One thing that I decided to do to help prepare for my mission was to start waking up at 6:30 in the morning. That's the time I'll be expected to wake up every morning on the mission. Now, pretty much all through high school, I had to get up at around 5. So I thought "Hey, this wont be that bad," But when you've been waking up at 10 o' clock every morning for the past 5 months, ya it is that bad.
So on top of waking up early, I've decided that I would Study the scriptures every morning as well. This already has been an amazing blessing in my life. What better way to start off the day than feasting upon the words of Christ? Just to be able to get up and read the words of his prophets is just such a blessing. I don't know why I haven't done this earlier.
After scripture study, I went to my neighbors, Brittney and Arielle, to wake them up so the three of us could work out. We were going to go run, but the tread mills were full and we swam instead. If you want to see how out of shape you are, swim a few laps, but all and all it was fun.
I then got to go to my first day at institute, which is a mission prep class. It wasn't exactly what I expected for the first day, but it was still good. We learned a lot about things that can get you sent home from a mission and personal purity and repentance. Some of it I already knew, and others was completely new. I can't wait to learn more on Wednesday.
The next thing I got to do was write my older brother Danny, who is serving his mission in Independence Missouri. I'm not the best at writing people, but it really made me happy that today I set apart some time to write him. I miss him so much. Danny and I are only 15 months apart so we have been pretty much attached at the hip since I was born. He was someone i knew that I could always talk to. I'm nearly in tears right now thinking of him and how proud I' am of him and the example he has set for me. In some of the toughest of times, he was a rock for me, he kept me up, he kept me going. I'll never forget him cheering me on at all my football games, and being able to share the same stage as him as we performed countless plays for our school.
To me, a missionary is some one who leaves his family for a short period of time, so that others can be with their family for eternity. Knowing that my big brother is out there bringing together families and teaching others of the Gospel makes me so proud of him and excited to be right there with him serving the Lord. I'm also so very happy for my other two older brothers, Tony and Jimmy, for serving missions. I can promise that if anyone would ask them, "do you regret going on your mission?" They will firmly say, "No."
I know that a mission will help shape me into being the man I want to be and form me into being a great father and husband. But why wait til my mission to do that? Why not start now? Why not strengthen my testimony and get into the daily habits of a missionary? I know that through all these things and learning to work and to discipline myself into doing these things, the mission will be the fastest, and best two years of my life.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Blogging and journal writing has never been my thing, but I felt that I should start at this critical time in my life. For those who don't know me, my name is Joseph Samuel Hall and I'am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I decided to start this blog to document the events in my life leading up to serving a two year mission for my church.
A little about myself. I am from the small town of Sequim Washington. I lived there my whole life until just a few months ago I decided to move to Orem Utah where I attend Utah Valley University. So far its very different but I'm Loving it. I love sports, Music, Playing Guitar, Singing and I'm on the Drumline here at UVU. I have a family of 5 brothers, 1 sister, a mom, a dad, and three sisters-in-law. I love them all very much and they are all very near and dear to me.
Let me share an experience with you that is very dear to my heart. I have never been perfect or even close. I've made many mistakes that I'am not proud of. But through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his atonement, I feel that I have been able to be forgiven of my sins. The atonement of Jesus Christ has been such a blessing to me in my life. This past summer I had the opportunity to be a camp counselor at a mission prep camp called Camp Helaman. I was very nervous and scared cause I had never gone before and didn't know what to expect. Would I make friends? Would I fit in? Would it be worth a week of my summer to be here? Within 30 minutes of being there, I was ready to go home.
But something told me I needed to stay, and i know that was the spirit telling me this because I would have an amazing experience that would help shape me to who I am and grow my Testimony.
The second day we were there I felt a lot better! I made friends and was having a lot of fun! We then did what was called the Enos experience. If your not familiar with the story of Enos from the Book of Mormon, he spent three days straight in humble prayer to the lord . Offering up the desires in his heart. Now, we weren't given three days to go pray, but we were given an hour, to go out into the woods, find a place where we can be alone, and pray to Heavenly Father. I found a place where I was alone, on top of a hill, underneath a huge tree over looking the lake. Now, all my life I knew I wanted to serve a mission, but I had never asked Heavenly Father if that's what I should do. In Alma 37:37 it says to "counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good." So that's what I did. I counseled with the Lord for about 45 minutes asking if that is what I was to do. If I should serve a mission. I didn't really get an answer yet, but I did have the feeling I needed to read the scriptures. So I did the old "open the scriptures randomly and read the first scripture you see trick." And what I read was the answer I was looking for. I opened to Alma 4: 19 and it reads:
"And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in rememberence of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing now way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them."
Once I had read this scripture, my eyes started to swell with tears. I knew that the Lord had answered my prayers and that the only way I could even come close to repaying him was to serve him and his children for two years.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints the the true, restored church of Heavenly Father. I know that he guides and directs a modern day prophet Thomas S Monson today.
I know that book of Mormon was translated by the power of God through his prophet Joseph Smith.
And most of all, I know that Jesus Christ Lives. The same Christ that walked on water, that raised the dead, and healed the sick, and who died on the cross at Calvary for my sins. Not only for my sins, but the sins of all mankind. Brothers and Sisters, If you are ever lost and feel that all hope is gone, get on your knees and pray to Heavenly Father. He hears our prayers everyday, and you are never alone. If you want to learn more about what I hold very dear to my heart, visit http://mormon.org/ to learn more.
I hope this blog won't only help me, but possibly help others to come to know of what I know. I will try to continue posting about my journey to my mission. And that someday soon, I myself, might go forth.