Why we serve
This past Wednesday, the young men in our ward met with the missionaries who asked why they wanted to serve missions. Their answers ranged greatly: some aren't sure they want to, some because we have to, some just want a way out of the house, and others want to share truth. As I sat listening, I though about why I served. I loved Guatemala but I didn't know that is where I was going when I decided to serve. If I had to guess it was probably most motivated by wanting to set a good example and not let people or God down. That was my reason, at least when I left.
On my mission, the biggest things that kept me going were duty and love of the people. I wanted to do it right. I tried to avoid regret. I messed up a lot of things trying to do things right, but it was my intention. I loved watching people's love of the Gospel grow. In different people that meant different things: to some it was love of the Church or the ward members, to others it was additional knowledge of God's love, and still others it was the hope of keeping their family together.
If I were to do it again, why would I? In receiving the 10 commandments, Moses wrote that God asked the children of Israel to keep the seventh day holy as a reminder of their servitude in Egypt (Deuteronomy 5). In other words, they were asked to take a day to remember times when they could not worship their God and be grateful. Too often, I miss that when I just get through a Sunday. I would serve again, and I hope to some day, because I'm grateful to my Father for the gifts He has given me. I want Him to know that through my actions.