Being An Example
Anyone who thinks being a missionary will make them invisible is sadly mistaken. As a missionary everyone watches your every move. How many times have you heard in Aaronic Priesthood quorums or in Young Women to pattern yourself after the missionaries, to be like the missionaries? Elders and Sisters are treated in the member’s homes as the servants of the Lord. People serve them their best meals, they buy them things, take them places, and teach their children to look up to the missionaries. It is not a lowly calling, to be a missionary. It is with great pleasure that the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ call themselves Elders. Sisters are performing the same work, and receive the same blessings, and are revered and looked up to by the members just as the Elders are. A missionary is a missionary.
So how can you be a good example to others while you are a missionary? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Follow the Mission rules. You, your companion, and your leaders are generally the only ones who know if you are following the mission rules, but sometimes the members can tell as well. This is especially true if you are breaking them or following them faithfully. If you are in your apartment when you are supposed to be, and not in your apartment when you should be elsewhere, members take note of it. If you are playing around when you should be working, the members will see that and tell others what they have seen. What you do is seen by watchful eyes every hour of the day. Remember that even members of other faiths know a little of what you are and are not supposed to be doing. What kind of example will you set for those who are being prepared to hear your message?
2. Faithfully study your scriptures. As the Lord’s mouthpiece he has promised that he will fill your mouth with his words at the moment you need them. If you haven’t studied his words and learned His gospel, there will be nothing to put in your mouth when you are most in need of His help. Studying the scriptures is not just an academic exercise to see how many scriptures you can memorize. The purpose of scripture study is to learn, to make them a part of how you think.
3. Learn to pray. This may seem simple, but as a missionary you will be praying all the time. Sometimes you will feel like you have run out of anything original to say. But practice makes perfect. As you learn that prayer is a two-way conversation between you and the Lord, you will learn that keeping in close contact with your source of inspiration and power is a good thing. This will help you feel grateful for all the opportunities to pray. A missionary that understands how to pray has greater spiritual power.
4. Remember you represent the Lord. Being a missionary is not a free pass to perfection. You will still have all your weaknesses and fears. What you have though is an extra endowment of the Lord’s spirit to help you in your work. Take advantage of this gift. Learn to listen to the Spirit, learn to take direction from Him as you plan out your days, as you carry conversations with those who would try to bring a spirit of contention into your life, and as you serve others. By learning to listen to the Holy Ghost in all that you do, you will find that you are a better representative of the Lord wherever you are and in whatever you do. You will also discover that you are happier than you have ever been.