Called to Serve

Called to Serve
You are here by called to serve in the Philippines Bacolod Mission

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Finding Faith

         As a boy growing up I didn't understand much about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintes. My parents were both active members and so were my older siblings. We were living in Wyoming at the time when I dad got a new job in Utah. I was just in kindergarten at the time when my older sister Mandy was killed in a car accident. I was six at the time and never understood what was going on. I remember seeing my brothers crying and I wanted to do what they were doing but the tears just wouldn't come. I couldn't understand what had happened. I was only 6 years old and just like every other 6 year old I didn't understand the concepts of death.
       After this event had happened I noticed a change in my family. We started going to church more.My parents were going to the temple. My brothers were more active in their church callings and scouting. Which led to missions later on for the both of them. They actually both served in the Oklahoma missions. As for me I was effected differently. I didn't have the same desires that they did at the time. I didn't like to attend seminary or going to church. After my brothers both graduated I was the only child left at home. This was difficult for me because I didn't have them to hang out with or talk to about things. This also made it difficult for me when we moved from town to town every year that I was in high school.
        We first moved from Utah when I was in 7th grade. Half way through my freshman year we moved to Fishers, Indiana. This was a huge test for me because I was one of 6 or 7 members in my high school of 2000+ students. We then moved the summer after my sophomore year to Heber City, Utah. At first I didn't to go because it was the rival school of where I grew up. When I wrestled for them my old friends from Vernal started treating my like trash calling me a traitor. This was hard for me and my faith. I wondered why I had to move so much and get treated so badly at every high school but Wasatch. Well my junior year after I took state my dad got a job back in the town I moved away from in 7th grade the rival school. I moved back 2 weeks after taking state and got treated really harsh. I was signed up for seminary but would ditch sometimes to go get food to eat, make shirts in Galley's class, or just sleep. Well the secretary of seminary is like a grandma to me. She would always come hunt me down and say "Mele get to seminary! Do I have to call your mom?" I just laughed and would follow her back and just chill in her office and talk about football, wrestling, and what not. Well one day I decided to go on my own to class. This was 2 months before I graduated from high school. I actually decided to listen to Brother Goodrich. Usually I would play with my ipod or listen to music. Well he was speaking about before his mission and how he tried convincing his friend to go on a mission as well. As I was listening I really felt what he was saying was important that maybe he was sharing this with us to convince me to go. My whole senior year I had no intentions on going on a mission. I just planned on going to college and wrestling. Well after his lesson I decided to go and talk with him and told him that I will go on a mission. I got the number of the bishop right after that class and called him to meet with him to start the papers. He was just as surprised as I was.
          So I really started learning about faith the summer before I left. I got into a relationship and started doubting going on a mission. I told her this and she told me to "JUST HAVE FAITH" those words stuck into my head as the day came to enter the MTC. I had many tests of faith while in the MTC. I was learning a new language and had to be able to teach the people and understand them. Then my girlfriend at the time was starting to have family problems back home. Being a recent convert to the church I was afraid she would stop attending church and fall away or worse send me a Dear John. I told her I wanted to come home but she told me to have faith and the everything will work out. Well what I didn't know at the time was that she was right. When I entered the mission field I learned a lot about faith. First the language I was taught in MTC (tagalog) would not be the language I will be using in my area. I had to have faith to learn a new language to be able to understand the people. Although we are no longer together I am thankful for the lesson she taught me on faith.
        If we put our trust in the Lord and have faith that we can do whatsoever if it be Our Father in Heavens will we can accomplish much. Through out my mission I have had many opportunities to exercise my faith. One such opportunity was when I was still in my first area. I had been there for three transfers so I knew of course I would be transferring. Well I was right when the announcements came I was told I would be transferring. The zone leader didn't tell me where though. The next night we went to a family home evening at the branch president's house. Elder Sanchez the zone leader received a text and then had a puzzled look and looked straight at me. When we got back to the apartment he told me "The transfer just got real." I didn't know what he ment by that but then he told me that one of the AP's had stepped down to train before he goes home.This ment that where ever I was going had changed. He then told me I was going to be transferred to Inayawan. When I heard this I got bumbed. I really wanted to go there because it is one of a couple places in the mission where we get the opportunity to baptize in the ocean I also would have been the first American to return to the area in over a year. So that night I tested my faith and prayed that I would be able to still go to Inayawan. The next day Elder Sanchez received a text saying I will be transferring to Inayawan for sure. He didn't believe it and made them call him. When I talked to President Tobias at transfer meetings he told me that I was supposed to be "White Washed" meaning I would be going to an area that they pull out the Elders and put two new ones in that don't know a thing about it but what's in the area books. He then told me that he needed me in Inayawan. I was happy to go. This really strengthened my testimony. I know that everything is not easy and that it may be easier to mumble and rebel (1 Nephi 7:6-8) like Laman and Lemuel but if we remember to excercise faith in the Lord all things are possible according to his will. (1 Nephi 7:12) My favorite scriptur has taught me a lot of remembering. I hope you enjoyed this and love you all.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I never knew it was so hard for you to move around. You always seemed so positive about it. I'm so glald you ended up going on a mission. You have the type of personality to win people over. Im glad your faith is still strong.