Not only that, but the first assistant in my priest's quorum is moving, so he was released on Sunday. But guess what he asked me to do before he was released? That's right! Give the lesson in Aaronic priesthood.
Luckily I stayed clear of the bishopric so I don't have to prepare a talk as well.
But anyway, for the Sunday School lesson, Sister Davis gave me an outline, so that's good. But I didn't even get a topic for the Young Men's lesson.
Throughout the week, I was thinking, and eventually I decided on either Missionary Work, or Personal Revelation. Upon praying, I found that either one is good, so I left it up to a coin toss. Heads missionary work, tails personal revelation.
It landed on tails.
I kind of also decided that whatever I'm not giving a lesson on, I'll give a thought about. So here's a thought I have about missions.
I was nine years old when I first remember somebody going on a mission. That was my brother, who was called to Arizona.
I'd like to say that I missed him so much, and that I was so proud of him, but sorry bro, that wasn't the case.
I mean, yeah, I wasn't used to him being gone, but he was going on a mission. I was always taught that that's just what you do. That that's what happens after high school.
So when my other two brothers went on their missions, I was unfazed.
But after my third oldest brother left for Texas, I realized that I was next. The sister in between us didn't seem to have a desire to serve a mission, which is totally fine, but that meant I was my family's next missionary.
I never had a time where I actually didn't plan on go, or wasn't decided. But shortly after my brother left when I was a freshman, that October Conference, I saw President Monson address the church. He welcomed us as he would. He announced new temples, and talked about ones that were recently dedicated. But than he got going on missionaries.
He said this.
In my phone, I have the annoucment of the young men's age change marked and labeled, "Awesome!!"
When the missionary age was changed, I was 14 years old. I think when I heard that, I said to myself, "Looks like I've got one less year."
But still, I never got too into preparation. I attended the mission prep classes the stake occasionally held, but I never decided to start perparing.
Until just a few months ago.
Let's just say I had had an awful day. Those of you who are close to me know exactly what this day was (or in the very least can guess), and you know that I was very different than I usually was for several...actually I think I was different for the remainder of the school year.
For the sake of the story, but also because I'd rather not talked about it, I'll say a certain distraction I had was no longer that. And I didn't choose for that to happen.
I'm trying to be subtle, but can you guess what it was?
Also, disclaimer to the person I'm talking about here, if you happen to be reading this, you did what you needed to do. I'm not trying to offend you or anything.
Right after it happened, (like really, mere seconds after) I had a thought. You need to prepare for your mission.
That hit me. This was around in April in my junior year. A year from that time, I could've had my mission call. From there, I decided to prepare for my mission in whatever way I could.
"Yay!" you're saying, "Happy ending for you, right?"
See, missionary work is kind of important. Naturally, it requires a lot. And since it is as important as it is, the devil hates it.
I was working hard, I was learning so much. I was a new man. I was dedicated to serving the Lord! However, guess who came running up and hit my joy over the head with a two by four? Who else?
Sadness because of what happened, and other issues involving friends and something else that I'm definitely not going to talk about, kept popping up and worrying me.
These thoughts that I was weak, and that I wasn't anything special, really slowed me down. Satan really tried to tear me down. And I'll say that he still is. Back then, it was hard. I don't like saying that because it sounds a little...whiny? But I'm going to say with full honesty, that that was the most difficult time in my life. Everything came crashing down, except the essentials.
And let me tell you, it was difficult.
I want to tell you that I'm that hero of this story, and that it'll be smooth sailing until I get that call in the mail, but like I said before, Satan's still fighting back.
Satan doesn't want me going on a mission because he knows I'll be successful out there. He knows that I'll introduce people to the gospel, and in turn will get people baptized, and get them to help build the kingdom. That's the last thing the adversary wants.
That's why he's not going to give up. But don't worry, neither am I.
I guess I have a moral here. And it's one I've been living by recently. If things are bad, and you don't feel like you deserve it, that only means that things are about to get so much better for you.
I kind of strayed from missionary work, so I'll get back to it. I love missionaries. Those elders and sisters you see are dedicating part of their life to the Lord.
This time next year I'll be one of them, and I hope I'll be ready when I get that call.
But that's just a thought.
Thanks for listening,