Missionary Farewell Talk

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If you’d have told me a year ago that I’d be standing here in front of you talking about going on a mission, I’d have laughed at you. Well, here I am. It has been a long and interesting journey in getting me here today, but, as a popular Kenny Chesney song professes “The laughs, the smiles, the trials, the tears, it’s hard to hate what got me here.” Well, I’m here and am very excited to move on to this next chapter in my life.

I’d be a fool to think that the coming years, though filled with joy and enlightenment, won’t bring with them my fair share of hard times and adversity. I think the most frightening part of everything leading up to my mission lies in the fact that I’m not exactly sure when those hard times will present themselves, nor how they will present themselves. Joseph B. Wirthlin once compared life to running a marathon. At some point in the marathon of life, we will all “hit the wall,” which Elder Wirthlin defined as “feeling a sudden urge to quit, encountering an almost tangible barrier that requires a tremendous effort to overcome.” The harsh reality of life is that we will all hit at least one of these walls at some point in our lives. So what will each of us do when we stand at the base of our own personal walls? Will we rise to the occasion and break through? Or will we crumble in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds? What we do when we get to these proverbial walls is what will ultimately define us as people.

Being one who enjoys the study of history, I have often looked to those who have come before me to find the strength I need to press on. I think about those who have been disowned by their own families because of personal beliefs, the pioneers that crossed the plains despite the harshest of conditions, those families who have ever sent a loved one overseas in support of the freedom we all hold so dear, and the horrible persecutions suffered by those early members of the church. After remembering them I think to...
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