“Soccer and Sundays,” Friend, August 2018
In Germany, soccer is the most popular sport. My dad signed me up for a soccer club when I was five. We practiced three or four times a week. Games were mostly on Saturdays and Sundays. When I wasn’t playing soccer for the club team, I played soccer with my friends. We played soccer almost every day until the sun went down.
When I was 15, I started playing for a team in a bigger city. Soccer became more serious. We practiced more often. We traveled to more places. We played against more teams. Soccer was my life.
Then, when I was almost 18, I was at a concert. I saw a boy about my age. He stuck out. He wasn’t drinking, smoking, or swearing. I wanted to know why. I found out he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His example made me want to learn more. Later I joined the Church.
After I was baptized, I learned two things. First, I shouldn’t be playing soccer on the Sabbath. I should go to church. Second, Heavenly Father expected me to serve a mission. But I was pretty good at soccer. I had a friend I had played soccer with all growing up. We each got an offer to play on a professional team. My friend took the offer. I chose to leave soccer behind and go on a mission instead. It was not a hard choice because I knew the Church was true.
But my choice was difficult for my family and friends. They didn’t understand what I was doing. My parents sent me newspaper clippings of my friend playing soccer. That was not easy for me. But I never ever regretted serving a mission.
Heavenly Father has blessed me every day because I chose to serve a mission. He has blessed me with peace. I felt the good feeling that comes from making the right choice.
When we try to live the gospel and put the most important things first, we are blessed! Follow the path of scriptures to help the boy get to church.