To start I will insert one of those fancy dancy hyper link things to take you to a page to learn more about Mormon missionaries in case you have questions.
Right after my miraculous return to church I felt lots and lots of pressure to serve a mission. The more people pushed the more I pushed back. Finally one day after our Sunday meetings, the hero from my conversion story, Tyler Searle asked me "Mark, are you going to serve a mission?" I told him no and proceeded to list all the reason why a mission wasn't right for me such as; family, football, schooling, timing, etc..... And guess what he had the nerve to look at me and simply say "Thats alright, I love you anyways."........ WHAT NERVE, and that's were it all began :)
Instantly I started to wonder what made Tyler so darn great and why he was determined to serve a mission. After pondering about it for several weeks, I came to the conclusion that I needed to follow the biblical scripture in James 1:5 and ask God what he wanted me to do. I began to pray.....
Keep in mind that the whole time this is going on I am right in my senior football session. Having the best session of my career and am getting closer and closer to my dreams of collegiate football. So as more time passes and as my football session goes two things happened 1) On the outside it looked like I was getting closer and closer to playing college football. 2) On the inside I am getting further and further from football and closer and closer to a mission.
THE PIVITOL EVENT
Here is the event that swayed it all. One day I was sitting in a room with my high school football coach and my high school AG teacher. I asked coach Kidd if he had served, he said no, and I talked to him a little about it. I asked Mr. Miller if he did, he said yes, and I asked him a few questions. Needless to say he encouraged me to serve, told me it was hard but an experience that he needed. And in that moment I KNEW that I needed to serve.....
And now poof here I am serving am mission in Phoenix Arizona for the last 21 months of my life. A much better and more Christ-like person. The impact my mission had on my life and future rival the impact that my conversion had. Thats right I just said that MY MISSION WAS NEARLY AS IMPORTANT AS MY CONVERSION!!!
1) Prayer is how I received my answer and how I found the power to be able to stick with such a hard decision and preserve throughout my mission . Our relationship with our Heavenly Father is SOOO important and the best way to foster that relationship is by speaking with him morning, nite, and as a family.
2) Tyler's love is what was able to penetrate my hardened heart and help me open it to the idea of serving. I have come to learn that love is the best and most powerful motivating tool this world has. "Love conquers all"
3) My AG teachers example of being a righteous priesthood holder is what helped me make that important decision. Your example is more powerful than any word. "People will rarely remember what you said but they will always remember how you made them feel."
answers from God......