A few weeks into my mission, I began to feel lonely and a bit homesick. I loved being a missionary, but the work was much harder than I had anticipated. I missed my friends, my family, and all the familiar things I’d left back home. During my personal study one morning, I sat quietly, turning my missionary name tag over and over in my hands, thinking about how I longed for familiarity. I wished I could just hear somebody call me by my first name.
As I looked at my name tag, I noticed that although my first name was absent from the tag, I saw my family name, the name of the Church, and the name of the Savior printed on it. Suddenly I recognized something that changed both my outlook and my attitude. I realized that as a missionary I wasn’t there to represent myself. Instead I was serving to represent my family back home and, most important, I was representing my Savior and His Church. I put the name tag on my shirt pocket, right over my heart. As I did so, I promised my Savior that I would more fully give Him a place in my heart and mind.
I didn’t miss hearing my first name after that morning. From then on I worked and served the best I could, proudly wearing my name tag every day. During the times I began to feel discouraged, I looked at my name tag, and it reminded me of my responsibility to follow Jesus Christ’s example.
I made an effort to take His name upon myself more fully and to become more like Him. As I did, I felt more love for my companions and those I served, my testimony was strengthened, and I found joy in missionary work. I began to forget myself and to focus on serving the Lord.
I’ve been home from my mission for several years now, but I still have the opportunity to take the Savior’s name upon myself. In fact, as members of the Church, all of us commit to take upon ourselves the name of Christ each Sabbath day when we take the sacrament. As we do so, we promise to represent our Savior the best we can and to strive to become more like Him. As King Benjamin taught: “I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ. … Whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ” (Mosiah 5:8–9). By taking His name upon us, we can each find more purpose and joy in our earthly missions.