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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If you did not find your testimony of the restored church yet, you are just like me. If you are worried right now to only believe instead of knowing, you are like me. If you miss your family, home, friends, music, etc., you are just like me. So please, if we have so much in common listen to the council I give you! Stop worrying! Stop focusing on your inadequacies! Stop giving your doubts room! The mission is about conversion.
Keep a daily journal. Write the things which matter most. Have always in mind that your journal will be a testimony for the future generations of your family and can be the key for them to have the desire of serving a mission as well.
Do not forget the power of prayer. You cannot imagine how many people in the world are praying for you to stay on a mission. In the right moments God will let you feel those very prayers and they will lift you up! And so I am praying for you.
The mission is not nearly long enough. Two years is not as long as you might imagine.
On P-Day go do fun stuff. Don’t spend your days sitting around the apartment. You are in Italy.
Obedience is the key to success. I cannot STRESS enough the importance of obedience. Obedience is the key to happiness as a missionary.
Don’t be afraid to get out and do your best. Don’t worry about making mistakes in the language or in lessons. The success is in the invite.
My mission and the decision to serve has been the best experience/decision of my life.
I wish I had been told early in the mission to just enjoy the experience of having the Lord change me.
Remember that God is so happy you listened to His Spirit prompt you to do this and that if you just do your best, you will feel His confidence in you and He approves.
Let yourself grow into the missionary you want to be. Do not try to be that missionary on day one. You will find yourself depressed, discouraged and wanting to throw in the towel.
Try to communicate with the mission president in every email.
Love the mission. It seems to move so slowly at first, but then it is over so quickly.
See something and enjoy P-Day.