Friday, July 27, 2012

Welcome to Hell?

"Hell"- I used to call it "H. E. double hockey sticks" get it? 
. . . Hockey sticks have a 'L' shape to them. 
I would have felt so guilty saying the word "Hell" back then.
I was such a sheltered child. 

I probably shouldn't kick off my missionary blog like this.
I should probably do some sort of introduction to how I decided to go on a mission, the anticipation of the call, the hours before opening the envelope, learning where I am going and the preparation I have had thus far. However those will be dealt with in posts to come - maybe.

Wednesday at work my high school seminary teacher came to the pool to swim with his boys.
I call him Bro Cow.
Before leaving he came over to me.
"So have you gone to Hell yet?"

I was confused "Hell?"

He went on to explain that Hell is what Satan puts missionaries through. Satan wants to do everything he can to prevent the work of the Lord being spread throughout the world. Fears, doubts, worthiness, questioning, capability; all of these are real feelings and they are all ways to scare missionaries off. Ah yes, Hell.

These feelings are familiar.

I thought going on a mission would be quick and easy. Simple. At least the getting there part. I have wanted to serve a mission for sometime now, and in my mind there was nothing stopping me. Ideally I would get my call, prepare everything I could before leaving and then be on my merry little way to the MTC and then off again to the land of California to share the gospel. . . and that is still the plan, but it isn't as smooth going as I had imagined.

I have fears. I am scared to death quite frankly.
I will be leaving everything I know for eighteen months and I have no idea even what to expect.
I won't be able to go and do whatever my heart desires.
I will have a strict schedule.
I will only have four pairs of shoes.
I don't want to get plump or fluffy or chunk.
I will always have someone with me ALL THE TIME.

I doubt myself. My ability to teach. My strength in the work. My lack of diversity. I even doubted my testimony and the things I know to be true - that one didn't last long, praying stopped that doubt in its tracks.
Sometimes I question if I am going for the right reason. Sometimes I wonder if I would be making better use of my staying home and going to school.
I am going to a highly educated area and I speak with a hick accent. Why would people listen? Am I good enough, strong enough - am I just enough to represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

And I must say they are quite "Hell-like".

"Don't worry every missionary goes through Hell. Satan is real," Bro Cow said.

Then he asked if I knew the story behind Section 52 in the Doctrine and Covenants. . . I didn't another rush of inadequacy rushed through my body. . . "I should know this- I am going to be teaching people things from these books. How am I to teach if I don't know myself?" I thought to myself.

He advised me to read it, but continued to tell me that during this section men are being called to serve missions and to share the gospel. As they are being called they are also warned of the desires and goals that Satan has "for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations-"

Reading this section gave me comfort, hope and a sense of peace that I have been seeking.