So before I left, I was talking with my Dad about some of my missionary friends in the ward, the sisters and elders I have gotten to know so well. Now, if you're parents live in a well populated area in the United States, they might have seen one of these well dressed sisters or suit wearing elders walking through the neighborhood. Not to confuse them with Jehovah's Witnesses :0
Because there is a huge difference of course.
My Dad however, could not mentally grasp the idea of missionary work. To be honest, I didn't know much about it either until I joined the Church, but the keyword there is MUCH. This man doesn't get it! It was funny to talk to him because he kept referring to it as "mission ", not understanding that these brothers and sisters are set apart and called by the prophet to a specific place. He also didn't understand that it is something that lasts 2 years for guys, and 18 months for girls.
Here's some things I would explain to friends and family curious about Missionaries, but just don't get it:
1. I had to explain to him that yes, they are going of their own free will, and that everything is payed for by the missionary and their family (unless of course they are getting help from the Church missionary fund as well). I have a huge respect for the missionary fund, by the way. Without it, I probably wouldn't be able to serve a mission, something I hope for my future.
2. Also, they don't see their family for the entirety of their mission, with a few exceptions via Skype. That's something that shocks people when they hear about it.
3. The Church very much relies on missionary work. Without it, no one would come to know about the Restoration of the Gospel.
4. Missionaries are required to put aside all worldly affairs before leaving, and to uphold high moral and spiritual standards, both while on and of their mission. They are representing the Church, so you can kinda see where that is important, right?
5. There are almost 60,000 missionaries out right now, with even more than ever before waiting for their Mission Calls, sending in their papers, arriving at the MTC (Missionary Training Center), and arriving in the mission field. Here's a picture that kind of puts it into perspective:
Sooo, you catch my drift right?? I just received word that we got 2 new missionaries in our Ward. That makes 6 total in our small YSA ward. It's a pretty big deal! That's why when someone doesn't get it, or has their facts twisted I get super anxious to clear up any mis understandings.
Well, that's all I've got for now!
I will leave you with a picture of one of my BEST friends, Amy, who just got her mission call last Saturday! We were all super happy and excited, I think it took a month once she submitted her papers! It seemed like FOREVER but she was so patient! She reports to the Provo MTC on August 21st, and will be serving in the California-Irvine mission. She will be an amazing missionary, because she is SO kind and is a living example of Christ's love.