When missionaries complete their missions, one of the things they are asked to do is leave a legacy for new missionaries who will be coming to the mission. They are given a form that says:
“As you finish this wonderful chapter of missionary service, you have the chance to help those that follow. Think back to the first days of your mission. You were full of new missionary energy but maybe not quite sure how to use it. Take some time and contemplate about all the many lessons and great experiences that you experienced during these two years of service. What knowledge would you have wanted in order to enhance your experiences? What great tips of obedience or endurance would you like the next generation to know? Now is your chance. Please write a short letter speaking to all those that will follow.”
With permission from the departing missionaries, here are some of the comments they made.
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Welcome to the greatest mission in the world!
Pray always. Make your prayers very intimate. This will help you to have a clear mind and realize that God is on your side in the moments of difficulty.
Read from Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon every day. These two books will teach you everything that you need to know about missionary work. The Book of Mormon “missionaries” will give you great hope as you study their teachings and ministry.
Do your best and God will do the rest.
One thing I have found especially important is to be the best you can “bee” always. It doesn’t matter if the work isn’t going well, or the language isn’t coming along, or if none of the missionaries around you are being obedient. What matters is that you have enough self-motivation and self-discipline to keep working hard, talking to everybody, and studying hard.
It’s easy to compare yourself to others, but don’t fall into that error! What matters is that you are doing your personal best and being obedient out of love for our Savior, not to just be better than somebody else.
Enjoy every day of your mission. Don’t get caught up in the little things like what area you’re serving in, or what leadership positions you’ve had. That is what the Lord is in charge of. He knows where you need to be and what will help you grow. Perhaps other missionaries needed them more than you.
On my mission I have come to know many of the mysteries of God. However, these mysteries are only the simple truths I learned in primary.
There are more people pulling for you than you know—ex-missionaries, your family and friends, your mission president, the Prophet, angels, your Savior, and your Father in Heaven.
Go out and work!!!
I have learned that God loves us. He loves us enough to cut us down to help us grow. He cares more about our growth than our comfort.
I feel like the only advice/knowledge I could pass on would be to just turn it all over to the Lord. Find out how He wants the work done and do it His way. Let your will become His will.
Opposition will come before all great moments in your mission to try and stop you from achieving. And opposition will come after to get you to doubt and forget great spiritual moments.
You will have a lot of trials. You are constantly being pushed and pressed. Sometimes you will feel like you can’t take anymore before you will explode. At that point you need to sit back and say a simple prayer. Prayers are special. God will be listening and He will help you the best he can. But it is important to remember that God will not give us any trial we cannot handle. Have faith in that statement.
You need to have fun, and know why you’re out here. The mission can get pretty serious sometimes, pretty monotonous, and tiring. Find ways to make it fun. It will make your work more effective. No one wants to talk with someone who looks angry.
I chose to leave my witness of the Doctrine of Christ. It is His gospel of which we teach. He taught us faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. To leave a legacy, I would invite you to seek out these principles each day in your own life and in the lives of others. Just like Christ was an example to us, we need to be His representatives and be the example to those we serve.
I want to tell you to stop worrying about the language so much. Continue to do your language study and pray. The language will come. Just do your best and rely on the Lord.
Congratulations. You made it this far in life, and our Heavenly Father is very proud of you.
Trust in your mission president. He is inspired and called of God to help you come closer to Christ. No matter what, trust in him. He will not lead you astray.
Bee Obedient. Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles. All of my greatest experiences have been results of obedience in the mission.
Never get down on yourself. Days may be hard, rejections may happen, appointments may fall through, but never give up. No effort is wasted.
The Lord is with you 24 hours a day.
You need to be a Christ-like missionary, not just do missionary things. You can be the most obedient and hard working missionary in the world, but if you’re a jerk about it your efforts are worthless.
My advice for a new missionary is to do your best, accept your weaknesses, and allow the Lord to change you. Don’t worry about what position you have or how seemingly successful others may be. Focus on what you can do each day to better yourself and help others and leave the rest up to the Lord. Recognize that everything that is asked of you by your Mission President and the Lord is for your personal benefit.
Learn it for yourself. The personal experiences are the ones that matter.
You’ll get what you want in the end, so make your desires righteous.
Read the scriptures sincerely, read preach my gospel, love the people, and work. The best two years await you if you let them be those best two years.
The harder I worked the happier I was.
Don’t ever give up. Set goals in faith in the Lord and He will help you achieve them.
Enjoy your time here. Learn the language, learn the culture, and love the people. Your life will become enriched and your experience as a missionary will be more successful as you strive to love this country and these people. You will find yourself at home among your fellow Heavenly brothers and sisters. The people nor the place are perfect, accept them for what it is and who they are. Love them.
Don’t complain. I complained a lot and it never gets you anywhere. Appreciate everything.
Forget about all your worries and stuff about home. Home will still be there once you finish. These two years will never be there again. Give it all you’ve got. Put it all on the table. God will bless you.