California Los Angeles Mission
California Los Angeles Mission
September 1, 1973 - August 30 1975
President David O. McKay said "Every member a missionary." This kind of became the Churchs' mantra or battle cry when I was growing up. Spencer W. Kimball, a prophet of God, said, "All young men, sound of mind and body, should prepare themselves and serve missions."
From a personal standpoint, what I thought was my first great act of obedience, and what I felt at the time was great personal sacrifice (silly me) was when I accepted my mission call.
I hate to admit this to the family, but I didn't grow up with visions of missionary service dancing in my head. In fact, it was just the opposite...I planned on not serving a mission. Even growing up with lots of contact with missionaries serving in our war, feeding them, going on splits with them, setting up friends for them to teach, loving and admiring their service, still I didn't want to serve a mission. I was not a part of getting on with my life. My dad didn't serve a mission, my grandfathers and uncles didn't serve missions, and they were all good guys. Since no relatives had gone on missions in recent times, and very few ward members, I had no example and no family pressure to serve.
After High School, I was enjoying college life with lots of new friends. I even went to Church (if I wasn't too tired.) Life was wonderful. At Montana State University, they'd do class registration in their big, old Field house every quarter. Lots of lines, lots of tables, lots of confusion. At the end of all the registration tables, there would always be an L.D.S. Student Association table set up. It was very difficult to slip by the eagle-eyed zealots at the LDSSA table, so I would usually have a sign up for a "token" Institute class.
There were two girls in one of these classes (both converts) who, for some unknown reason, took a special interest in me and made me their project! Their names were Dorothy Ward and Barb Shepard. One was from South Dakota and the other from Montana. Even after more than thirty years, I still frequently thank Heavenly Father for steering these two people into my life's path at such a critical time.
They started calling me before Institute, and coaxing me to class. Then Sunday morning calls became a regular occurrence (much to my sleepy non-member roommates' annoyance) just to make sure I was up and coming to Church. It didn't end there. I now started receiving weekday morning calls to make sure I made my 8:00 A.M. class, (where my record was a bit shaky.) They then decided 7:00 A.M. Scripture study with them would be good for me.
As their comfort zone with me increased, they started moving into more sensitive areas...like..."Do you think you should date non-members? Don't you think you should go on a mission, like President Kimball says?"
While I was trying to defend myself from the constant harassment of these two Bozeman students, the times I'd visit my home in Fairfield, I'd get a call from the Stake President (also from Fairdiel) for an interview. He'd talk about the same subject...Mission!
During one of these interviews, I was patiently explaining again how content I was at College, and I still not interested in missionary service, but I appreciated his interest.
At that time my Stake President, Gerald Stott, lost his cool, got angry, swore (he was an old dairy farmer) and told me I needed to humble myself. He really jumped all over me; told me I owed it to myself, I owed it to my parents, and I owed it to the Lord to serve a mission. Instead of my hackles lifting a little (my normal response) a voice from somewhere said: "President, cool down...I'll go." Once committed, I was stuck. All the way back to Bozeman (200 miles) I was in shock, asking myself what I'd gotten into this time.
When I got back to Bozeman, I first called my LDS friends Barb and Dorothy. They were stunned and disbelieving...then came the tears. They told me their prayers had been answered and that they loved me. I then told a non-member girl I'd been dating...again stunned disbelief and tears, but nothing about prayers, and then she said she hated me.
One of my Fairfield friends, Gene Lewis, (who now owns the Chevy dealership) said: "I'm calling it "Mission Impossible," see you in a month."
So amid great personal unrest, turmoil and indecision, and, as I stated previously, at what I thought was great personal sacrifice, I opened a letter from Salt Lake City where the Lord summoned me to spend two years preaching th Gospel to the people of the California Los Angeles Mission. It was the greatest decision I ever made. It changed the focus and direction of my life...and the fervor of my testimony.
On September 1, 1973 I entered the Mission Home in Salt Lake City for four long days of intense orientation and training, then my first ever plane ride...to Los Angeles. I still remember my amazement at the thousands of homes with swimming pools as we descended into L.A. International Airport. A "good old farm boy"...scared to death in the big city. I remember leaving the airport for the Mission Home with all the interchanges and freeways, knowing that never in a million years would I be able to navigate that maze on my own. Those freeways were intimidating, but not for long.
What a wonderful and unique place to serve a mission. Our mission boundaries went from Seal Beach on the South (just below Long Beach) to San Simeon on the North (just above San Luis Obispo) with all the beautiful coastline in between. We only went twenty or so mile inland. It was a very diverse mission...rolling ranchland in the North (San Luis Obispo); huge orchards and vineyards (Ventura); unbelievable wealth and mansions (Hollywood and Bel Air); slums and squalor (Watts and Bell Garden); and lots of people to teach. I served in all of them and loved them all...from the wealthy wards (with the Osmonds and Vandeweighes) to the Polynesian and native American wards...and everything in between. I had many great companions, who I still see and talk to frequently...(and a few I'd still like to meet in a dark alley!)
I had many wonderful and fulfilling teaching experiences. I'm still in touch with a few families after thirty years. I wish I were still in touch with all of them. In preparing to write this report, I went back through an old file of mission letters I received from people I knew and worked with in California. What a flood of sweet memories. People thanking me for introducing them to the Gospel. People sharing with me, on paper, their testimonies, their excitement with their new Church callings, the changes in their lives, their goals and hopes and dreams. I stayed up till 2:00 A.M. going through letters and crying and praying for these good folks...many whom I hadn't thought of in thirty years...(shame on me! Thanks, Mema, for giving me a reason to go through those old letters.)
So many miracles happen on a mission when you're so dependent on the Lord for guidance and direction and comfort. What an adventure. In closing, let me relate just one experience...nothing earth-shattering, but one that deeply touched my spirit.
It was while I was working in the Mission Home, located right behind the beautiful Los Angeles Temple. The phone rang and I happened to be the one who answered. A very distraught lady on the other end asked if a couple of Elders could come over to the UCLA Medical Center and help them. I told our Mission President what was up, grabbed Elder Peck (an Easterner from Maryland, who now lives in my Bishop brother Wain's ward in Coalville, Utah) and we headed to UCLA.
We located the lady and her husband...upper crust, high society types...very attractive and well dressed. They related how they had two young sons; both with Muscular Dystrophy. They were scheduled that morning for some new technique, exploratory surgery the doctors thought might help the boys. It has been several hours since the surgeries, and as far as they knew, the boys still hadn't come out of the recovery room. They had tried, but could find no one who could shed any light on the condition of the boys. They were frantic, fearing the worst...and in desperation (or inspiration) called the Mission Home, which is close to UCLA.
Elder Peck and I girded up our loins, took out our "Ministeral Certificate" cards and attempted to boldly force our way into the recovery room. It was surprisingly easy (with our cards)...but what a madhouse, doctors and nurses scurrying everywhere, beds all around us, many with oxygen tents.
We nabbed a friendly looking nurse, told her we were Ministers, and explained the situation with the boys. She came back in a few minutes with a doctor who led us to an oxygen tent bed with and angel inside. He said this was the youngest of the two boys, that the other boy was fine but this little guy had thrown up some while coming out of the anesthesia and they wanted to keep an eye on him a little longer. He was surprised, and dismayed, that the parents hadn't been kept informed.
The doctor gave us permission to administer to the little boy. He opened the top of the tent for us and hurried off. In the midst of this recovery room madness, and noise, and activity...we blessed this little child. My initial feelings of unease, and even embarrassment, with the closer proximity of so many people and so much activity, was suddenly and COMPLETELY lifted as our hands touched this little boy's head.
I've never felt such peace and calm...(before or since)...as when we blessed this beautiful little boy. As we rejoined the parents, we shared our experience and explained that things were fine and that they would soon see their boys. This high class, sophisticated, wealthy "yuppie" Mom, sobbing, hugged me and said "Elder, what would we do without the Church?"
>What WOULD we do without the Church? I tremble to even think.......!
As I shut this down, let me say that I'm still embarrassed about the pre-mission "poor me, what sacrifices I'm making to go on this mission" attitude, thoughts and feelings I had. In retrospect, the reality was, and is...No sacrifice FROM me...only blessings FOR me!
One of my biggest missions blessings was that it made me eligible to attend B.Y.U. and "woo and win" WooWoo and all the blessings descending from that...my six kids...my extended family as it begins to gepmetrically expand, and all the love and support we share; the changes in my parents' family; two younger brothers serving missions; three of our sons serving missions (so far); and seeing how our Fairfield Ward has changed from hardly ever a missionary...to now being a "missionary factory."
To anyone entertaining missionary thoughts...GO...DO IT! On your mission you'll laugh more, love more, live more, and cry more than in any other period of your life. If you want, you can collect and store a reservoir of blessings that will sustain you, and bless your family, throughout your life.
Quezon City, Pillippines Mission
I was called to serve in the Quezon City, Philippines Mission where I would be speaking Tagalog. I entered the MTC in August 1996. The MTC was a great spiritual experience for me. I enjoyed my time there: the people I met, the things I learned, and (unlike most) even the food we ate.
Sidenote: Before I left on my mission, I was given a CTR ring in the Tagalog language that said “PAT” (“Choose The Right” in Tagalog is translated “Piliin AngTama”). I wore that ring my entire mission. Little did I know that I was wearing the initials of my future wife whom I wouldn’t even meet for 8 more years…Panda Allen Tingey!
Quezon City is part of the capitol city of Manila. At that time, the Quezon City mission was geographically the 2nd smallest mission in the world (next to Temple Square) due to the fact that it was so overpopulated that people were literally living on top of each other in shacks built of scrap metal and wood. There are literally millions of people living in a relatively tiny area. The city is incredibly overpopulated, over-polluted and extremely impoverished. The majority of Filipinos are Catholic as a result of being under Spanish rule for so many years. This made the gospel a little easier to teach since they already had a strong Christian foundation—unlike most other Asian countries who have almost no knowledge of Jesus at all.
In the Philippines, I came across the biggest, ugliest, scariest critters I’ve ever seen I my life: spiders, cockroaches, rats, lizards, ants, etc. And these were just the creatures that lived inside our apartments! The humidity and temperature is always so high that we never wore anything but short sleeves year round. We didn’t have the luxury of air conditioning in our apartments, so at night we’d sleep with electric fans blowing on us to 1) keep us dry and 2) keep the mosquitoes away. I learned this 2nd purpose of the fan the hard way, after waking up several times in my first week with red, swollen, throbbing, itchy feet from the mosquitoes taking advantage of my exposed toes.
For most of the native Filipino missionaries, going on a mission was like spending two years living the life of luxury. They were given a decent place to live and enough money every month to pay for food, clothes and other necessities; whereas, for the American missionaries it seemed like such a sacrifice to be living in such conditions. The Filipino people are very poor, but yet they are happy and humble. One thing I learned from serving two years in a country where 90% of the population is in poverty is that material wealth is not necessary for happiness. The members of the church seemed to be especially happy, and they seemed to love the church with all their hearts. It gave their lives meaning—it was what made them happy.
Serving a mission was extremely taxing, both physically and spiritually. I remember being dead tired at the end of every day. We didn’t have the use of cars or bikes in our mission; we either walked or used public transportation…but mostly walked. Towards the end of my mission I remember reaching a point where I felt completely spiritually spent as well. I felt like I was praying every free moment of my day. Praying to find new people to teach; praying during discussions that the investigators would understand what we were teaching; praying for members to stay strong and help us in our missionary efforts, etc. I came to understand more fully the meaning of the scripture that says we should “pray always”. I remember that all my thoughts were focused on our investigators. When I heard a good talk in church I would think “I wish so-and-so could hear this”. Or when I read my scriptures and came across a poignant passage I would think “I wish so-and-sounderstood this.” I wanted the people we were teaching to know what I knew so bad…but how do I make them understand it? I was starting to feel like all the spiritual effort I was expending was actually taking a toll on me physically…I was beginning to feel completely worn-out. It was at this point when I was feeling almost too tired to carry on that I had a dream—a dream that renewed my resolve.
I dreamt that I was at a shore of some sort. The water was nearly black from being full of garbage and pollution (all bodies of water in the Philippines’ big cities are full of garbage, for some reason they think that’s a good place to throw it). I was on the shore with a few others, the sky was dark and a storm was upon us. We had nets that we were casting into the water and dragging the garbage in. We were trying to clean up the mess as best we could. In my dream I remember feeling exhausted from working so hard. The wind was blowing and the waves were pounding us on shore, but we kept casting our nets and dragging the garbage in. I finally could do no more and I collapsed from exhaustion and passed out. A short while later I came to. I had somehow washed up on a big rock that was overlooking the shore where I had been working. The storm had passed and everything was calm. The water was still full of garbage and pollution, but I could see a small area where I had been working that had been cleaned up to some extent. I then felt a rush through my whole body. I felt completely overjoyed with the difference I had made with all my work. In the big picture it wasn’t much, but I felt a strong feeling of accomplishment, as if the Lord was letting me know that He was grateful for what I had done. After I woke up from my dream I felt reenergized. I felt as if I knew that my work had not gone unappreciated.
On my mission is where I gained my testimony. I can’t imagine what my life would be like now having not served those 2 years as part of the Lord’s army. I feel that it was a huge blessing for me to even have the opportunity to do so. I learned so much that I could never have come to learn otherwise. I feel like I was definitely this greatest benefactor from my service, and hope that I was somehow able to help someone else along the way.
California Fresno Mission
February 1998 to March 2000
I served in the California Fresno Mission from February 1998 to March 2000. This mission was the standard stateside mission beginning at the MTC (missionary training center), various areas of assignment within the mission, and ending with a reflective flight home. Over the course of 2 years I served under 2 presidents (Trevor Beatson and William Friden) in 5 areas with 11 different companions. I held positions of trainer twice, district leader once, assistant zone leader once and zone leader twice.
During the 2 years of my service the CA Fresno Mission was the largest mission, geographically, in the state of CA. It encompassed much of the central valley as well as Yosemite National Park. English was the primary language spoken, but missionaries were also called to this mission in Spanish, Lao, Hmong, and Cambodian speaking capacities. Due to the extensive farming throughout the central valley of CA, there were many Hispanic workers. The constant inflow of Hispanic laborers created a lot of work for the Spanish speaking missionaries. As for the Asian populations, there were pockets of Hmong, Lao, and Cambodians in Fresno and Modesto. Because the population of Asian people was small with no regular inflow of “new blood” the Asian speaking missionaries struggled for new teaching opportunities.
My experience at the MTC was slightly different than most missionaries serving a stateside mission at that time. When I arrived at the MTC the standard training period for English speaking missionaries was 3 weeks. I was placed, by random chance, into a test group whose stay would be 5 weeks. The MTC had a call center which received and followed up on phone calls requesting church materials advertised through the media. Before my arrival at the MTC, the call center was manned by missionaries that received a special call in addition to their mission assignment. It was thought that missionaries who had worked in the call center were better prepared for being in the field. A plan was developed to keep all stateside missionaries at the MTC for 5 weeks giving everyone the opportunity to work the call center. I was in the batch of missionaries that this new 5 week training period would be tested on. I don’t know whether the contact with potential investigators while in the all center make me a better missionary, but I do know that an understanding of how the media referral system worked was very beneficial because much of my time in the city of Fresno was spent responding to media requests.
The average time a missionary spent in an area during my mission was about 3 months. With the exception of my first area, I spent significantly longer that the average in each area with stays of 3,6,6,4, and 5 months. Staying longer in each area was a blessing for me as many of the investigators who were baptized in my areas came from member referrals. Staying longer in each area allowed time to develop strong relations and roots in a ward. This extra time allowed members to gain confidence in the decision to allow a friend or family member to be taught.
When it comes to the individual experiences that combine to compromise my mission experience, I struggle to find words that accurately portray my feelings. During the last two months of my mission, I spent time in my daily studies preparing a homecoming talk. I wanted so badly to express the emotion, disappointment, joy, and other thoughts that I went through working with investigators. But no matter what I put down, I felt like I failed in doing justice to those experiences. Working on this report, I have struggled with those same feelings of failure in properly relaying mission experiences. I have decided that the only way to accurately portray what I felt and went through is to encourage those who have not served a mission to prepare to serve at some point in their life. The testimony of Christ and His Gospel which I developed could not have been formed any other way than through my 2 years of missionary service. I want anyone who reads this to know that I served the type of mission that left me with no regrets. I honored my family name, my church, and above all Jesus Christ.
"The trip" Panda Allen : Monday, February 28, 2000
Made it back and i had the BEST time!! doria and her 2 kids, nathaniel and eve, came to the oakland airport to pick me up. we then drove the hour and 20 min to her house. she called "elder allen" and got him to come over and then i suprised him!! he didn't expect anything. i think we got him pretty good! sat morning they (luke and elder kunz) met us at a tennis court to play tennis. (it was ok w/ the rules cuz doria was still a non-member). then they had to leave at 9 to do their work. then we met around 2 for lunch at a chic little cafe. doria's husband, dave, also met us there. then they had to be gone again by 3 for appts. in between the meeting times i got to know doria, her fam, and modesto better. she took me shopping at the coolest stores. (like The Botique in a Salon Salon--pretty cool name, huh? and then a bead store where they have hundreds of diff beads and you make your own bracelets/necklaces/etc right there) then the missionaries performed service at a fundraiser dave and some of his collegues were throwing. it was a pretty formal affair--at a nice hotel, valet parking, dinner, auction, and dancing. it was $75/ticket and they bought tickets for all of us to attend. the missionaries had to leave before dave's band played. but it was fun to visit w/ him throughout dinner. [oh yes, dave is a brain surgeon and a team of doctors volunteers to go to russia to teach the medical people there more advanced medical operations and stuff and also to help train the nurses/ doctor's better.--so they need to raise alot of money] their family is the best--there's jared (13) nathaniel (9) and eve (5) me and eve became pretty good buddies and she cuddled with mein her bed at bed time (kinda reminded me of weston--but no one could out do him "the cuddle beast") they are fairly well to do (to say the least) their house is beautiful--inside and out. just past their fence is a huge orchard and all the trees were blossoming, very pretty. doria is SO beautiful and dave is awesome also! but they're the NICEST people and obvioulsy very generous with their time and money. sunday we got up and went to church--guess who spoke?!? luke! the bishop asked him at the beginning of the meeting and he gave a good 10 min talk with like no time for preparation--kind of his goodbye (remember, he comes home next wednesday!!!!!!) he is such a good missionary! it was a very neat experience to actually see him "in action". everyone i met (bishop, counselors, stake pres, ward mission leader, etc) just loved him. they all came up to me an expressed how much they will miss him. he's had job offers, people checking out nearby schools, etc to try and convince him to come back! the bishop said that he has brightened up the ward and has gotton closer to families and spurred the work more than any other elder has. he said that anyone in the ward would readily "adopt" him, no questions asked. the stake president and his wife also told me how much he has influenced the area and how much they will miss him. of course "elder allen" is humble and won't accept any of the trade lasts given--he's the best! after sacrament, i went with dave and doria to do his "rounds" (i guess that's what doctors call it) at the hospital. that was a neat experience also. you can tell that the bybees are well respected and i'm sure are a great influence--for good--over those they meet. the "main event" was at 5. luke baptized her and dave confirmed her. it was really special and the spirit was strongly felt. go doria! it was so neat once again to see luke in action. then we went back to their spacious house and the elders came over for a bit to say good by--then i headed out at 8:15 w/ dave's brother (who flew up from la to be there). i was SO CLOSE to missing my flight!! the plane left at 9:35 and i was literally running through the airport to gate 14 (which was like one of the ones furthest from the entrance). i boarded the plane and it took off within 1 1/2 min from when i sat down! i was getting a little nervous as i ran down the corridors--good thing i didn't have to check in luggage! anyways, flew into phoenix at around 2--got on bed by 3. the door to my (lindsay's) bedroom was locked and i was all trying to open it, and i couldn't! (i have hard enough time unlocking it when i'm awake--try doing it when i'm sleepy!) so i just crashed on the couch. marylynn was the heroin of the day that morning by unlocking it and then waking me up (again) so i wouldn't miss my math class at 8. i am so glad i went and feel really lucky to have witnessed her baptism. i love their family and hope we will always stay in contact--but i must admit i'm fairly excited to go to my real home and see my own awesome fam while welcoming my most awesome brother home from serving a most honorable mission.
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission
2002 to 2004
Colter Allen's Mission
Oklahoma Tulsa Mission
Hello Pop. I'm sorry this is a little late coming, but I just wanted to write and tell you about my mission. My mission was the perfect way to start life on the right track. I learned that Christ is real, and that the more we understand about Him the easier it is to continue on in life walking the path that Christ walked. Where else will you get three hours a day to study about Him for two years in a row? Now that I'm home, I'm extremely lucky if I can get one hour in of study because of how busy life gets.
The mission really humbled me, which was a huge blessing because only the meek are capable of following Christ and listening to His voice, and so before, I was incapable of listening to the only voice that could lead me to happiness. It's hard for me to explain experiences of my mission because there were many, but the thing is that the whole thing was sacred. The whole thing was my beginning to understand my Savior, and everything that happened was extremely important, Pop.
That mission was incredible. I learned to actually depend on the Spirit. It all became so real to me. I felt closer to Christ then I ever have felt to anyone else, just by serving Him. Learning of him became my life. I love just trying to follow him each day of my life!
Well Pop, my mission was a lot of things, but the most important is that it was the beginning og a completely new life of trying to be like my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Colter Allen's Mission
My mission was an opportunity for me to spend two straight years doing something good. It was the first time in my life when I felt guiltless. I did feel regrets and had "what if" questions, but I felt blameless for the first time ever in Puerto Rico for two years straight.
On the island I found a love for God, for men, and for the scriptures, which ended up being the only thing I could take back with me.
From the day I arrived to the day I left, all challenges, triumphs and failures led me to one desire...to be one with Christ. Through the hardships and heart breaks, the grace of God was bestowed upon us and we would walk with Christ. We would teach with Him, and through these experiences I grew to love Him. As I learned to love Christ more and more, my love for men grew and my desire to teach them God's law intensified.
My scripture study became more sacred each day. With such a pure intent I was taught bu the Spirit every time I opened the scriptures. It was knowledge from God. This gave me my own knowledge that Jesus is the Great Redeemer of mankind, and that this is His church, and through it all men can return to Him.
For these reasons, and the thousands of experiences it took for me to humble myself and learn to be guided by the Spirit, the mission was the most sacred experience of my youth. The lessons I learned continue to guide the path I walk.
God became real to me Puerto Rico.
Oklahoma Tulsa Mission
April 2005 - 2007
How do you put into words the anticipation of waiting to receive your call? I don't think that you can. I had an especially interesting experience with my papers. I waited for five weeks to receive my call, and was in the training center three weeks later! Opening my call I would imagine to those around that my reaction was similar to that of my oldest brother Luke in receiving his call to Fresno California. I had barely heard of the place, in fact I had never heard of the play that everyone loves to quote lines from. Grapes of wrath came from somewhere in the very far corner of my mind. No one could even think of a friend of a friend that went there or had lived there or had even driven through. (Weston is able to make connections with Guam in about three days after getting his call. Turns out several ward members had lived there at one time or another in their lives.) Yet somehow, some nobody could connect with Oklahoma. Just nods of approval and go get em elder and the occasional "I'm proud to be an okie from Muskogee."
As my last few weeks at home passed by I began to eagerly anticipate my calling to Oklahoma which I learned covered much of Arkansas, Missouri and even a bit of Kansas. Four states in all. I was able to spend time proselyting in each of them at one point or another over the next two years.
Off the top of my head a lot of crazy experiences come to mind that I could share all of which the details are written in my mission journal. The time that we had lunch with the Grand Wizzard of the KKK in Arkansas, or when we ate dinner in a shelled out school buss on top of a bald knob. Getting our car windows smashed in, or rolling through the streets of north Tulsa where the whites just plain did not fo. Those are all fun stories to talk about and can be read in great detail in my mission journal.
In writing this report I have a greater understanding of what Alma the younger was doing in bearing his testimony he rarely brought up his mighty physical experience that he had in being struck down. Rather his conversion remained strong due to the spirit. Already the vivid details of some of those neat physical experiences I had are beginning to fade and dim, but what remains set in my heart is my testimony of truth. Though at times life may catch us busy and lacking in taking the spiritual care that we should, my mission has been my single biggest event that sank a testimony deep inside me. It was through constantly working in the spirit. It was through the lessons taught to the many different kinds of people we came into contact with, through selfless service, and through seeing the spirit work in other peoples lives.
I came home with a true appreciation for my parents ability to teach me right. Growing up Mom and Dad provided a spiritual place to live, the helped me have my own spiritual experiences and helped me also to recognize them. Those things gave me a strong enough testimony to desire to serve a mission. My mission gave me a strong enough testimony to know that this is the way to live. The gospel is that of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and here for us to partake of and live in. I pray that I may never waste the gift that I have been given in getting to serve, in being given the opportunity to have gained a strong foundation for a good start. It is my biggest hope and dream as a father now myself that I can use the convictions that I have gained to raise a family that is pleasing in the sight of the Lord and who will go on in their own testimonies of this gospel.
This is the report that I give. Elder Jaxon Allen
Micronesia Guam Mission
March 2012 - March 2014
One year ago today I completed my two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don't know what to write about all the emotions I feel as I remember my time as a missionary. How can I express all I felt through the trials, excitement, difficulty, and pure joy that come with serving a mission in Micronesia? I am ETERNALLY grateful for the opportunity Heavenly Father gave me serve the people of Chuuk. The love i feel for all those I served AND SERVED WITH is unlike any love I've felt before. Their humble circumstances and positive spirit taught me a great deal about what is most important in this life and helped me gain an "eternal perspective." I'll forever cherish the relationships I made through sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I'm most especially grateful to have had two full years of consecrated time to serve God. I'm thankful for the testimony I gained of Jesus Christ, His gospel, and His restored church. I know that he is our Savior. I know that all people, in ALL parts of the world, are in need of the blessings of His Atonement. I know that our Heavenly Father is anxious to support us in all our endeavors, spiritual and temporal alike. I know that EACH of our souls are of great value to God and that we are just important to him individually as we are collectively.
I am grateful for all the groups, organizations, institutions, and churches that bring about so much good in the world and help bring people closer to Jesus Christ. In Chuuk, I was blessed to see men and women of different faiths teaching people to love and serve one another and keep God's commandments. It was reassuring to see so many people devoted to God and His children. I'm grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to have the blessings of the restored gospel. I believe that the pure and true gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth today through modern-day apostles and prophets. I'm grateful for their leadership and counsel and whole-heartedly sustain them. I invite anyone who hasn't taken the opportunity to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to do so through meeting with our missionaries...remember, I was one of them!! I promise that the truth of the restored gospel will bring you true happiness and bring you closer to our Savior.
"For God so loved the wold, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."-John 3:16
"And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities"-Alma 7:12
"For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."-Moses 1:39