“Advice from a Church-Service Missionary,” New Era, Oct. 2013, 17
I grew up in the Church, and my parents did their best to provide me with the things I needed to gain a strong testimony, such as learning how to pray and how to study the Book of Mormon and Church magazines. When I was close to missionary age, it wasn’t a question of if I would go—it was only a question of when. So when the news came from my bishop that I did not meet the medical requirements to serve a full-time mission, I was heartbroken.
Often I prayed asking why I could not fulfill my desire to be a missionary. My loving mother would remind me that a service mission was still an option, but my reply was always, “That doesn’t count.” The months went by, and even though I was old enough to serve, I remained at home. Each day, the plea “every member a missionary” rang through my mind until I eventually decided to look into a Church-service mission.
I browsed through the options and came across one that stood out to me. Through prayer I received the firm approval of the Spirit. When I talked with my bishop about it, he told me that the Lord had saved me for this Church-service mission rather than a full-time proselyting mission. I must admit that I agree with him now. The experiences and blessings surpass anything I could ever have imagined.
Soon I will complete my Church-service mission, and I want the youth of the Church to know that a mission changes lives, even if it’s a Church-service mission. If a health problem or other situation keeps you from entering the full-time mission field, it does not mean the Lord does not want your service. It just means that He needs you somewhere else.
Take it from a Church-service missionary.