Hello! How are you doing? How is everything going? I hope life is treating you well.
I would love to help you out! I would have loved nothing more than to have had all my questions answered before I went on my mission, so I would love to help out in anyway that I can.
As far as why I went on a mission, it started when my brother-in-law got home from his mission and brought a slideshow of pictures and a whole bunch of stories from his mission home. They were stories of the people he´d met, the adventures he´s had, the things that he loved. And hearing returned missionaries talk about their missions is an incredible thing. Hearing their stories and the love they have for it was like a bedtime story for me. That´s when I started thinking about a mission as something that was possible a few years down the road as the age change hadn´t happened yet. Then when the age change happened, I kind of felt like everyone expected me to go. That´s definitely not the reason I went, but I think it had something to do with it. After a few months of praying, I felt that it was the thing that the Lord needed me to do. That´s the root of my decision. Submitting to the Lord´s will in that decision was one of that hardest and scariest things I´ve ever had to do, but I can already see the blessings of that choice. I´ve gotten through the roughest parts, and I´m starting to see how this was also the best thing I´ve ever chosen to do. I know I can only become the person that Heavenly Father needs me to be through the trials, and happiness, the ups and downs, the tears of love, joy, frustration, and sadness, all of this will only make me the best version of me I can be. Yes, I guess you could say the reason I went on a mission as a little bit selfish, but although the time you spend on your mission, you should be focused on how you can serve everyone else around you and be the Lord´s instrument, when it´s all said and done, you´re the person that will have changed the most. The Lord needs his strongest army for the tough times ahead, and what better training is there than to serve a misison.
As hard as a mission will be for anyone that does it the right way, don´t let that scare you away from doing it. You may spend the first few months questioning yourself and wishing you were home instead, but in my short 7 months in the mission, I can already testify that every moment is worth is. I have grown so much in my testimony, especially that of my Savior and the atonement. If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether or not the Savior lived, you need only study the atonement. I have never felt the spirit stronger. Every experience I have testifies that the Savior lives. That He knows us, that He knows everything, because he´s experienced it. He spent His life in the work of the Lord so that He could comfort us. He willingly gave everything He was and had out of love. A love so strong that He felt the pains of every single person, the sorrows of us all, just so that we wouldn´t have to be alone. Just so that one day we, in our imperfect little bodies and lives, would have the opportunity to perfect ourselves so that one day we may stand worthy of His blessings and be able to inherit His kingdom and live with him one day. If I´ve learned anything on my mission, it´s that love is the most important thing. Love for your investigators, for your companions, for your Savior, and most importantly the love He has for us, it the driving force. There is nothing greater or stronger than His love. And this gospel gives us the opportunity to experience it in its greatest strength. The Savior lives. He loves us. He knows us. He asks only that we obey him and try our best. Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, His church was restored fully so that we may receive all He has in store for us. This is the church of Jesus Christ. He stands at the head and will not lead us astray.
Well if I find some more time, I´ll try to answer some more of those questions, but I hope that´s what you were looking for. I hope it works out well and feel free to give them my email address or my mail address and I would be more than willing to answer their personal questions too. Love you lots and thanks for the amazing example and friend that you are to the youth in our stake.
Hermana Paige Walton