November 14, 2012
Tonight I had the privilege of attending a prospective missionary fireside given by Elder Banks of the Quorum of the Seventy. It was so neat! He and his wife served as Mission Presidents in Scotland. They shared so many exciting and funny stories that happened during their time in Scotland, but the remark that really stood out to me was in response to the recent lowering of the mission age. He said, "The bar has been raised high. Properly prepare yourselves NOW so that you don't waste time in the MTC. Study Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon, teach with simplicity and in your own words, and keep yourself clean by living worthily." In that moment I began to realize how much the Lord really expects of us as missionaries. After all, missionaries walk around with a name tag that labels them as representatives of the Savior Jesus Christ at all times. Elder Banks went on to testify that "there is a reason you get called to where you're going. You are assigned to your mission by inspiration because that's where the Lord wants you to go. There are people there who need YOU."
The spirit was so strong as he spoke and shared his testimony, and I left with a resolve to do better, to study more effectively, and to pray more meaningfully. Elder Banks concluded with a promise. He said, "A mission will be the most rewarding experience of your life. Not the easiest by a long shot, but definitely the most rewarding. There is no need to fear. God will be with you and help you. Don't let the Lord down. You will never have an experience like this again in your life."