Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NOT Jersey!

For the first time on my mission I am leaving the garden state which I have loved so much. I will be living in Newark, Delaware! I'd like to share some of my feelings on leaving and also on mission life in general.
Thoughts on life as a missionary:
+ The hardest part is leaving
           We come to live with, love and strive to become the people with whom we serve. At this point in my mission I have 100% Mexican blood. (Maybe a little central and South America, and perhaps a dash of the islands.) The point is I love the people I’ve met, after spending only hours with them. The hardest part is saying goodbye.
+ I will never work harder in my life.
            When I return home I will have a heap of responsibilities, yes. But, none of the things I do as a normal person carry the same weight as what I do here and now every hour of every day. I wish I could retain the missionary lifestyle for the rest of my life.
+ We have the truth.
             This is a bold statement, I know, but in these 20 months as a missionary I have done as much gospel study as I imagine anyone would do in a lifetime. Through this study I have come to learn 2 things
1. God exists
2. If you ask him a question, He will answer.
With those 2 things I would like to say that I have never met anyone who took the time to search for answers from God and was not led closer to him. In addition to that, I have never met anyone who, in an attempt to come closer to God, has read the Book of Mormon and NOT felt that it is the very word of God.
I've seen it in others and I’ve felt it in my own life. The Book of Mormon draws us closer to God our heavenly father. For this reason I know that we have the truth, and nothing can take that away.

After all this time I thought that I would have some great and deep understanding of theology. However, in reality I have gained merely a love for others and an assurance that I am doing what God would have me do.

This is all fine and good, but what do we do about it. I understand that all 5 of my readers have some sort of knowledge about these things. (3 of which are elders). So my statement is more of an invitation: Come unto Christ, seek him and you will find him. By nature of my calling, I am available to listen to anyone who wants to be heard. Find me on facebook :)


2 comments:

  1. Love you brother! It's great to hear the strength in your testimony and see how much you've grown. Thank you for your service!

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  2. Elder Dopp --

    Not Tiffani, but Paul Winward.
    I enjoyed reading your post. This is a gospel of love and you are carrying that message daily. Savor it.

    Looking forward to seeing you in August.

    Some unsolicited advice:
    Here is what I wish someone would have told me in my final months. Run hard to the end. Some of my best memories were near the finish line and I imagine that some of yours are waiting for you.

    Now that you know what you know, put it to its highest and best use. It is sad to see some missionaries coasting or skipping to the end when they are most valuable in the work. Run. Cross that finish line having given it your all and you will come home assured that your sacrifice is acceptable. You can then wax bold in asking the Lord to prepare the way for your future as a student and husband and father. When you have served Him honorably and given your all, He will bless you as a fellow servant.

    Take care,

    Paul

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