In October 2013, Thomas S. Monson announced that 18 year old Elders and 19 year old sisters could now submit paperwork to become missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It just so happens that I was going to be turning 19 at the end of the month on the 30th. I knew that I always wanted to serve a mission, and this announcement just made it possible for me to go sooner. I knew that this was designed by God.
Elder Russell M. Nelson gave a particularly profound talk in that same conference. He titled his talk, "Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!" I loved this talk and still continue to pull inspiration from it. This year it is a little different for me. I am on the missionary side of it now! I will never have an experience like this ever again in my life time. Elder Nelson says in his talk:
"Yes, missionaries can help in many ways. For example, some of you might want to know more about your ancestors. You may know the names of your parents and your four grandparents, but what about your eight great-grandparents? Do you know their names? Would you like to know more about them? Ask the missionaries! They can help you! They have ready access to the vast family history records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
"Some of you are members but not presently participating. You love the Lord and often think of returning to His fold. But you don’t know how to start. I suggest that you ask the missionaries! They can help you! They can also help by teaching your loved ones. We and the missionaries love you and desire to bring joy and the light of the gospel back into your lives."
"Some of you may want to know how to conquer an addiction or live longer and enjoy better health. Ask the missionaries! They can help you! Independent studies have shown that, as a group, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a healthy lot. Their death rates are among the lowest and their longevity greater than any yet reported in any well-defined group studied over a lengthy period of time in the United States."
"Some of you may feel that life is busy and frenetic, yet down deep in your heart you feel a gnawing emptiness, without direction or purpose. Ask the missionaries! They can help you! They can help you to learn more about the true purpose of life—why you are here on earth and where you are going after death. You can learn how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will bless your life beyond anything you can presently even imagine."
"If you have concerns about your family, ask the missionaries! They can help you! Strengthening marriages and families is of utmost importance to Latter-day Saints. Families can be together forever. Ask the missionaries to teach you how this is possible for your family."
"Missionaries can also help you with your desire for greater knowledge. The human spirit yearns for enlightenment. Whether truth comes from a scientific laboratory or by revelation from God, we seek it! The glory of God indeed is intelligence."
"Increase in learning includes spiritual as well as temporal knowledge. We stress the importance of understanding sacred scriptures. An independent study recently found that Latter-day Saints were the most knowledgeable about Christianity and the Bible. If you want to understand the Bible better, to understand the Book of Mormon better, and gain a broader comprehension of the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God, ask the missionaries! They can help you!"
"Many of you have a deep desire to help people in need. Because we follow Jesus Christ, Latter-day Saints are also compelled by that insatiable urge. Anyone may join with us to help the needy and provide relief to victims of disaster anywhere in the world. If you want to participate, ask the missionaries! They can help you!"
"And if you want to know more about life after death, about heaven, about God’s plan for you; if you want to know more about the Lord Jesus Christ, His Atonement, and the Restoration of His Church as it was originally established, ask the missionaries! They can help you!"
If you have ANY questions--please ask me! I am a missionary! I have literally been set apart and sent out do exactly this! I love being a missionary and serving people. I wish daily that more people would ask me questions. I may not always have the answer right away, but I know where to get the answers.
I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on the earth today. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father that cares about us and wants to give us answers to our questions. I know that I am called of God.
Please feel free to message me on Facebook with any questions about my church! Also, you can find many answers at mormon.org .
I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year!