Georgia On My Mormon Mind
It takes an inner sense of bravery to pack up only two suitcases and leave everything you've ever known. It takes a greater understanding of purpose, it takes holding onto the answer to the all too familiar question, "why am I here?", it takes a sort of faith bound plunge into the unknown and into the unavoidable challenges, yet with eyes searching, soul in tune to the greatest of happiness and joys.
That's missionary work.
Over the last couple of days, I was surrounded by my dear ones, my family, celebrating and cherishing the moments, hours, days, minutes until James left for the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah before making his way out to the hot heat of Atlanta, Georgia.
You know, I get that religion can be a sticky subject, but at the end of the day we're all entitled to our beliefs, and when that belief, when that truth, makes you better, challenges you to make more of yourself by helping others, that something I'm going to stand behind.
It takes conviction, it takes testimony, it also takes compassion.
James is off for the next two years for our church, you may have seen those young men or young women with their Sunday best on and those little black name tags before, yep, we're Latter-day Saints, or sinners who just keep on trying, or Christians, or Mormons.
When something brings you happiness, don't you want to share in that joy with others? Pounding the pavement, walking those miles, sharing and serving without expectation to get anything in return. Our missionaries don't get paid, actually, they pay each month to be out in the field to serve, and financial help often comes from our fast offering funds or family members. Missions are not required, but there are over 70,000 missionaries serving around the globe right now, and my brother happens to be just one of them.
So, why? Why go and put school, jobs, friends, and family on hold for two years? Because we don't get to text him or call him, just write him letters and send the occasional package. James is leaving his family behind for two years, so he can help others be with theirs for eternity because that is something we believe fiercely in, that we as families can be together forever. I feel especially proud and grateful for everyone who dedicates their time to this cause of missionary work.
So for now, and for every moment onward for the next to years, you can bet Georgia will be on my mind.