Whether it’s 18 months or two years, young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints travel to different parts of the world to preach the gospel.
The experiences they have while they are away from home can be hard, but they can also help them learn something.
“There was an emergency transfer and in about nine hours, I went from junior companion, to senior companion, to district leader, to trainer,” said Spencer Smith, a freshman studying exercise physiology. “It was really tough. I tried to keep everything together. Other missionaries tried to ‘help’ but they weren’t really helping.”
According to “Why Do We Have Trials,” an article on lds.org, Elder Hales, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said that we have trials because it gives us the opportunity to learn even during the hardest times.
“I got on my knees and I let my heart out, just telling the Lord about how hard everything was,” Smith said. “That’s when I knew that I had to keep persevering and that I wasn’t alone. That strengthened my testimony that he wants to help us in any situation that we come across.”
Missionaries follow a strict schedule where they wake up at 6:30 a.m. and have their day filled until 10:30 p.m. when they can go to bed. Not only do missionaries learn to adapt to this schedule, they need to adapt to new cultures, food – sometimes learn a different language – and learn to care about strangers, according to Missionary Handbook.
Brandon Orme, a junior studying business management, said that the most difficult part of his mission was when investigators wouldn’t keep their commitments, but it taught him patience.
“Everyone is progressing at their own speed, and you just need to accept that and love people,” Orme said.
The missionary purpose is: “Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end,” according to Preach My Gospel.
“The love of God must permeate all missionaries in their charge to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people,” according to Deseret News.
Missionaries talk to everyone they meet about the gospel. Many people accept it, and are willing to listen, while others reject the idea of listening to Mormon missionaries.
“The hardest part was dealing with rejection,” said Kjersti Shiffler, a sophomore studying business management. “I learned that instead of getting discouraged over a no, get excited about finding that one person who says yes.“