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Master list of benefits of a full-time mission


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Many minds are better than one. Can you please help add to this starter list of benefits of serving a mission? Not in order of importance (which varies by the individual, anyway) . . .

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Minimized distractions at that time of life, for study

Being away from home/parents (on one's own)

Cooking, cleaning, and keeping house

Budgeting and finances

Intensive gospel study

Interacting with a variety of people

Dealing with adversity

Getting along (or trying to get along) with people who drive you nuts (or you sometimes even have to work hard not to hate)

Seeking and receiving revelation (not exclusive to missions, but missions provide a unique laboratory for this)

(In many cases) more exercise than one would normally get at that age (this varies by mission)

Organizational skills

Sacrifice

Consecration

Figuring out life priorities

(Sometimes) widening potential to get married (not why one should go on a mission, but this is a side benefit. Like I tell people, you have to have your lines in the water to catch fish. Missions provide a wider "network" of people and contacts, and sometimes things in common when meeting people after the mission).

People/communication skills

Working on weaknesses/bad habits, a la Ether 12 (making weak things strong)

Strengthened and developed testimony

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This is just scratching the surface. What did I completely overlook?

Thanks in advance!

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14 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Loving God

Loving our neighbor

YES!  I thought I loved my fellow man before my mission, but I didn't know what I didn't know about that until mission service. 

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For me personally the mission experience provided the substance and fuel the Lord needed to teach me many lessons that have only come to light several years later. Chief among them that has changed me, at least in the direction I need to be heading, is in the judging of other people.

One of the first people I taught that chose to be baptized, they're now sealed in the Temple and has become a parent to lovely children, but I learned from them later that during our first lessons that heavy marijuana use was a coping mechanism. Life was so very difficult for a long time, and that was just where they were at the time.

When I learned this I initially defaulted to judgment: oh goodness, really? How could you? In my upbringing I was quite sheltered from anything like that, and had no experience to help me learn compassion. The Spirit firmly told me, and I heard this in my mind: stop making such a big deal out of where they were and what they did. Was it ideal? No, but that doesn't matter as much as where the journey has taken them - to the Temple, and with children in the covenant, on a path drawing ever nearer to the Savior.

That was such a formative moment, and it was about 4 and a half years ago I think. I'm now able to more readily let go of my initial bias against something I haven't done or wouldn't see myself ever doing in favor of being gentle, compassionate, and empathetic in the fact that I know nothing about their life or what brought them there. I can love them, teach them, help them discover their relationship with Heavenly Father and their Savior. It has truly changed everything, and I wouldn't have had the ingredients to learn had I not chosen to serve a full-time mission.

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Having experiences with people you likely would never normally interact with

Having experiences you would otherwise never have

Tends at times allow you to see others’ lives in an up close and personal way, seeing the variety of what are problems and blessings in others’ lives which helps one to be more insightful into what may become a blessing or trial in our own

Learning what it is like for people besides your family to depend on you

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Certainly learned leadership skills

Learned how to talk to anyone and not be afraid to initiate conversations

How to organize and manage time.  

Setting goals and working towards them.

Learning to live with someone you might never choose to be with.

Looking at things from different perspectives

Believing that God could still love me even if I was gay

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Learning to understand those with different experiences

Figuring out what characteristics in a partner inspire you/drive you nuts.

Learning that there is not ONE way to live one's discipleship.

Conversion of the one soul --- namely yourself.

Learning about the big wide world.

Making lifelong friends.

Seeing bad leadership to help you not replicate it.

How to teach basic gospel teachings

Experiencing for a short time what we covenant to do in the temple --- live for Him, give all of our time, talents and resources (so we can appreciate that otherwise we don't have to so much?)

Learning the scriptures associated with basic gospel principles so we recognize applicability and can teach our kids from the scriptures in the moment.

Getting a better understanding of the worth of a soul from God's perspective.

Getting to/having to eat things we might not have done, and being gracious in social situations.

Have sufficient practice in rejection so that we no longer give power to those who do it to us.

Learning to appreciate the support of family and friends that we formerly took entirely for granted (especially when companions don't have the same luxury).

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23 hours ago, rongo said:

(Sometimes) widening potential to get married (not why one should go on a mission, but this is a side benefit. Like I tell people, you have to have your lines in the water to catch fish. Missions provide a wider "network" of people and contacts, and sometimes things in common when meeting people after the mission).

[full disclosure - I'm trying to be witty and sarcastic here.  Don't take me seriously.]

This item sounds so sickeningly charitable, I'm thinking it's born from naivete.   

Quote

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

If there's ever a human situation where a sheep is sent forth into the midst of wolves, it's the faithful dating scene at BYU, or any singles ward anywhere.  So, let's be wise as serpents here.   Returning honorably from a full time mission gets you:

- The ability to pass by the flaming-sword-wielding Cherubim which stand guarding the path to the Tree of Eligible Nines and Tens.
- An immediate +2 in your target's initial reaction roll to your approach.  (Put more accurately, everyone approaching these people start out with a -5, but a full time mission reduces this penalty by 2.)
- Similar bonuses to her parents, extended family, and Instagram followers.  (Note - her brothers don't care if you went on a mission or not, and her older sisters may even start off hating you for it.)

 

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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23 hours ago, Duncan said:

Learning a language. I had to learn to speak a new language in LA!

 

I've told this story before, but, perhaps for the benefit of any who might not have noticed ...  Accidentally, I discovered that a high councilor assigned to my ward at the time speaks Spanish.  Hearing us converse (but, of course, not understanding), a counselor in my bishopric at the time, who is Canadian, approached us and said to another person in the group, "I always get a little nervous when people around me start conversing in a language I don't understand."  I said, "Oh, don't worry, Brother G.  It's no different than when you start speaking Canadian around us!" ;):D

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2 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

[full disclosure - I'm trying to be witty and sarcastic here.  Don't take me seriously.]

This item sounds so sickeningly charitable, I'm thinking it's born from naivete.   

If there's ever a human situation where a sheep is sent forth into the midst of wolves, it's the faithful dating scene at BYU, or any singles ward anywhere.  So, let's be wise as serpents here.   Returning honorably from a full time mission gets you:

- The ability to pass by the flaming-sword-wielding Cherubim which stand guarding the path to the Tree of Eligible Nines and Tens.
- An immediate +2 in your target's initial reaction roll to your approach.  (Put more accurately, everyone approaching these people start out with a -5, but a full time mission reduces this penalty by 2.)
- Similar bonuses to her parents, extended family, and Instagram followers.  (Note - her brothers don't care if you went on a mission or not, and her older sisters may even start off hating you for it.)

 

Well, I'm screwed!  I started out as a -40, and there's no way even the best mission could compensate for that! :D:rofl::D

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My mission proved to me that I can do hard things: It was among the hardest things I've ever done in my life, but I did it anyway. ;):D  (I was going to say it was the second-hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but then I started thinking about my medical history ... :huh::unsure: Honestly, I don't know where it would fall in the list of the hardest things I have ever done, but, it's up there.)

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On 1/23/2021 at 1:09 PM, Duncan said:

Learning a language. I had to learn to speak a new language in LA!

 

Gnarly, Dude! 😎 :huh:;):D

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20 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:
On 1/23/2021 at 2:09 PM, Duncan said:

Learning a language. I had to learn to speak a new language in LA!

Gnarly, Dude! 😎 :huh:;):D

Funny, my first thought was "Who dat?" But I guess that's the other LA. ;) 

 

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4 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Funny, my first thought was "Who dat?" But I guess that's the other LA. ;) 

 

If someone were to ask me, "Who dat?!"  I would assume he's a native of New Orleans and would reply enthusiastically, "Saints dat!" :D;)  (I'm not really a fan of the NFL since the league took up Colin Kaepernick's Social Justice Crusade, but I do hope "Swiss Army Knife"/quarterback Taysom Hill does well.)

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  • believed certain things pre-mission, even with conviction, but I didn't actually know if they were true. My mission experience presented an opportunity to faithfully step into the darkness over and over again and discover if my beliefs worked in the 'real world'. I came to know, much to my delight, that the Restored Gospel is the real deal, that it works exactly as it claims it will -- consistently, reliably, and predictably.
  • Pre-mission, repentance was easy for me since -- at least it seemed to me! -- it had only ever involved behaviour, and I knew how to alter my behaviour. If Mum told me to stop saying hurtful things to my sister, I could do that. When I struggled with morning prayers, a Church leader helped me devise a system of daily reminders. Easy! As a missionary, I realised for the first time that the core of repentance is a changed nature, and I had no clue how to change my nature. I tried and tried and tried, and all my efforts resulted in the same spectacular failure. This was another opportunity: to really turn to Christ, in faith, and see what He could do (which included whether He's real or just a nice idea). In short, my mission resulted in my conversion to Christ ... and that in turn led to the greatest of all miracles: actual alteration of my otherwise unalterable nature.

Both of these things required faith in the purest sense of the word -- trust and loyalty. They also required something I'd never really had to do before: surrender my will. To this day, I'm grateful I was helped to make these choices. Otherwise, I feel my mission would have left me disenchanted and, to be honest, broken.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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