Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Elder Gleason

A beautiful and monumental thing happened for my family on Friday June 14, 2013. My younger and only brother Mitchell received his call from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to serve as a full time missionary. For those of my friends and readers unfamiliar with what exactly a mission is, I'll give a brief overview (for further explanation, click here): young men and women have the choice to shake the things of the world and consecrate their lives solely to the work of the Lord. This means no electronics, no movies, no books or music (unless it pertains to the gospel), and, sadly no family or friends. While it may seem strange that these young missionaries are to refrain from speaking with their loved ones, the purpose behind it is to help them maintain their focus on furthering the work. They are allowed 2 skype sessions/phone calls a year (more or less depending on the mission), and to e-mail/write letters to family and loved ones (also depending on the mission). 

Many not of the LDS faith may think that this is a crazy sacrifice to ask of any 19-year-old kid, and to an extent, I agree. As I've mentioned before, I stand strongly by the decision of serving a mission to be made personally by the individual deciding to serve. I have thus far decided that it is not the time for me to drop everything and serve, but for my brother, fresh out of high school, he can't seem to wait to get out there and preach. A lot of the time the decision is based on a desire within the individual's heart to serve. I don't have that desire- but it doesn't mean I don't love the Lord and his gospel, I just desire to serve and sacrifice in different ways.

My brother has always had that desire, and his dreams were made a reality this last Friday. Mitchell was called to labor in the San Francisco/Oakland California Spanish speaking Mission. This means that on October 23, 2013, my sweet baby brother will fly to the Missionary Training Center in Mexico City, Mexico where he will stay for 3 or so weeks to brush up on Spanish and learn the most efficient ways to share his knowledge of the restored gospel of Christ. Once his time at the MTC is up, he'll fly to California where he'll serve the remainder of his two years. 

While I am overjoyed that this is happening, just writing about it chokes me up. If I didn't believe in the gospel and trust in the Lord with all my heart, I wouldn't be able to let go of my bubbie for two whole years. But, I trust that this is the best path for him, and I support him in his endeavors. 

Elder Gleason, you will bring many souls unto the never ending joy that is the restored gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ. You will return with honor, and you will make your family proud. I know this because I know you, and you've never given me reason to doubt otherwise.