My younger brother Wilson left on his 2 year Mormon mission to Curitiba Brazil this morning. Speaking as a returned missionary myself, I honestly can’t say I really envy him. I mean, there were some good times on my mission, and I am 100% thankful I went, but it was some of the hardest 2 years of my life. (I can say this now that he’s gone and can’t read this–no internet for you, Wilson!) For those of you who don’t know, a mission lasts for 2 years, during which time you have no television, no movies, no books, no newspapers, no phone calls (except to your family on Christmas and Mother’s Day), no internet, no email–nada. Nothing but serving people and trying to teach about the church to people who often resent your efforts. Ah, the life of a missionary. 🙂 I remember my first night as a missionary very well–lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering, “What in the WORLD have I gotten myself into?”
The good news is, it’s all worth it. My mission made me the person I am today. It taught me more than I’ve ever learned about life, people, leadership, religion–you name it. Dickens couldn’t have said it better: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it ws the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”
Good luck, Wilson!