Missions are HARD! Going on a mission is a sacrifice. It is a lot of work & you will never be comfortable! When I say missions are hard, I mean that is a kind of hard that you just cannot prepare for… honestly the best way to understand what this means is to just experience it yourself! Anyone else who has served a mission can vouch for me-I promise! Just know that the experiences you are about to have are not going to be easy. Joy comes with a price!
Proselyting Missions are NOT for everyone. I feel very strongly about this one! Honestly, you need to pray, pray, pray about whether a full-time mission is right for you! (Sisters especially!) There are SO many ways that you can serve the Lord, and it doesn’t have to be in the form of a full-time proselyting mission-I promise! You know yourself best, so go with what you know you want and know you can handle. Counsel with the Lord when making your decision! He knows what is best for you-even when you don’t. That leads us to point 3!
Missions are SACRED!They are between you & the Lord! Cue in the cheesy white handbook statement: “Your loyalty is first to the Lord, then to your mission president, then to your companion.” The sooner you can understand that your mission is between you and the Lord, the easier it’s going to be for you. This is your time to serve him wholeheartedly! You will never get another time to serve the Lord 24/7 like you do as a missionary and as a result, you will grow so much closer to Him! Is it WORTH IT? 100% YES!
It does NOT matter WHERE you serve! I cannot stress this enough! You are called to the exact place that you need to be! Calls to serve are very inspired and God knows the people that only you can touch and reach. You do not need to be called to Paris or France to have a good mission experience. I am not a fan of the stigma associated with foreign versus stateside missions… Missions are NOT a vacation! They are a time to serve the Lord and serve God’s children, and it does not matter where you go.
Stateside Missions are the BEST EVER! I’m a little bias on this one 😉 But there are a lot of perks to serving stateside! For example: Excellent Health Care, it’s easier to send and receive packages, you have access to places like Target & Chickfila… haha! No matter where you go, I’m sure you will think your mission is the best ever! (& if not, realize that’s okay too, you don’t have to love it)
You CANNOT compare your mission with anyone else’s! Your mission experience will be catered to YOU! I can promise that there is no missionary in this world who is going to have the exact same experience as you are. Each individual mission, place, and person are so different and there is really no room for comparison! We all have different struggles and trials and I strongly believe the Lord will give you exactly what you need to learn on your mission.
Know WHY you are there & never forget it! I strongly recommend that you go into your mission knowing the WHY behind your decision to serve. Before you go, really make sure that you know WHY you are there. If you don’t have the motivation or reasons to be there, it is going to be a lot harder for you. Remind yourself daily why you want to serve the Lord, and what brought you to your decision to serve! I promise it will make the world of difference in your mission experience!
Serving a mission is THE BEST thing you can do for your future self & family! I promise this is a life changing experience. You will figure out so much about yourself, what you believe, and how you want to live your life. The habits and principles that you learn and live on the mission really do set you up for a successful life! You will learn more about the reality of the gospel, and the atonement of Jesus Christ than you can imagine! You will come back a changed person!
Missions are physically, emotionally, & mentally draining! You are going to experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in a VERY short amount of period. Missionary work is exhausting in every way, shape, and form. You will be tired, sad, homesick, lonely, yet the most happy you’ve ever been! It’s a crazy experience, that’s for sure!
Going on a mission will be *one* of THE BEST decisions you ever make! Gotta be careful with how I phrase this one…haha! I can honestly bet you that if you go out in the field and have a terrible experience, you still probably won’t regret your decision to serve. It might take you a while to look back and be grateful for your experiences, but I’d say for the general population, most people come back and love their missions!