Saturday, September 19, 2009

Best Two Years Of My Life

Why does almost every return missionary say that in their homecoming speech, "My mission was the BEST two years of my life". I am still trying to figure that one out. While I, like many prospective missionaries know there will be unbelievable benefits to serving a two year mission, in my opinion, unless I have a very short life, I don't think my mission years will be the BEST two years of my life.

Is it really the BEST two years or is that one of those LDS things some member said back in the day and now we just keep saying it? This phrase is usually mentioned by RMs during their "non-homecoming" speech during Sacrament meeting when he returns. I know that serving a mission is a time where not only am I "doing the Lord's work" and a time in my life when "I am closest to God", but I am also human and from my humble perspective, living and going everywhere with someone of the same sex only a "whisper" away from me, having almost no contact with my family and closest friends, crushing pavement and logging bike miles daily, waking up early and facing daily rejection from complete strangers and maybe a few members as well ... um, yeah, two years I wouldn't really categorize as the BEST two years of my life personally.

At a young age, I think I have had some really awesome years. Not everyone of them were great, but I can think of a few amazing years I had as a kid. I also look forward to the rest of my college years and the people and experiences those years will bring me after I return from serving a mission. I also believe I am a romantic guy at heart. I would like to think I will have at least two amazing years with my future wife. Then when I have some kids, would the first two years of having my first child count as a BEST situation as well?

For the Sister Missionaries, I think it's fair to say that women have so many moments and years they find special or would deem them to be the BEST years of their lives. Let's face it, don't most girls already have their ideal husband, wedding, marriage and children's lives planned out before those things even come to light or reality sets in? lol. In that sense, Return Sister Missionaries must have more than the BEST two years of their life ahead of them as well.

Realistically speaking, when I look at the bigger picture of what I perceive as the Lord's plan for my future, I like to think of a mission calling as two of the BEST years of preparing myself for REAL adulthood. When discussing this very topic during a family briefing, it made alot of sense that this is the best way for LDS families to prepare their children to make thoughtful decisions about their future. Character, college, selecting an eternal mate, career, building a foundation for their own children, all these important decisions can be made wisely with the training you learned while on your mission. Prayer, fasting, the ability to stay positive and committed to the task at hand no matter what type of adversity you're faced with; all intensified training you learn while removed from all the things you are familiar with. You learn how to depend on the Lord and to listen for that still small voice for guidance.

The mission being the BEST two years for me, probably not. I am positive it will make two of quite a few GREAT years in my life. I am even further convinced the two mission years will crack my top ten BEST in my life's milestones.


Emily said...

I haven't served a mission, even though I really wanted to...but with that being said, I think you can pretty much be sure that those 2 years will be the best of your life up to that point...for some, it's those 2 years that set the foundation for the rest of life, so that more happy years will hopefully come, because of the dedication and hard work that you showed during those 2 special years. Trust me, all the men I know (young and old) that really served the Lord with all their hearts(and weren't slackers on their missions) consider that time sacred and 2 of the best years of their lives. That's my perspective:)

Marley said...

sis.mac, have i told you lately how much i love you and that red headed family of yours? oh yeah, and the brainy brunette your married to. i might end up being one of those RMs that say the "phrase" = )

Laura Lynn said...

Me again! As a female RM, I can say that it was the best two years during that time in my life. I had some great years growing up, in college and on my mission. It was like a building effect. Better, getting better...I think most elders and sisters would agree.

It was totally fun and a lot of work. There were some days we laughed so hard it was difficult to compose ourselves. Especially at the MTC. We were all suffering from language overload in my district and everything was a riot.
And then there are days you weep and there's a bond with your fellow missionaries that no one can understand unless you go. We weren't perfect but we were all trying and that's how it feels out there.
I think that was one of the best parts - lifelong Gospel friends and the memories of just sinking in to the Lord's work. I can already tell you will be a great missionary. Just don't be like the one's who ask sisters, "Why are you on a mission?" lol! We hated that question!

Marley said...

I heard that from our current sister missionaries in our ward, who must get asked that alot, but I would have never thought to ask that. I figure saving the world is an equal opportunity gig :P
One soul at a time!