I have been thinking a lot this week. I have come to a few realizations about the mission. We haven't had a ton of success here in Tena but I sure have learned a lot. I've realized the importance of serving a mission. It is a once in a lifetime experience to convert ones self to the gospel. I think we are on the mission more for our personal and eternal progression than we are for others. As we do everything to bring others unto Christ, we seem to bring ourselves closer every day. Serving a mission is a commandment, a once in a lifetime commandment. I was thinking about the story of Abraham. I heard in a talk once that many people ask why God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son if God knew he was going to do it? Well, it wasn't because God needed to learn something about Abraham. It was because Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham. I think the mission is a similar commandment for us in these days. We aren't here so God can see if we really love Him and will serve Him, He already knows us perfectly. We are here so we can see if we really love Him, and if we will really serve Him. We are here to see if we are really converted to the gospel. Most of us don't start out converted. Maybe Abraham wasn't exactly sure what he would do when he got to his destination either. But he took the first step by leaving. It might of been during the journey that he decided he must do whatever God asks of him no matter how hard. Who knows. But for us it is something like that. If we do the mission right, serve with our whole heart, somewhere along the way we gain the determination to do whatever God asks of us no matter how hard. And like Abraham we might not always know why, but we learn to trust in our Father in Heaven.
I have realized that I need to change a whole lot of things in my life, or as a missionary. I think I still lack complete conversion, sad to say. I think we all lack a little bit of conversion. God continually teaches us and changes us, and we are continually made stronger and are converted even more. I realize that I have many weaknesses to overcome still. The first step is always to recognize our weakness. I trust in Moroni's promise (Ether 12:27). "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." For any of you who are preparing for a mission, prepare good. They didn't lie when they said it may be the most important thing you do. It sure doesn't make sense to start preparing for a mission when we are on the mission. You´ll just loose precious time.
The church is true. Christ lives. Perhaps the greatest miracle of the atonement is the many miracles it can work in each one of us. I love this gospel!