Thursday, November 24, 2011

Reflections, Gratitude, and Missions

"Even though I had left my mission, my mission didn't leave me. In fact, even after all these years, I still feel that my mission was the best two years for my life"
-Matthew O. Richardson


Seeing that this is my first Thanksgiving since being home from my mission, I wanted to express my gratitude for having the privilege to serve as a full-time missionary by sharing some of my thoughts as to just how influential my mission has been to me.

Since I can remember, I always had a burning desire to serve a full-time mission. I attribute that desire to having been raised in a fabulous family with each family member setting a good example for me to follow. When the time finally came for me to “put in my papers”, it was a no brainer. I had been waiting for this all my life.

I remember it all so well; waiting anxiously for the envelope to arrive, and when it came, opening it surrounded by people that I love – then reading aloud:

“Elder Jacob, you have been called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You have been assigned to labor in the England London Mission…”

What I remember most about that moment was feeling that London was exactly where I needed to be. England had never before crossed my mind as I place that I would serve, but it was the perfect mission call for me.

I like to think that I hit the ground running as I entered the MTC and eventually the mission field; however, I had to go through my own growing experiences before I truly began to understand my purpose as a missionary.

It may sound cliché, but it wasn’t until I completely lost myself in the work, that I began to experience a fullness of joy that only comes through sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Matthew 10:39

My mission experience means everything to me because:

  • On my mission, I began to more fully know Christ as my Lord, my Savior, and my friend
  • On my mission, I saw and felt the healing power of the atonement
  • On my mission, I witnessed miracles
  • On my mission, I began to understand how the spirit works
  • On my mission, I began to appreciate the power of prayer and regular scripture study
  • On my mission, my priorities in life began to be aligned with God’s will
  • On my mission, I developed eternal friendships
  • On my mission, I had fun
  • On my mission, I worked hard
  • On my mission, I went through trials
  • On my mission, I learned how to rely on the Lord
  • On my mission, the love that I had for my family was magnified

Ultimately, the reason that I loved my mission was because it helped change me from the person that I was, to the person that I hope to one day become.

It has been six months since I last had the privilege to don the nametag that bears both my name and the name of my Savior. Despite how much I miss my mission, life could not be better now.

“The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead,
prepare for it. The present is here, live it.”
Thomas S. Monson


“Missionaries should have the understanding that their mission is not a two-year
mission; it is an eternal mission…”
Janet Brigham


  1. Hiram, I want to hear more. Please, hanging out soon.

  2. :) Thanks for posting. Eternal mission--what are your goals for this week? ps talked to a girl today how is going to England London South mission in Feb. Thought of you.