How can you get excited about your mission call? Finding out where you’re going can bring on a mixture of different emotions. From excitement to anxiety, opening your mission call can be overwhelming. Of course, you’re feeling great about serving the Lord and want to go where He sends you. But, on the other hand, you might be nervous that you’ll be called to serve somewhere you don’t want to go. So, how can you fight off the anxiety, and just be happy for wherever you’re called?
1. Think about why you’re serving a mission. Remember the purpose of a mission. It’s not to travel the world, but to serve God “with all your heart, mind, might, and strength” (D&C 4:2). If anyone knows where you can serve best, it’s Heavenly Father. He is aware of your strengths, weaknesses, talents, and skills. Make it a matter of prayer. If anyone can help you overcome your anxiety for the call, it’s your Father in Heaven. Remember, it doesn’t matter where you go, but why you’re going.
2. Talk to many different RMs about their missions. It’s easy to label an area as undesirable if you know nothing about the work over there. By talking to people who served in many diverse places, you can learn about what made those missions special and unique.
3. Forget about expectations. You may feel like people expect you to go to a certain place, and you don’t want them to be disappointed if you go somewhere else. However, you need to remember that where you go is between you and the Lord. It doesn’t matter one smidge what another person thinks of your call. What matters is how you feel and, more importantly, how God feels.
4. Learn about the culture in different missions. Part of what makes mission calls so exciting is the idea of what people you’ll be teaching. Start learning new things about people from all over the world. In fact, it might be a good idea to focus particularly on a place that’s lower on your list. Learn about people from Ghana to England, Florida to Washington. The truth is that once you learn to love the people, you learn to love the mission, no matter where you go.
5. Read the scriptures. In the scriptures, we find many examples of incredible missionaries. We read about the sons of Mosiah, Alma and Amulek, Peter, Nephi, Paul, and many others. Reading their stories will help you to feel the Spirit of the work you are called to. It didn’t matter to these missionaries where the Lord called them. Oftentimes, they were called to hostile areas where they could have been killed. But they still went forth and “thrust in the sickle, and did reap with all [their] might” (Alma 26:5), and experienced miraculous success.
No matter where you go, you can find the good and make your mission wonderful and full of meaning. The Lord has a very specific purpose in calling you to your specific mission. He knows you personally and will not lead you astray. He’s asked you to “feed [His] sheep” (John 21: 15-17), and that is the greatest calling you will ever receive. Choose to make your mission a blessing in not only your life, but in the lives of those you teach.