Carson has been preparing to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever since he began to walk. The time has finally come.
This last week Carson had his final interview with the Stake President, our local church leader, and sent the paperwork to President Monson, the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at church headquarters in Salt Lake City.
In about a week Carson will be getting a letter from President Monson, telling him when and where he will be serving the Lord. Until we get those papers we are taking a poll: Where do you think Carson will spend his next two years serving the Lord? Give us your best guess on the sidebar poll to the right.
We know that no matter where Carson is called to serve he will be an influence for good, change lives and be loved dearly by the people. We wish him the very best in these exciting times that are coming his way.
WHAT EXACTLY DOES A MORMON MISSIONARY DO?
You might wonder what, exactly, a Mormon missionary does, other than ride a bike and knock on doors, or how a young man or woman just out of high school might end up on a mission. Here are the basics:
Most of the Church's missionaries are around twenty years old, though many members also volunteer to serve after they've retired. All prospective missionaries turn in applications to Church headquarters and they receive a call to a specific mission around the world. They spend a few weeks in a training center where some of them learn a new language and all of them rigorously study and practice teaching the gospel. Then they set off to their assigned locations and begin their service. Missionaries' lives are completely dedicated to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. They pay their own way and put off school, dating and work for two years in order to focus entirely on doing the Lord's work.
A common morning for a missionary might consist of waking up at 6:30 a.m., studying the scriptures, and meeting new people to share the gospel with. The afternoon might include discussing gospel lessons with people they meet and volunteering for service in the community. A good night has them teaching the gospel to interested individuals and helping them learn and keep God's commandments or attending a baptismal service for someone who's decided to join the Church. They return home around 9:30 p.m. and fall into bed, usually exhausted and happy.
WHY DO MORMON'S DO MISSIONARY WORK?
We believe we are all part of one heavenly family, so missionary work isn't work so much as it is trying to help out our brothers and sisters. Right now, tens of thousands of missionaries are walking, driving or riding their bikes around the world, handing out copies of the Book of Mormon and sharing the gospel with the people they meet. Why do these people, most of them under the age of 25, volunteer to leave their homes at their own expense and dedicate a period of their lives to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ?
The Lord's Church has always been a missionary church. Jesus Christ's life was the perfect example of missionary work. During His ministry on earth, he taught the gospel at all times, in all places, and to all kinds of people. Jesus taught the educated men in the temple, the sinners, the faithful and the unbelieving. He also called apostles and other disciples to preach the gospel so more people could hear about the blessings of His gospel. Most of their preaching during Christ's life was to their own people, the Jews. After Jesus was resurrected, He visited His apostles and sent them to preach to the gentiles. He commanded them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). We take that commandment to heart and look for opportunities to share the blessings we've received from living the gospel with everyone we can.