Sunday, December 16, 2012

Panama Is Perfect

That's right my dear readers, I have been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have been called to labor in the Panama, Panama City mission. I report to the Guatemala MTC on April 3, 2013. Amusingly, I was so emotional when I read it that when I finished reading I thought for a good five minutes I was serving Guatemala. My thoughts were so jumbled I couldn't say any thing except "thank you" as I traversed a receiving line of friends that wanted to hug and congratulate me. I feel so blessed for this opportunity to represent my Savior and bring others unto Him. I have wanted serve a mission for such a long time. Words cannot express my joy at finally having the chance to do so. The moment I read my call I knew God had been preparing me all my life to serve His children in Panama. The call itself was a wonderful tender mercy from The Lord, a great reminder that The Lord is very aware of us, our circumstances, and the deepest desires of our hearts. I will tell you why.

Before I went to school at BYU I had the privilege of going on a cruise with my family to the coast of Mexico. One of our destinations was the beautiful tropical island of Puerto Vallarta. The adults decided to take us through very impoverished areas of the island. We traveled through communities where the doorless, floorless house could hardly be called such. The people had very little, most of them didn't even have shoes to wear and ran around barefoot. As I watched women wash their laundry in the river and children with rags for clothing play in the gutters of the streets I felt some thing I cannot adequately described with words. I wanted to stay with these people and help them. I didn't just want to help them with the temporal things that they lacked. I wanted to bring these wandering lambs to the fold of the Shepard. I wanted to teach them the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I had forgotten about this desire as I prepared to receive my call. Whenever anyone asked me where I wanted to go I would respond with some thing like "Greece would be cool" or "I feel like I might go to France." Yet when I read the words in my call letter I knew The Lord had remembered that deep yearning I'd felt so long ago. Panama is. In many ways, identical to Puerto Vallarta except it is a lot bigger with 3 million people to meet and bring to Jesus. I love my Savior and this Church so much. I know there is nothing else I could do at this point in my life that would bring me closer and bring me more joy. I look forward to sharing these life changing experiences with you my dear readers through the letters that my family will post here for me. Until then, I look forward to how The Lord will help me grow in preparation for the service that, with His help and according to His will, I will bring to the Panamanian people. May God bless you my dear readers through the holiday season and until you read again.

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