APPLICANTS: Single young men ages 19-24 and women ages 21 or older, or retired couples
SCHEDULE: You are on the job every day, all day long. Arise at 6:30 am including weekends and holidays. Exercise for 30 minutes, prepare for the day between 7-8 am. From 8-10 am study, both alone and with your assigned companion. If you are learning a language, an additional hour may be taken to study. From 10 am to 9 pm work in your assigned area. An hour may be taken for each lunch and dinner. Bedtime is 10:30 pm every night. Part of 1 day each week may be used to to communicate with family, clean, shop, and prepare for the rest of the week. This is an 18 month to 2 year commitment.
DRESS: Men will wear suits, white shirts, and ties. Women will wear dresses or skirt and blouse combinations. Casual dress may be worn when activities (such as community service) require.
RESPONSIBILITIES: You will be assigned to an area of the world to work and must leave behind all former commitments and concerns. You will receive at least 3 weeks of training before beginning work. If you are assigned a language, you will receive 9-12 weeks of focused language training before sending you to the area. Talk to strangers everywhere you go; ask them about their personal religious convictions and offer to share yours. Be willing to share past experiences and seek constantly for opportunities to teach about Christ and His plan for all people. You will be supported by fellow missionaries, leaders, and the Spirit. You will also be opposed by all who dislike public expression of belief, protesters against our particular religion, and the worlds greatest opponent: the Adversary.
SALARY: You’re probably thinking, “You couldn’t pay me to do this.” We pay our own way: -$495/month.
As missionaries, we leave home and family to teach what we know is true. Our commitment is not easy, but we know (and constantly come to know more) that we are teaching truth. I know that this is the Lord’s work both because I feel Him lead me and because I feel the adversary oppose me. This gospel is true. It changes lives. It has changed my life. It is still changing my life and it changes thousands every day. If it was just a job, you couldn’t pay me to do this. But this is the truth. I would give everything for the truth. What are you willing to give?
“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. . . (Romans 1:16).”
It’s interesting that as I get closer to going home, or further away from when I left home, some things mean more to me than others like never before. As far as home goes, it’s been a long time since I remember what still hangs in my closet or the books that line my shelves. I’ve forgotten what some things look like and omit details in my remembering. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “I know there’s a picture on the wall there, but I can’t remember what it is.” After all, the picture doesn’t really matter.
To me, family still matters most. I think of my sisters and parents, my brother-in-law, my adorable niece, and the nephew I haven’t met yet. I am happy when I know they are growing and learning—that they are happy.
My concept of missionary-things has changed as well. I feel that I’m finally starting to figure out what a missionary is supposed to be and do. Now, I really do care if I wake up at 6:30 each morning and go to bed at 10:30 each night. I feel my very best when I’ve taught by the Spirit, not necessarily when I’m completely healthy and well rested. I’m most happy when people do what is right, when the members teach and invite, when those who are learning truly seek through study and prayer. The greatest joy comes from others learning and treasuring the eternal nature of things.
The longer I’m gone, the less important the good but unnecessary things are and the more important are the eternal things. I’ve learned that happiness is not made by other people, by owning lots of things, or having the “perfect” looking life. Happiness is only made through doing what is right, by helping others do what is right, and living worthy of having the Spirit with us at all times and in all places.
Truly, the things that matter most are the things of the soul: family, friends, and the Spirit.