mission

My Missionary Scriptures

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As I mentioned in previous posts, my friend and I are kind of studying the Book of Mormon together, quite long distance. We are taking it slow and steady. I am also reading the scriptures by myself at random times and places, and I try to make an effort of doing some scripture journaling every few days, so I am at three different places in the scriptures simultaneously. To make it easier for me, I use three different copies for the three studies. At this point, I have to admit, that none of them is in Hungarian. I am still getting used to the “new” translation, and the comfort of familiarity only comes with the English copies. So in addition to having my journalized scriptures I use a pocket-sized Book of Mormon in my individual study. It is small, but it’s not a screen. I can carry it everywhere, and just mark it as needed.

I for the study with my friend, and usually for reading anything other than the Book of Mormon I use my missionary scriptures. It’s huge. It has everything. It is easy to read all the cross references, and it’s easy to have a Wikipedia-like experience when starting with a single verse in 2 Nephi one ends up three hours later somewhere in the Old Testament, via the Bible Dictionary, the Doctrine and Covenants, and thanks to a footnote, the New Testament as well.

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On this photo the book in the middle is the standard sized soft-cover copy of the Book of Mormon. I think it is quite evident why I don’t carry my missionary scriptures around much! I love them, though. I bought them a few months into my mission, and gifted my previous set to a friend. I hardly ever used the previous set, I used an individual copy of the Book of Mormon most of the time, but I really wanted a quad to make study more comfortable. It was made possible when a former missionary who had served in Hungary and had taught me invited my companion and I to dinner, and gifted us with some cash. So scriptures and a new-to-me pair of boots were purchased one P-day, and that quad became what I refer to as my missionary scriptures. It came with me to Anaheim, I used it the one time I was asked to give a talk, I used them for individual and companionship study, I used it to give the spiritual thought when it was my turn. So many memories are attached to this book. Over my years of not being active I still used it whenever I needed to turn to the scriptures for a story or a discussion, or even an online argument.

Using them again regularly has been fun. A lot of times reading my old notes and finding things that I thought was relevant to me 18 years ago brings back memories, and remind me of things that can be helpful in my life again. I love how all the new member enthusiasm shows through those comments! I love reading the scriptures, and I love how my Heavenly Father keeps guiding me as I study them.

 

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The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

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When I was on my mission one of the verses I really loved in the Book of Mormon was 2 Nephi 25:26.

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This was our lives as missionaries. All we did every day was to talk of Christ, to rejoice in Christ, to preach of Christ. We did it when we talked about the blessings of the Temple. We did it as we shared the pioneers’ stories. We did it when we bore our testimonies of His love, sacrifice, and triumph over death. At the flagpole, in the Tabernacle, at the Christus statue. As my friend Gabi said, it was easy to be good on Temple Square. It was easy, because our whole life was centered around Christ and serving Him.

We often recited this verse, and one day I decided to put it to a test when it came to the Book of Mormon. During my personal study the next two months I marked every time He is mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

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On Sunday when I opened my missionary scriptures in preparation of reading it together with a good friend, I was, again, surprised at all the red marks in the Book of Mormon, showing all the mentions of Christ. Considering that one of my favorite Bible books, Esther, doesn’t even mention God directly, the straightforward witness of the Book of Mormon prophets seems so simple and uncomplicated. Simple and uncomplicated are good, because that is something even I can understand.

As I said earlier, for me the greatest purpose of the Book of Mormon is to invite people to come unto Christ, to bear witness that Christ loves us, and is always ready to receive the faithful and repentant. The Book of Mormon is truly for our time, and the opportunity of learning from it is one of those things that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with in these latter days.

The Mission Reunion

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It is a tradition that during general conference weekend various missions hold a reunion in the Salt Lake area. I served in the Utah Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission, which, despite its long name, is the geographically smallest mission of the Church. At the same time the world was our mission. I served with over two hundred sisters from all over the world, many wonderful senior missionaries, and two great mission presidents President Snow and President Winwood.

This past weekend missionaries who served with President Snow gathered in Salt Lake City. The photos they shared on Facebook made me envious of them. Living on a different continent makes attending a mission reunion but a dream. Over the years I have had the opportunity to see some of my old companions again, most recently my trainer, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to see a large group of Temple Square Sisters together.

There is a photo from my mission, taken a few weeks before I left for Anaheim for four months. It was the last photo of the three Hungarians serving together, taken on a windy Sunday morning, just outside the Tabernacle. It was during the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast, the Square was practically empty, and we used the time to snap some photos. We were genuinly happy and enjoying our lives as missionaries.

Yesterday as the session ended and images of Temple Square were shown it suddenly dawned on me that Gabi, sitting in front of me, and I just had our own little mission reunion. Not only that, but we can have them every week! When we are together we just bring back some great memories for each other, and we feel so much younger again. And that is something. I just met a missionary a few weeks ago who was born after the above photo was taken!

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So here we are yesterday. We are no longer 21-year-old young adults, just starting out in life, but the sparkle is still there. Sharing the memories of our missions, the great and the not-so-great, and the lessons we have learned from them in the past 17 years or so is a great experience. Being in the same ward makes it extra special. We never got serve as companions, even though we really wanted to. Thinking back, I’m sure President Winwood knew what he was doing.

Celebrating sisterhood is not tied to special events and reunions. Loving and supporting each other is the best legacy of our service together. While we miss our other friends and sisters from our time in Salt Lake City, we have hope for an even better, grander reunion in eternity.

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Nephi 25:26)

For other posts in this series, please click here.