What my mission is teaching me

    by Nathan Craven

    Missionaries

    I am serving a mission in Kentucky, USA where I have found great love for the Saviour among the people. Their lives revolve around Him.

    My time and experience in the UK helped me come closer to God. I had to make the choice as to what is most important to me, and what I believed in.

    These questions led me to ask God, although at the time I wasn't sure that He existed. I still turned to Him in prayer. I received my answer and now knew that He was there and loved me. I started to learn more about Him and my relationship with Him.

    Living the gospel in Europe is different to what it is like in Kentucky. On my mission I have come to know how passion can change people’s lives. A person I met said that if you aren't passionate about what you are doing, then don't do it. That resonated with me. I thought, if we aren't being passionate about the gospel, then why are we living it?

    We might believe and know the gospel is true, but if we are not passionate about living it, it isn't changing our lives or, at least, not as quickly as it should. That is something I have seen in people I have met on my mission; how rapidly they change to truth. It’s awe-inspiring. Once they know something is right, they stop at nothing to have it in their lives.

    Some of the strongest Latter-day Saints I have seen are those I have met in the UK. While there are many strong members in Kentucky, they live in a place where almost everyone loves and accepts God. In the UK and Europe, members are constantly under attack for their faith and love of God. It is not that people are targeting us, but our culture and its effect on our lives is weighing down on us. If we don't make an effort to strengthen our testimonies, they won't last long.

    Just like the Lamanites, those in the UK and Europe who have experienced that mighty change of heart and converted will never falter; but in order to change our lives for the better, we need to stay on the covenant path. And, we need to have passion for the gospel.

    The people in Kentucky love the Lord strongly; it has changed my life. I have come to love the Lord by loving other people, living the gospel, and most of all by sharing the gospel. The people cherish the scriptures; they are their water. They try to live by every word and obey the voice of the Lord. They are not ashamed of their beliefs; they are not concerned what others think of their worship; they could not care less about any mockery they may receive – if anything it gives them more intent to live the gospel. They love the Lord far too much to let anyone get in their way of following the Saviour.

    This has moved me. When I look back on my life, I regret to say that I was scared to share my beliefs with others because it wasn't the most important thing in my life.

    However, after seeing what it is to love God truly, I can say that I am not ashamed or scared of my beliefs nor sharing them with others. They have become the centre of my life. I love and trust the Lord. He died for me. I know He is watching over and blessing me every day. Having passion for what is most important in our lives changes us.