Dear President Albright,

NoSolicitingThe other day I was having a really hard time. All I could think of was that before I came on my mission, everyone told me that this was the best time of their life!  I thought to myself, the only thing I’m getting out of this is water-logged shoes and a lot of suspicious stares!  I took of my water-logged boots and started praying.  Eventually an answer came and then I got it. I got it because I am not here on this mission doing what other 21 year olds would be doing to make themselves happy. I am here to take “I” out of everything and to serve “them.” Nothing is for me anymore, but for others.  I am no longer to ask, what’s in it for me!

This is not my mission. This is His mission.  If it were just for me, then I would be back on the East Coast like I was this time last year. I would be interning somewhere, working, dating, dancing, hanging out with who I wanted, when I wanted, and pursuing MY dreams for MY life, just to assure My fun.  And that’s exactly where I was at this time last year.  And it was the absolute loneliest I’ve ever been in my entire life. This mission is beautiful and unpredictable. Sure it’s hard, but it’s helping me understand the atonement. It is breaking my heart for what breaks His heart and I am loving the journey more and more each month.   I am His representative.  I need to try and do what He would do if He were here.  I am on His errand.  He assigned me here through His prophet.

I joined this church two years ago because I went to the Lord with a very confused and a very broken heart wanting to change and to know the truth. I felt like I was being pulled in a million different directions. It is with complete honesty and vulnerability that I say this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Sometimes, it is also the hardest thing I have ever done.  I know there must be opposition in all things, but without fail it is the best thing I have ever done. I have never looked back and regretted my baptism or my decision to serve a full time mission.   

 Notice how often Satan refers to himself in this verse from the Book of Moses: “Satan…came before me, saying-Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor. (Moses 4:1)  It’s easy to see from this scripture that Satan has an “I” problem.

Two years ago today I was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and committed my life to a course of following the Savior despite what anyone else would think of me or despite how anyone else would react to my decision. I am SO much happier now.  For the first time in my life I feel like I have stopped trying to find myself. I have found much more spiritual power and finding myself by serving others.  I am now in Vancouver serving as a full-time missionary where I am striving to bring others the immense happiness I have found in my life– a happiness that is not fleeting.  I am trying to take “me” and “I” out of the equation and trying instead to focus on serving my brothers and sisters. I am learning what it means to lose oneself in the service of others.  As President Thomas S. Monson has counselled, “The needs of others are ever present, and each of us can do something to help someone. . . . . Unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives.” 

Much Love,

Audrey Denison