Having the opportunity to serve a mission is incredible. I struggle with my mental health but having the opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father and Saviour while being at home means I am surrounded by support, from Service Mission Leaders, Bishop, Stake President, members of my ward and my mother. Having them around me makes me confident that I can be a successful service missionary.
Since being baptised in 2016, I have always enjoyed being around missionaries, and I hoped I could be a missionary someday. Because of the mental health challenges I face, I thought that a proselytising mission would be out of reach; I would never realise my desire to serve like the missionaries who had been such a big part of my conversion.
So, I am grateful to Bishop Rudloff for introducing me to service missions, and to Elder & Sister Bettridge, the Service Mission Leaders, who let me know that this was something I could do.
I chose to serve because I wanted to build my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Saviour, and take time to focus on who I am, and the plans God has for me. I have learned to take things one day at a time. Each day I ask myself, “What can I do today that will help someone?' I am truly blessed to be paving a way for future service missionaries. I want to demonstrate that we can serve even on days that might seem hard; I know this because I do it every day.
I have been a missionary for the past nine months and had many wonderful opportunities to serve within my local community. First-hand, I saw what we can do when we work together with other faiths, just as the Saviour did.
My Service Mission Leaders encouraged me to look for my own service opportunities in my community, and one of the ones I came across was with the RAF Manston History Museum, where I helped them to clean and get the museum ready for all the visitors. Another I found, is at the Thanet Winter Shelter run by the Salvation Army where I cook meals for the residents on a Saturday night.
I enjoy the opportunities I have had to meet with the other service missionaries in the UK. We meet online once a month to cook together in a group that I helped start. This gives us an opportunity to get to know each other better as we share our favourite recipes.
I know my courage in being a service missionary has given me many blessings and amazing life-changing opportunities. I have been able to serve while being at home. I have grown to know how much my Heavenly Father loves me and is pleased with my decision to serve a mission. It has stretched me and taught me that I can do hard things. He has placed people along my way who have guided and helped me to be the best version of myself, as I serve as the Saviour did in helping others. I am now half-way through my mission and look forward to many more amazing experiences.
President Dallin H Oaks taught, “Our Saviour gave Himself in unselfish service. He taught that each of us should follow Him by denying ourselves of selfish interests in order to serve others'.
If you see me around, please ask me what I am doing.