"Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted...one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?"
You better believe that I'm quoting Eminem right now...
"You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only got one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime"
I know that he's not exactly talking about an LDS mission here or anything, but this guy's got a pretty good point!
So does W. Christopher Waddell of the Seventy
He gave a great talk in October of 2011 called: The Opportunity of a Lifetime.
Take a listen, I promise that it'll be worth it!
I don't know about you, but sometimes it's hard to remember just how amazing this opportunity is that's been given to us as missionaries serving full-time missions. As a friend once said, "It is a solemn honor to serve in the Lord's army." I think that's something worth remembering.
Preparing for a mission is tough, for sure- but I think we can all agree that it's the waiting that's (one of, if not) the hardest part. Whether its 3 weeks or 5 months between receiving the call and reporting to the MTC the wait can be just a little bit of a downer sometimes. That time between opening up your papers and getting them submitted can be pretty brutal too, no doubt about that! But it is the gift of time that the Lord has given us to prepare.
What are the demons you find yourself facing as you've been preparing?
For me, it's definitely procrastination- a few other things, but boy is this one going to bite me in the butt BIG TIME if I don't get a handle on it quick!
Recognition is the first step in recovery, right?
It seems that almost every Sister or Elder that I've talked to wishes they had started sooner, finished quicker, studied harder, prayed longer. They all say, "do it now! Get your stuff, start to learn the language, know the lessons!" Have any of us met someone who felt 100% ready to go on their report date? I haven't, but boy is it my goal to be as close to 100% as possible!
There are a few things I think about often that just give me that spark to get off my butt and get goin:
First, the Lord will do things in his own time. My availability date was in February and I don't leave until July. Some people leave on their date, others days after or just weeks after. If you're working on turning in your papers and are still hesitant about that date, just realize that there is absolutely NO pattern within the giving of calls and dates that missionaries report. It is only on the Lord's time that you are called to do the work and not by any other means.
Second, Mission Calls are not a random assignment. They are inspired. We just had General Conference a few weeks ago, one of those amazing Elders already has or will at one point take the time to ponder over you and assign you to the place that the Lord needs you to serve. I know that this is hard to remember and sometimes even hard to believe. But I have faith that this reason will be made known to me....eventually.
Side note: I totally wish there was a way to find out who assigned me to my mission! That would be pretty dang sweet.
Third. I'ts never been my time to spend. I could maybe go on to say this about my whole life, but the moment I got my call I gave my time to the Lord. I've been given this time of preparation because He KNOWS I need it! It is a tender mercy from the Lord that I have so much time to prepare. Whether it's a few weeks or a few months we need not waste the time that we've been given to prepare ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually to submit mission papers and to enter the MTC.
With that, I've decided to set a few simple goals for myself.
I'm just going to start out with this one for today:
My goal is to read the Book of Mormon once in English and once in Portuguese before I enter the MTC on July 3rd.
More specifically, I want to finish it in English by May 13th. I've never been great at everyday prayer and scripture study (yikes, right? We all have our struggles.) but this will push me to be reading and studying every day. My Stake President counselled that I pray before AND after my study time.So that will be happening as well.
To hold myself accountable to this goal I plan on giving a brief update (here) with where I am/get to each day.
I heard once that 50% of achieving a goal is writing it down...so *Hooray for being 50% there!*
I'm sure I will think of plenty more goals here shortly. Anyone have suggestions? What do you wish you would have done earlier in preparing for your mission? Advice on anything? Readyyyy Go!