On a Mission of Love for LDS

Special to the S-E

December is a month of holidays, celebration, and for many, the joyful expression of faith. It is often called the season of light.

January arrived with extreme cold, deep snow, a flu epidemic, and a political climate of uncertainty. Some people are feeling overwhelmed by winter’s darkness. Yet, according to three young men serving as Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “There is light in the world. Each person can be a light, doing a small act of service each day, bringing change to the community and to oneself. We can truly brighten the world.”

Elder Rapp, Elder Anderson, and Elder Redd love serving in the Colville area: “The people here have been spectacular. They are super nice, probably the most loving people we’ve met in a long time. They are very concerned for each other.”

Multiple regions

These missionaries are part of a group of about 140 people serving the Spokane area, which extends from Grand Forks in British Columbia, Canada, to Libby, Montana, and from Grangeville, Idaho to Ritzville. Each individual may serve in multiple regions, working with a companion, knowing they may be being transferred to a different area after six weeks. Wherever they go, their one objective is service to all.

To become a missionary, one first meets with the church Bishop of his or her local area. Health conditions are carefully considered. Paperwork is submitted to Salt Lake City, Utah. Church leaders spend time in prayer before choosing the area of the world in which each person will serve.

Prior to leaving on a mission, time is spent earning and saving money for self-support during the two years of service.

According to Redd, once the mission begins, “Every moment of the day we are trying to look outside of ourselves. We are excited and feel great joy while helping in whatever ways we can. We are grateful to do work for others.”

When they first arrive at their destination, they contact a trainer who explains what they will be doing. They ask members of the church about people in the community who might need help. They also walk around town, speaking with people, seeking opportunities to serve.

The day begins at 6:30 a.m. They exercise and study scripture while preparing for an eleven-hour day spent teaching and serving. Their focus is on finding people in need of help and encouragement.

Read the full story in the Jan. 25 edition of the Statesman-Examiner. An e-edition will be available Jan. 25 at http://www.statesmanexaminer.com/e-edition.