I have a big brother who I love very, very much. We're not actually siblings, not even cousins, not even related at all, but we've been through a lot together. He helped me survive my sophmore year of high school and my daddy's first relapse. I'm his go to girl when he's incredibly bored and needs some one to talk to while driving tractor for endless hours. We go on dates so we can make fun of the couples that double with us. He's my Tater Bro and I'm his Lil' Spitz. Sometimes a girl just needs a big brother to take care of her, and Tate is an awesome brother to have. I am so glad he adopted me. ;D
This dear brother of mine called me last night to tell me the best piece of news I have heard in a long time: He's going to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have never heard so much determination or emotion in Tate's voice as when he said, "There's no if about this anymore; I'm GOING on a mission." I am SO incredibly proud of him.
We spent quite a bit of time on the phone last night, talking about missionaries, focus, the Spirit, and sharing the Gospel (or, as I have recently learned in my New Testament class, "The Good News"). We shared many personal thoughts, insights, and tears. (I'm lucky I didn't short circuit my phone, actually, I was quite weepy.) This has been a long time coming for Tate, and now he's struggling a bit with keeping his focus, so I gave him a To Do List, which I wanted to share with all of you. Now, I'm not the kind of person that regularly makes lists of goals, so this is a bit out of the ordinary for me, but the Spirit was so incredibly strong when we were discussing the list, I felt like it needed to be shared.
1) Pray - Get down on your knees and bare your heart. Put it all on the line and ask the Lord for comfort, guidance, & strength.
2) Read your Scriptures prayerfully and diligently - Really search for answers, encouragement, and direction.
3) Make a list of reasons you want to serve a mission.
4) Make a list of reasons that you are grateful for the Gospel - revise missionary list.
5) Spread the news - tell your friends and family that you're going, ask for their prayers and support, and tell everyone how excited you are to serve the Lord!
6) Get those papers in!
(LDS missionaries must apply to serve a mission, finance their mission, and accept the call to serve, whether it be in Salt Lake City, Mexico, Bulgaria, or any of the 348 mission areas worldwide. See Missionary PR or mormon.org)
7) Remember that you have a little sister who supports you, believes in you, and loves you very much.
#1, #2, and #7 are infinite. This one goes out to you, my Tater Bro, and all the other missionaries, past, present, and, most especially, future! Go forth! Work hard! Spread the "Good News!"