My Mormon Mission, revisited

June 17, 2009

I wrote an article almost 3 years ago about my mission. I’m re-posting it here.

The roadThe last couple of weeks I’ve fallen asleep each night in memories of my mission to Taiwan. My thoughts are in Chinese, and I find myself wondering what ever happened to a certain person or what’s new in a certain city. Most of my place marks on Google Earth are in northern Taiwan, making it seem I know Taipei city better than I know the United States.

It’s because I mark the most unusual things there. Here’s the place with the attack dogs. Here’s the place they dedicated Taiwan. Here’s the temple. Here was my house. Here’s where I saw monkeys. Here’s brother so-and-so’s house. Here’s my favorite fried rice shop.

I think it’s because America is always here for me. But when I see that view of the Taiwanese streets from 850 feet or so I worry I’ll forget something. I’ll forget that road between the apartment and the church in Banqiao that I took every single morning for 3 months. The one that led right through the morning market. I think I’m afraid I’ll forget even the incidentals of the most valued experience of my life so far.

The mission is a chance to see what you are truly capable of. To let you find out what happens when you focus all of your energy all of the time on one thing. You never love as deeply and as powerfully as you do while on your mission. If you do it right, eventually you can’t really help it. You see somebody and you feel love for him or her.

My mission is full of memories and experiences that are so intense in emotion – particularly love – that I can’t adequately express it to anybody. Even those who have gone on missions can’t really explain it to others who have gone. All we can do is smile at each other and say “Yeah.” It’s like saying “I was there. I know.” Some compare it to being brothers in a war having returned from fighting the greatest battle.

And it makes me sad, too. Because what I would like to do more than anything else is pull the feelings from my chest and place them into the hearts of those who haven’t experienced such depth of experience. But perhaps part of what makes the emotions so strong is the fight to earn them.

From beginning to end, the mission was greater than the part I played in it. I was changed far more than I changed anything or anybody. From day one there was never any doubt that there is a God, and that this is the work He wanted me to do. And looking back from the end of the mission it was clear in the same way that the sky is blue that this God is good, that He is in control, and that He loves me, and that He loves every person on the planet. That He knows our names and our thoughts. That He moves with power on this earth even today.

The words represent feelings and knowledge that are so much more profound than the words are capable of describing. I use sentences like that and it just sounds religious – but it’s so much more than what we think of as religion. I imagine climbing a mountain only to find you’ve conquered a foothill.

I can’t and don’t feel like describing the events of my mission right now, but I feel it important to mark now how I feel almost 5 months after being back. To those who read this and are members of my same church – serve, if you are able, and be prepared to learn far more than you ever imagined you didn’t know. For those who are not members of my same church I say: seek miracles and be prepared to accept them in places you didn’t expect to.

I know that God lives and is with us.



One Response to “My Mormon Mission, revisited”

  1. Tom Says:

    Dear Greg;
    I am sure you will receive lots of replies like this one. You need to find another church! The Mormon religion is totally false and contrived. It has damaged certain parts of the world and is based on lies, deceit and money. There is absolutely no genetic or archeological evidence for this religion. It was created by Joseph Smith, a womanizer and prankster at best. He and Brigham Young have duped those who believe in the religion and destroyed others. Missionaries make pie in the sky promises that will not or ever could come true. The Middle East is wooing the day they ever allowed them in and Mormons are hitching their wagon to the Muslims in hopes of getting ahead any way they can. A religion that discriminates, destroys and believes in radicals such as Hitler, is no religion. Mormons have been classified as the largest cult in the world with their falsely inflated numbers. I have felt the uncalled for wrath and hatred of the Mormons living in Utah, I have also lived in Utah where there are no Mormons. Where we lived, we actually did them favors. Mormons are not to be trusted what-so-ever! Their own cult rips them off and it’s headed up by good old boys with very little education, dirty old men is a better term. I could go on and on. The Bible says any addition to or subtraction from the scriptures, which the Book of Mormon is claimed to be, is blasphemous, a lie! Get out while the getting is good. Find a Mormon recovery group for protection and support. You can do missionary work for a real church. Good luck!

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