When I was a young boy in Sweden, my father served as a counselor to several mission presidents. This calling required him to travel many weekends. He was an example to my siblings and me of the importance of serving the Lord, even when it means we must make sacrifices.
I also learned the value of physical work early in my life. During the summers I would ride my bike to a strawberry farm several miles away. I picked strawberries for many hours each day to earn money.
Our family had a summer cottage on a farm. It did not have electricity or plumbing, so we had to chop our own wood and carry water from a well. The farmer who owned the farm trusted me to sometimes take the cows to the barn for milking and to let them back out. We harvested and stacked hay and used horses to haul the hay bales to the barn.
My experiences with physical work and my father’s example in devoting himself to the Lord’s work helped me on my first mission. When I was only 16 years old, I was called as a bricklayer for Church buildings in Sweden, Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands. I received many spiritual impressions during my service. I learned that honest physical work is one way to do what is right and, therefore, be in harmony with God.
It is an honor to receive an assignment and to report that you have done your very best to complete it. When we accept assignments and use our time and talents to build the Lord’s kingdom, we will experience and see the blessings Heavenly Father has in store for us.