“Deciding on a Mission,” New Era, June 2005, 7
When I was young, my family and my Primary teachers asked me if I was going to go on a mission when I was older. I always said yes. When I was 12 years old, I was ordained to the office of deacon. My leaders started saying that I would be going on a mission in just seven years. It seemed so far away.
When I was ordained a teacher, the reminders of an upcoming mission became more frequent. When I was ordained a priest, they became even more frequent. I started to get worried because I had only three years left.
I liked the idea of going on a mission, as some of my older brothers had done. But the thought of being away from my family for two years in another part of the world was frightening. I realized that I was afraid to go on a mission because I didn’t have a strong desire to go.
I told Francisca, my sister, about my problem, and she sat down next to me and said, “Isaí, I understand what you’re saying, and I have just two things to say to you. The first is that a mission is where people can have the Spirit 100 percent of the time when their eye is single to the glory of God. The second thing is to ask the Lord to help your desire to go on a mission grow. The Lord will help you.”
I followed her advice and started to pray that my desire to serve a mission would become strong.
April 6, 2000, was a day of decision for me because that was the day my home teaching companion left to go on his mission. I went to the airport to see him off. When he got on the plane, I felt a nervous excitement about doing the same thing. But instead of feeling afraid, I had a feeling of peace. I concluded that these feelings were the answer to my prayers. I knew the Lord wanted me to serve a mission. From that day on, I had a firm desire to go on a mission when I was 19.
I was called to serve in the California San Jose Mission, and I have just recently returned. My years there were the best of my life. I found that even though I was far away from my family, when I had hard times or needed help, the Spirit of the Lord comforted and helped me. I came to know and love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I could say with certainty that the Book of Mormon is true. My testimony of living prophets and of the Restoration grew. I came to love the people I was serving. And I learned that the gift of tongues is real—because I learned to speak and teach in English.
What I thought would be a big sacrifice became the greatest blessing in my life.