the airport and took me to the MTC in Provo and the missionary experience began.

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