Monday, November 29, 2010

The Third Mission – Elder Andrew Howden: LDS Online Missionary

About one year ago, I was preparing to fly out to Canada in a couple of days.  I was very excited be able to continue serving my mission after I had to return home from the Ivory Coast.  I had served there for four months, and upon getting sick and not being able to determine what was wrong with me, I had to return home for several tests before I was reassigned to serve in the Canada Halifax Mission.  However, just one short week in Canada, I got sick again and had to be sent home from the mission field for a second time.  Needless to say, I was quite disparaging about my situation, and I thought that would be the end of my mission.  However, Heavenly Father had something else planned for my life.  My name is Elder Andrew Howden, and I am a 20-year old missionary that serves in the Provo MTC Referral Center mission.

Serving in the Referral Center (RC) was something that I never expected since I had never heard of such a thing before I returned from the Ivory Coast, but when my Stake President asked if I would serve there while I was getting other tests done, I agreed because I wanted to continue my mission.  After serving here for a few months and finishing all of the tests, the Missionary Department decided that I should continue serving at the RC for the remainder of my mission.  All three of my callings have been a great blessing in my life, but I will agree that the last one is the most unique.  People are quite shocked to find out that I work online as a missionary.  Whether it is taking chats, working on facebook, or writing something for my blog, I really enjoy my online experience.  Some people feel that I don’t have the same missionary experience since I don’t see any of my investigators or recent converts face-to-face, but having serving in two missions where I taught in person, I know that this mission is just like any other.

I have been serving my mission about 18 months now, and I have loved every minute of it.  I have come to realize that it doesn’t matter if I am in Africa, Canada, or the Provo MTC Referral Center because I am doing the work of the Lord.  It is just as Christ said in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  I know that I have been a part of Heavenly Father’s plan to further His work and bless more of His children throughout the world.  Having been able to work and teach people in every continent (except Antarctica), I know more than ever that Heavenly Father loves each one of us and wants us to receive the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ true Church upon the earth today, and I know that it was restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith.  I also know that the Book of Mormon is true.  That book and the rest of the scriptures have been such huge blessings in my life, and I know that they are true and will bring us closer to God as we live by the principles taught there-in.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and He suffered and died for each one of us.  However, He lives today for us to turn to and rely on as we struggle with anything that you can imagine.  I know that He and our Heavenly Father love us very much and want the best for us.  I know that the work I am doing is for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve a mission.     

      His Reflections

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