Surely everyone wants to finish their missions looking “fabulous.” Most missionaries dream of that moment when the airport doors slide open, and they reveal their new and improved selves to family and the . . . more-than-just-friends.
I’m sure we’ve all seen someone we know go out on a mission and return with, let’s be honest, a more attractive change. It’s partly physical, but it’s also emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental. There’s just something amazing about RMs.
But what most people don’t realize is that this “look” isn’t a result of a focused determination to “look good”—it’s a product of their dedication as a missionary. Don’t believe me?
Let me give you an example:
One of the best transfers of my mission started with a question from my new companion. “Hey, elder, do you like running?” Now, I’d done some amateur running before my mission. (OK, it was just jogging really.) So I instinctively said, “Yeah, I like running.” His face then lit up like it was Christmas morning. What he hadn’t told me was that he was a state champion runner.
He was dying to find a companion who would run with him, no one had up until this point. If I’d have known how good he was, I may not have been so keen.
In that moment, right there, we created a binding agreement to run every morning at 6:33 am. I was in OK shape, but my companion was about forty-seven-times fitter than I was and at least three-times faster. We ran a circuit around the back of our house that took exactly twenty five minutes. I kept a slow pace and my companion ran ahead of me, backwards and forwards at a much faster pace. It was exhausting. I don’t know how he did it.
Every day, we returned home, took showers, got dressed, ate breakfast and then started our studies. Even though it was difficult to wake up and get out of the house every day at 6:33am it was totally worth it.
The results were amazing. I was more alert for studies, more focused in lessons. Being in a companionship was easier. I felt healthier, and it was easier to be obedient to the rules. Not only did I feel a physical change but a spiritual one too. I felt clearer direction from the spirit and we found more success in our area. In fact it was my most successful
transfer (if we’re just looking at stats).
Did I return home looking fabulous? Of course I did—especially with my two-year tan. But it wasn’t down to ‘pumping weights’ or going crazy with a high-protein diet. I didn’t have to break any rules, and it didn’t take my focus off the work . . . In fact it had the opposite effect. It all started at 6:33 every morning. Not 6:45, not 6:50 . . . 6:33am.