“Football and Sundays,” Liahona, August 2018
In Germany, football is the most popular sport. My dad signed me up for a football club when I was five. We practiced three or four times a week. Games were mostly on Saturdays and Sundays. When I wasn’t playing football for the club team, I played football with my friends. We played football almost every day until the sun went down.
When I was 15, I started playing for a team in a bigger city. Football became more serious. We practiced more often. We traveled to more places. We played against more teams. Football was my life.
Then, when I was almost 18, I was at a concert. I saw a boy about my age. He stuck out. He wasn’t drinking, smoking, or swearing. I wanted to know why. I found out he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His example made me want to learn more. Later I joined the Church.
After I was baptized, I learned two things. First, I shouldn’t be playing football on the Sabbath. I should go to church. Second, Heavenly Father expected me to serve a mission. But I was pretty good at football. I had a friend I had played football with when we were younger. We each got an offer to play on a professional team. My friend took the offer. I chose to leave football behind and go on a mission instead. It was not a hard choice because I knew the Church was true.
But my choice was difficult for my family and friends. They didn’t understand what I was doing. My parents sent me newspaper clippings of my friend playing football. That was not easy for me. But I never ever regretted serving a mission.
Heavenly Father has blessed me every day because I chose to serve a mission. He has blessed me with peace. I felt the good feeling that comes from making the right choice.