Making the Most of Your Mission—John D. Whetten
1. What Makes a Great Missionary?
Your mission, like every mission, has successful missionaries. These missionaries change lives because they have followed certain principles and gained certain attributes. As you learn and follow the principles of effective missionary work, you too will become a successful missionary.
These principles include dedication, seek to be led by the Spirit, effective teaching, develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and have a Christ-like character.
Do not compare yourself to other missionaries. Instead, emulate the example of the Savior’s greatest missionaries, Paul, Nephi, Alma, and the sons of Mosiah.
2. Catch the Vision of Your Calling
Missionaries frequently experience a great change during their mission. This mighty change will come when you suddenly become aware of : 1) the eternal importance of your calling, 2)why you are on a mission, 3)the eternal effect of you message on others, and 4)the spiritual power available to help you succeed. This perspective of your mission is something you do not inherit; you have to work extremely hard to receive it. The degree to which you achieve this-not the office you hold- will determine the success of your mission.
D&C 15:6, D&C 18:10, 15-16
Missionary work is so important that in the premortal existence which who was to serve as a missionary was foreordained to that calling. This gives new incentive and responsibility to a call from the prophet to modern-day missionaries. Not only do they have the calling and authority from the prophet, but also from the grand council of heaven!
D&C 4, D&C 61:34,
One of the reasons you go on a mission, is to gain a spiritual conviction and to begin achieving your salvation. Second reason is to learn to live by the Spirit. You will then be better able to make inspired decisions concerning a profession, selection of a spouse, and other matters throughout your life. No better time will come to learn to live by the Spirit than during your mission. You will reap the benefits of this knowledge throughout your life.
You also go on a mission to be molded by the Spirit of the Lord, and be an emissary of Jesus Christ in teaching his gospel to others. You are an ambassador of God blessed with his power and sent forth with his promises. You are an emissary of Jesus Christ and bring the message to others of peace and goodwill toward men and women. Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith said, ‘We are all called to raise the warning voice to invite men to forsake the world, and to come unto Christ and gain all of the blessings of the Gospel.’(Improvement Era, Sept. 1970 pg13)
Your message will have an eternal effect on the lives of those you teach. Through you , people can know that a prophet is here upon the earth speaking the words of God, that the authority of the apostles has been restored, and that a father can hold the authority of God to bless his family.
Your calling is the opportunity to help Father bring back his children into the fold. Your calling is a partnership with God; D&C 84:88-89. You will need to rely upon your knowledge of the spiritual power available to help you succeed. You are not alone. There are those of the priesthood in heaven who help bring about this great missionary work. Herold B Lee commented, ‘There is a tremendous spirit here this afternoon that I feel- now if you will keep it. The Lord is sending his angels to watch over you and guide you, if you’ll only put yourself in the way of listening and being prepared when the spirit comes.’ (Church News, Nov 23, 1963, p5)