Chat With a Mormon Online
I'm an undergraduate student studying computer science. I grew up in North Carolina, but study in Utah. I just got back from two years of missionary service in Hawaii.
My parents were active members of the church when I was born. When I was little, I went because I was told. Not that I minded - I had fun, but that's what I did when I was little, I followed. Something changes when you get older though. All of a sudden, the things that you were taught when you were a little kid - that there was life after death, that God knows you by name - things like that, start to take on more meaning. When you get older and bad things happen, you realize how much you rely on the knowledge you have that Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the world. I guess a good summary would be that in every phase of my life - through thick and thin - I've felt God's love for me in His church. I know that He is always there and loves everyone - and I wouldn't trade that knowledge for anything.
I get asked this a lot - I've just returned from a mission myself. I guess the only real answer I have is this: Imagine you had something in your life that had totally and completely changed you. You knew things about the purpose of human kind's existence here on earth. You knew that there was a way all people could be free of the guilt that comes with sin. You knew that a husband and wife could be together not just until death - but for time and all eternity. Not only that, but you knew that you could share this with other people and it would change their lives too. You knew that no matter how bad people's lives were, no matter what horrible things had happened, things could ultimately end well. Even then, you knew that there was a loving God who has gone through everything that everyone has gone through and knew everyone's name personally. I might have gotten carried away, but imagine you knew all that. You knew that what you could share could change people's lives. Wouldn't you want to share that? That's what Mormons do on missions. That's what I had the privilege of doing for two years. It changed my life - and the lives of those we got to share that message with.
I recently completed two years of full-time missionary service in Hawaii for my church. I got to travel to several different islands and loved my time there. Wherever I go, I receive an assignment or a calling in the congregation closest to where I leave, and we call this a calling. This is not unique to me - it happens all over the church. The responsibilities I have had include speaking assignments, organizing activities, and leading training meetings. I have been ill-prepared to fulfill the responsibilities I have been given, but with the help of the Lord, they have been great learning experiences for me. I also study from the scriptures - the Bible and the Book of Mormon - each day. I try to live my life like the Savior Jesus Christ.