Today, my mission call arrived! which sounds weird when I say it...
You see, I've been waiting for that letter for eighteen years! I was the Primary child who had one of those personalised missionary badges saying 'Marcus Pelham, Future Missionary' (in fact, I still have the one I was given when I was eight!); I was the young man who idolized the elders in our ward and spent every day in the summer of 2009 with them, teaching (or trying to at least) and seeking out a testimony! Missionary work for me is more than just teaching and serving in the hope for baptisms - don't get me wrong, they're important! but baptism is part of a bigger plan; we are baptised to 'come unto Christ'. and in the same way, I want to invite the people I have been commissioned to serve to make steps - no matter how big or small - towards our Saviour. And, if I could sum up what I want to achieve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint, it would be exactly that - to help someone, anyone, THE one to come unto my Saviour!
My letter said this:
'Dear Elder Pelham, you are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You are assigned to labour in the Virginia Richmond Mission and report to the Provo MTC on Tuesday, July 31st'
Yes, you read that right; Virginia! Virginia! VIRGINIA ha! who the heck has ever gone to Virginia?! the only reason I know that it exists is because it's a Ron Pope song (which I highly recommend btw!). As I read those three words, my first reaction was disappointment to be honest... I always expected some abstract land with a heathen people who still worship Beelzebub and eat raw meat! and here, on my letter, was the exact opposite; an Eastern state in the United States of America! surely, the Lord wanted me to experience a new language, not just stick with English?
BUT after it had begin to sink in, all I could feel was excitement... it's not what I expected, no, but it isn't just the Virginia Richmond mission either...
IT'S MY MISSION!
It all goes back to the idea of 'the one' really; Jesus Christ himself has called me to serve in that area - why? I do not know yet! but I'm determined and excited to find out! I really believe that there is someone who, right now, is being prepared for that moment when I can play a part in inviting them to come unto Christ... I just have to keep myself worthy of being part of that!
Since I put my papers in, I've been looking for a scripture that will become my personal mission 'motto'. This is what I've decided:
'but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing that has been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work' -
I sincerely hope and pray that I might be an effective instrument in the hands of God. This is His work, the people of Virginia are His children and I am, and forever will be, His servant! I testify that Jesus Christ lives and takes an active role in bringing every single person back home to live with Him. I feel humbled to have been called to be a part of this work and I will strive to be the best I can be, having faith that Christ will make up the rest!
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ,
ps. oh, and as a little warning to the people of Virginia- GET READY! I'm coming to get 'cha!