Monday, March 15, 2010

Choosing to serve

My parents didn’t grow up in the church (and so didn’t serve full-time missions), i didn’t hang out with returned full-time missionaries while i was growing up, and i lived with a non-Mormon relative for the couple years before i served as a full-time missionary—all that to say that i didn’t really have any “role models” to follow on the whole serving a mission thing.

Perhaps as a result of this, i was shocked (and i mean that quite honestly) when i was in the Missionary Training center and learned that there were a lot of people there who had chosen to serve a mission even partly out of social, non-internal reasons. My experience was, of course, rather different, and almost zen—the opportunity was there to serve, so i chose to serve. (There wasn’t even really any “Should i go?” questioning. I wonder how widespread or not such an experience is. I’m guessing it’s not all that unusual, but it doesn’t make for good stories so we don’t hear about it very much.)

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Most kids I think serve because they are expected to. Most of those end up being grateful for the experience. It's very different living in "the mission field" (can I just say now how much that phrase annoys me since last I checked there were missionaries serving in UT/ID/etc.) versus living in the jell-o belt. A good number of the kids from outside the jell-o belt metropolitan area are like you I'd suspect. I mean we certainly haven't encouraged Ani to go on a mission in any way and yet she, at 10, is insistent she is going on one (I, at 10, was insistent I was going to get married before turning 21 and NOT go on a mission). Having friends in/from UT and the surrounding areas is rather eye-opening as far as external expectations vs. internal desires and going on missions. Be glad you were born in "the mission field" (which technically would be, like, a good part of the landmasses of the earth, right?).