Thursday, June 30, 2016

Farewell Talk

Here is the talk Addison gave in her ward on Sunday.
"Growing up I always thought of serving a mission, but thought leaving at age 21 was a little too late for me. I remember thinking that if the age changed to 19 or 20 then I might go. Which seemed impossible until President Monson announced in the October 2012 conference “As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21”. 
At that time in my life I was in 10th grade, so I pushed back the thought of serving because it didn’t seem prevalent at the time. Then I went off to college this past year and all I could think about was whether I should serve a mission or not. I always told people I would because I was tired of saying no to people and them asking me why I wasn’t. And then not having good excuse of why I couldn’t serve a mission. But I never had a clear answer telling me to serve.
After several months of prayer, I remember sitting in the silence of the sacrament and I prayed so intently to receive some kind of answer and then it came. It said “ Addison, why do you keep asking, you already know you’re supposed to serve a mission” I was too busy waiting for that big YES to come when in fact we know that “by small in simple things, great things come to pass”. 
I was held back from doubt and my inability to feel good enough to be out there. I have come to realize that though I don’t know everything there is to be known about the gospel, that doesn’t mean I won’t be a good missionary. I’m grateful to know that I will have the Holy Ghost with me to help teach and to convey the right message to those seeking the truth.
I want to serve a mission because I love this gospel. And I believe that if you love something that you should share it with others. I want others to feel the happiness I have felt these last 11 years of being a member of this Church. 
A few weeks back I gave a talk in the Singles Ward on missionary service and I said that the most important thing to remember on a mission is to love those you teach. When you love others you want what’s best for them and you help them get to a point where they can receive eternal happiness!
In Elder Richard G Scott’s talk from April 2006 conference called “Now is the Time to serve” he says “It would be difficult to imagine anything more exciting to do as a young man, woman, or couple in the world today than to be a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The message of the restored gospel we share is absolutely vital. It is from God our Eternal Father for every one of His children on earth and is centered in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. When that message is understood and lived, it can replace turmoil with peace, sorrow with happiness and provide solutions to life’s persistent challenges”
I will never comprehend the magnitude of the love God has for all of us. I know I will never be able to thank Him enough for how he has blessed my life and how the challenges He has given me have made me become a better person. But I
am grateful that I can show my love for Him through serving His children. One of my favorite scriptures is found in Mosiah 2:17 which says “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God”.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. I remember after I decided I would go on a mission, I had to wait 5 months until I could submit my papers because my birthday is in June. I was so frustrated because I just wanted to get my call and go out on my mission. But I was able to learn a valuable lesson on patience and God’s timing. Everything was rushed in my life, I was always hurrying to work or to school and there was a lot of pressure in Utah to get married considering I was in a singles ward full of 22 year olds. So remaining missionary minded was difficult and I wanted to leave as soon as possible in order to escape all the wedding hysteria. After work one day I got pulled over for speeding. And of course the cop gave me a ticket. I was so upset and wondered why this had to happen to me. I prayed that night for peace because I felt like I was going to explode from everything that occupied my mind! When I finished praying I felt prompted to look in my tip jar. I opened the lid and found a corner of a pink sticky note that had a scripture on it. The scripture was Mosiah 4:26 and it says “And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order”. So I took the speeding ticket as a sign to slow down and enjoy the moments I had before I was to go on a mission. But I honestly don’t know how that sticky note came to be in there and many might say it was a coincidence. But I have had so many coincidences that they can no longer be called that. I know God is watching over us and is helping us to become the person He wants us to be!
I hope I can help as many people as possible in Germany. I know that’s where I am supposed to serve and I can’t believe it has been 90 days since I got my call. I love my family and am grateful for their influences on me. I wouldn’t be here today without them. I’m lucky to have a Father, Brother, and a Sister who all have served missions and have been such a great example to me. I’m thankful for a mother who cheers me on in everything I do and for a little brother who constantly helps me become a better person. I honestly feel like I am his younger sister. 
I want to bear my testimony that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true and that it was restored today by the prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that God and Christ love all of us the same and want what's best for each and everyone of us. I know that Christ suffered the Atonement so that we all can return to Heavenly Father after this life. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that by constantly studying it, one will receive the guidance and direction needed to get through this life.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."