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Ask Angela: I'm embarrassed about my mission call to Utah, and so are my parents

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  • mn_online In, UT
    May 13, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    Twenty years ago, I had a college roommate who was called to Detroit. He was so appalled that he actually threw the mission call down and left the room. I mean, who wants to serve in dumpy, crime-ridden, burned out Detroit. After a few days, he calmed down and determined that he would serve where he was called, and bloom where he was planted. Fast forward two and a half years--he and I were talking about our mission calls and he told me he loved his mission, he loved the people, and if he could turn back the clock and choose a different mission, he wouldn't change a thing. President Hinckley's dad gave him advice that is excellent for all of us, especially in this situation: "Forget yourself and go to work." If you take that advice, you will love your mission, love where you serve, and looking back, won't want to change a thing. Thank you for your faith and willingness to serve! Best of luck to you!

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    Called 2 Serve,

    Thank you for coming to our city! We look forward to you coming and serving here. We love you for committing to serve the Lord. The same honesty that you're showing now will serve you well as those you teach will feel of that honesty. We'll be glad that you are on Temple Square as we bring our friends there because we know your honesty and goodness will shine.

  • MamaG Midvale, UT
    May 13, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    I LOVE your honest question! Please know that there are people here who need to be taught the gospel and who need your love! My husband is a convert who joined in another state, but who was first contacted by missionaries while living here in Utah. More than anything we wish we could contact those sweet sisters who first planted his seeds of faith.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    Trust me. You WILL want to serve in Utah. I got called to a foreign speaking mission in Europe. My friends that were sent stateside were jealous, and I was on cloud 9. Well, two years later when I returned home, while I was glad I served in Europe, I was jealous of my stateside friends who served in the USA who had lots of success, while I had very, very little success. Not to mention that I spent 2 years knocking on thousands of doors speaking to atheists and others who were never interested. Also, learning the foreign language to me was extremely difficult, and I felt like the first 9 months of my mission was far less productive than I wanted it to be.

    You will find lots of success in Utah. Trust me, you will appreciate this. While any mission is never easy, you will be glad for having served in Utah.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    May 13, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    Close friend of mine decided not to serve after receiving a call stateside. Sad. "Forget yourself and go to work."

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    May 13, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    My wife's niece is serving in the Salt Lake City East Mission. My parents and a sister and her family live in that mission. Our niece loves it. A few weeks ago, she indicated that she and her companion only had 30 discussions that week, which was the lowest number for a week on her mission. She has taught a number of people to progress into the waters of baptism and beyond.

    There are people who need the Gospel everywhere.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    May 13, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    My son is there now and has 90 days left. It was a great mission in a great area.

  • sonofabronc Boise, ID
    May 13, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    What if you opened your mission call and found that (a) your mission was going to be three years instead of two, (b) you were going to a very small mission geographically not far from your home and family, (c) the mission was full of people who were very set in their ways, and (d) at the end of your mission you would be betrayed by one of your converts and killed. Would you still go?

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    May 13, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    I was hoping for a foreign mission at first as well. I remember holding my envelope and getting the feeling nope I am going to the Eastern states like New York or Pennsylvania. I ended up smack in the middle in New Jersey. I found my testimony in the leadrship of this church growing stronger after having been out 10 months I realized I had been sent exactly where I needed to be. You will never be sent where you want. You will be sent exactly where the savior needs you to be. I was blessed to recieve a confirmation from the spirit as my mission came to a close that I had found people I had promised in the Pre-existance I would find and share the gospel with. I remember them to this day.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 13, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    Maybe you can get excited about this...Temple Square is full of sisters from other countries who are pioneers and great ambassadors for the Church. There's a story on the church website about the Rome Temple about how LDS church leaders went to the Italian minister over religious affairs in Rome to get a new level of recognition for the church. The official told them he had gone to SLC and visited Temple Square and was so impressed by the Italian Sister Missionaries that he would gladly endorse their request.

    I invite you to write Angela when you return and tell us what you found in serving in SLC. I think you will have lots of amazing stories...

  • dwidenhouse Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 13, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    I was called less than 5 years ago to the Utah Salt Lake City mission. I had prayed to Heavenly Father to send me anywhere but Utah. I thought it would be a terrible experience. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!! Besides marriage, it was the most amazing experience of my life. It is a place where you can see how the Church runs on the upper levels, what 100% home teaching looks like, and find out that Utahns aren't weird. Most of all, your testimony grows because you see so many witnesses of the truth from the members. There are so many strong people in Utah and their influence will make a wonderful effect on the lives of the missionaries that serve. No one should ever feel jilted when they are called to serve somewhere like Utah or Idaho or Arizona.

  • B ob Richmond, CA
    May 13, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    Receiving a mission call isn't having winning lottery tickets called out; you don't win or loose.

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    May 13, 2014 3:35 p.m.

    While serving a mission is a wonderful milestone in a young person's life, I think that the big production that has come to be expected in recent decades when "opening the call" is misguided. When I received my call many years ago, I was in college far away from home. My call came in the mail one day. I opened it. I saw where I was going and then I called my parents. Same deal with my siblings who served.

    Nowadays, it is a huge emotional buildup. Everyone waits for the appointed hour. Family and friends gather. Speculations run rampant. Video cameras roll. Skype sessions spin up. Everyone waits. Suspense builds. Fingers and tweets at the ready. The envelope is opened and it is...Boise Idaho.

    Can be anticlimactic.

  • Debora Las Vegas, NV
    May 13, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    Heavenly father has a plan for you by having you serve "wherever He wants you to go". about 20 yrs ago, my husband served his mission in my city (He served his mission in my city which was only 4 hrs drive from where he's from). He wasn't thrilled at first when he found out he was going to serve in a nearby city. But he committed that he is going to go wherever He wants him to go. If it weren't for his mission, we wouldn't have met and happily married for 16 years now. when you go on a mission, sometimes the soul that you are saving are your own soul.

  • Texasmom6 Mont Belvieu, TX
    May 13, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    I was called and served in the Spain, Barcelona mission. After I returned, I was able to serve as a tour guide at Temple Square (that was before it was staffed with sister missionaries). Both were wonderful experiences. In Spain we spent a great deal of time seeking out people who were prepared to hear the gospel. At Temple Square, they came willingly. You will have the benefit of the wonderful spirit that is always there. In the shadow of the beautiful temple you will share your testimony. As you do so, your love for the Savior will grow and your joy will be more than you could ever anticipate.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    May 13, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    I served a mission in Salt Lake. It was a regular mission - we had baptisms, a lot of them. In fact, at the time we were the highest baptizing English speaking mission in the world. If you serve in a Utah mission, chances are you will see the rate of conversions comparable to Latin America, but you will do this with the convenience of living in the US. Perhaps missions in Utah are unique in that regard - I am not aware of anywhere else where this is happening. Blessings without sacrifice, almost - as long as you can get over "this is not a real mission, the mission field is somewhere out there" misconception.

  • Ballplayer Spanish Fork, UT
    May 13, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    Are you going on a mission to see the world or to serve the Lord? As bishop in Utah, I can tell you we work closely with the Elders and Sisters that serve in our ward and stake and we keep them very busy. Sister Trusty, we happen to have a certain Elder Trusty serving in our area right now and we are very grateful for his service and great attitude. I very grateful he was called to serve here in Utah. The people in our neighborhood who have not yet found the gospel have the same need to have an opportunity to be taught the gospel as do people in "exotic" missions. I've worked with some extraordinary missionaries over the last few years, right here in Utah, and I've seen them have great success.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    My son suffered from severe language disorders and had undergone language therapy for 11+ years in his childhood. He disclosed all of this on his mission application and indicated he did not want to learn a foreign language because of these difficulties. We about fainted when he opened his mission call and had been assigned to Santiago Chile. But he went forward with faith, eventually mastered the language, and had an incredible mission.

    He just got married in March, and he and his wife now live in downtown Salt Lake City. They have just been called as Ward Missionaries, assigned to work with the full-time missionaries. They have had 5 convert baptisms since the first of the year in their ward. They and the full-time missionaries are struggling to keep up with all of the people who want and need to be taught the gospel. My son says he feels like he is on his full-time mission again.

    I hope you get to work with my son and his wife. I have full confidence you will be an effective missionary. You will be blessed for your commitment and your honesty.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    May 13, 2014 4:23 p.m.

    As far as opening the call is concerned, I think that is a personal choice. I do think more is made of it than needs to be and for some it should probably be a more personal experience alone or just with close family. Too many are making it a huge social event that lends itself to embarrassment when raw, honest emotions come out. Some young people are excited no matter where they go. Others are not. Maybe those who are dreading going to certain places would be better off opening their calls alone or with their close family so they can deal with whatever emotions arise surrounded by those who are most understanding and then tell the world when they have gained their composure and a testimony of their call.

  • kiaoraguy Provo, UT
    May 13, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    I know beyond a shadow of a doubt you go where you are supposed to go. I served in New Zealand, and while it was not a high baptizing mission, we helped bring into the church a man who we believe was the first member of the church from his country- and besides it was New Zealand. My sons expected exotic and ended up less so, but with experiences they will treasure. Your call was an inspired one- let the Lord show you why!

  • bricha lehi, ut
    May 13, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    I remember feeling the same kind of thoughts after receiving my mission call. There was so much hype about the mission call that I don't think it mattered where I was called I would have felt let down. But here is the important part. Long before finishing my mission I knew that my call was exactly where I needed to be.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    May 13, 2014 4:52 p.m.

    I went to Argentina, where I thought there would be tons of baptisms. My companion from the MTC went to Boise (Spanish speaking). We left the MTC on the same day. He had a baptism literally before I got off the plane. He baptized more in his first month than I did in my entire mission, and I baptized more than most in my mission.

    Don't judge a mission (for better or for worse) by where it is on the map.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    May 13, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    It isn't about where you go and how magical it sounds, it's about who you serve.
    Go sing the primary song "If the Saviour stood beside me" and then tell yourself Utah isn't worthy of your time. Good luck on your mission in life.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 13, 2014 5:27 p.m.

    I'm no longer a member and I am very happy about that fact (I withdrew voluntarily) but I am still grateful for my mission experience. I didn't serve in Salt Lake but I was in the U.S. Sure I could regret it and feel bitter I guess but I just don't feel that way. I got to live in another part of the country, I got to experience things and meet people I never would have any other way. When I look back I'm no longer proud of the religion but I'm happy I got to serve if that makes sense. I can understand why serving a mission in Utah would present it's own issues hopefully this missionary will have some great experiences.

  • Unclefred Ticonderoga, NY
    May 13, 2014 6:21 p.m.

    Sometimes, funny things happen. My oldest son baptized his mother and I, and a few years later, sent in his mission papers. He was a college when he got the letter. He called us to tell us where he would be sent. When he was born, I had given him a middle name that was the last name of one of my ancestors, and I was hoping that he would be sent to the place in France that that ancestor had come from, Besancon. After a dramatic pause, he said he was being sent to the Geneva Swiss Mission.. I admit I was instantly disappointed, but also relieved that it was not to some place where he would be in more danger. A week later a map of his mission area came in the mail. While Besancon France was not dead center, it was comfortably within his mission boundaries. Some wins are more obvious than others, he got to preach to his distant cousins, what could be better than that?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 13, 2014 6:49 p.m.

    I have a LDS friend who served in Utah. He said the biggest problem was having a million returned missionaries telling him how to do his job.

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    May 13, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    I love your question! It is OK to question the call. I remember getting my call I opened it and there it was Just the place I just came home from. I place I did not like did not ever want to see again and there it was. I went, I served, I learned to Love the people from my Mission It has be over a quarter of a century since I served, and a day does not go by I do not think of the joys I found serving those two years. I also think of the hymn I will go were you want me to Lord! Look it up read it think of the lives you will touch and how those lives will touch you. You will be blessed because you will put others before you and you will grow in ways that will astound you.
    Take care and God speed!

  • AnonSMF Sacramento, CA
    May 13, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    In my personal opinion, the where when and how about opening the envelope are not the most important thing. The most important thing is where your heart is and are you willing to serve where the Lord calls you. I opened my call when my father brought in the mail. It was a surprise, and while it was exciting it was also kind of scary. But I figured since the Lord through his faithful servants had called me where he wanted me to go, I had to have faith to trust in him that it would all work out. I guess for me it all boils down to the scripture in Proverbs: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and we will direct thy paths." My Heavenly Father bless you as you serve your mission.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 13, 2014 7:07 p.m.

    I had a child serve in Idaho and another now serving in Utah. Not glamorous but there is real service there (just like any other place). If it is about the service (not the spectacular sound of the place, then Utah will be a great place with much work to do. God bless.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    May 13, 2014 7:13 p.m.

    Are you kidding me? All you have to do is read the comments on the DesNews (and the Trib is way worse) and you'll see that there are hundreds of thousands of people right in the Salt Lake Valley that are in desperate need of being converted.

    Work hard right where the Lord puts you. Then work even harder.

    You'll be glad you did.

  • heidis Hines, OR
    May 13, 2014 7:15 p.m.

    My son was born in SLC. At the time of his call, he was living in Orlando, FL. When he opened up the letter, he was to serve in the Southern Utah Mission. He thought the same thing, but then realized that was the Lord's call to him, not the Prophets, not the GAs. Humility is the first step in becoming a true disciple and you may find grace in serving in Utah that you would find nowhere else. Get on your knees and thank your Father in Heaven for being able to serve. Many will never have that opportunity. By the way, my son loved his mission and the people he met.

  • queenbee gig harbor, WA
    May 13, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    Just think of ALL the non-members you will meet that are visiting Temple Square! THis will be a fabulous mission for you!!!

  • dtday2003 Lithia, FL
    May 13, 2014 7:27 p.m.

    I, too was called to exactly the one place I didn't want to go - Japan. The language terrified me. I don't think the apprehension went away, either, until I had been in country for several months. Japanese came, eventually, and I learned to truly love the country and the people. You will also learn Utahese eventually, and gain a real appreciation for the history and the people who live there. You will come to love your mission. Enjoy!

  • Oregon Mom HILLSBORO, OR
    May 13, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    You have been called of God. This is a privilege and a blessing. Remember this.

    Also--having served in Utah--you'll be spoiled rotten by the natives, who are friendly.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 13, 2014 7:35 p.m.

    You still have the option to bail on the lot of it.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    May 13, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    I'll go where You want me to go -- It is not where you serve but how you serve .

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    May 13, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    Dear Sister,

    Let me respectfully suggest that the central purpose of any mission (and of mortality) is to learn to submit our will to the will of our Father.

    I applaud your honesty about how you felt when you received your call. I pray you'll realize that your feelings are an opportunity to start early on your quest of submission...even before you enter the field.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2014 7:57 p.m.

    Well I suppose not everyone can go to Orlando.

  • justmesal MOUNTAIN VIEW, WY
    May 13, 2014 8:16 p.m.

    Dear Elder 'Called to Serve'
    Please find my son who was once very active in the Gospel and is now not in the Church at all.
    I am not sure that will happen at this time, but my point is there is someone who needs YOU to help them come unto or back to Christ. Don't be embarrassed about where you serve.
    I needed to be reminded about this attitude towards where you are called because my husband and I are planning on putting in our papers soon. I really am hoping for somewhere I can't drive to in less than 3 days. Salt lake is only two hours away.
    Good luck on your mission and remember attitude is something you can choose, choose to be proud that you are doing the Lord's work, and to be proud that he trusts you to do the work where he needs you most. The reason there are 6 missions in SLC (Salt Lake City, SLC Central, SLC East, SLC South, SLC West, and Temple Square) is because there are many of God's children who despite living where the Church Headquarters' stands, they have not heard the gospel.

  • mtmanmc Colorado Springs, CO
    May 13, 2014 8:24 p.m.

    Called2Serve
    Your calling to Temple Square Mission is one of the greatest callings of all The Church Missions.
    I'm a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the most important places before my conversion was spending a day at Temple Square.
    Count your blessings one by one and learn how The Lord Jesus Christ has called you to the ripest field.
    Your family and friends have shape your life to serve at one of the most beautiful places upon this Earth.
    Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ Blessings be upon you and your mission.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 13, 2014 8:32 p.m.

    I wanted to go state-side,
    I didn't want to go Asian.

    I was called to Washington D.C. --- Vietnamese Speaking!

    If you won't go to the people,
    The people will go to you.

    BTW -- Salt Lake can't be a bad Mission.

    Dinner appointments,
    FHE,
    and when people honk and wave,
    They won't be doing it with a vulgar hand gesture.

  • Riccar Moses Lake, WA
    May 13, 2014 8:58 p.m.

    When President Hinckley was interviewed on national television, the last question that he was asked was: "Of all the things that you do, what gives you the most satisfaction?" His response was: "To see lives change." That is the business of a missionary; to change lives. It does not matter where a missionary goes; there are people everywhere that need to change.

    My son served in Salt Lake City South. It is really an international mission. He absolutely loved it and had many incredible experiences.

  • Cool Headed Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2014 9:37 p.m.

    My mission changed the way I see myself, the world around me, and the God who created us all. I felt that spiritual companionship almost everyday -- and it never had a single thing to do with which country I served in or what language I spoke. God's love for His children knows no boundaries. People will both revile you and welcome you as you serve here in Salt Lake. God bless you, thanks for undertaking one of the purest acts of self sacrifice...

  • mh11 Omaha, NE
    May 13, 2014 9:38 p.m.

    Amen to this article. In full-time missions, as in life, "it's not where you serve, but how" (Elder J. Reuben Clark, Jr). If you love the Lord, He'll help you love his children and your life will be forever changed, wherever you go.

    Salt Lake City South Mission '07-'09

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    May 13, 2014 9:39 p.m.

    There is so much made today about opening the letter and having everyone present. I think it should be up to the missionary with no pressure to do the 'big family group open'. When I was waiting for my call, a very good friend worked at the local USPS every Sat sorting mail. She saw it come in (yes smaller Utah city) so she called me Sat morning about 6:00 a.m. I drove down and picked it up and opened it all by myself. Later in the day I passed on where I was going to my family. No big deal, no big production.

    Too much pressure is put on those going out on where they will serve. The key word there is 'serve', not vacation.

  • shadowfx rio rancho, NM
    May 13, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    I understand their situation. Their is a misconception that UT is ALL MORMON or Anti-Mormon. What many do not realize is that UT is the HIGHEST ENGLISH BAPTISM state in the Church every year!

    I was blessed to be called to serve in UT when there were only 2 missions. It was different than what I excepted. I came from the rural south. Many LDS people really had no idea that there were missionaries that were serving in UT. Many considered UT the "promise land" and that the rest of the world was the "Mission Field".

    I remember going to a "Ward" only 1 time when I was in an area. I generally went to a minimum of 3 wards each Sunday. I also covered so many "Stakes" in an that enabled us to make many contacts and have success.

    It was difficult at first. We met many, some of which had negative views of the church, and others that had positive views but didn't want to go the church any more.

    My nephew is serving in UT and is enjoying serving the Lord. His cousins are in MN and Spain.

  • JC from CT SOUTHBURY, CT
    May 13, 2014 9:54 p.m.

    I had a returned missionary roommate at BYU who had served in Utah. He put in his mission papers when he was a freshman at BYU, went home to Louisiana for Christmas break, got his mission call, opened it and was shocked to be called to the Provo mission. I don't think he was very happy then, but he told me he loved his mission. It's not where you serve, but how you serve that matters.

  • Mr__scott Alpine, UT
    May 13, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    Served my most of my mission overseas in the orient and was asked to come back to Salt Lake City and finish my mission opening up a Laotian branch . Having had a chance to serve in both places I can honestly tell you I enjoyed them both equally well. Different places, but the same work and same great experiences. The baptism per missionary is also higher in salt lake than any other US mission! Enjoy the people. You'll find serving God is an unbeatable experience anywhere.

  • CA Granny PETALUMA, CA
    May 13, 2014 10:49 p.m.

    We currently have our 5th grandson serving a mission only 3 states from home in the US and he is busy and working hard and having a wonderful experience. His brother served in Washington DC South; cousins have served in Taiwan, Brazil and Bolivia and every one of them thinks he went to the best mission in the world. In SLC, especially when you serve at Temple Square, you will meet people from all over the world and if that mission is still as it was a few years ago, you will also work out in the field. I think you will relish this experience and find it much more than you thought it would be.

  • ycarroll Gilbert, AZ
    May 13, 2014 10:54 p.m.

    Dear Future Utah Missionary,

    Last year our son received a mission call to Salt Lake City. Being from Arizona, I must admit that I was a little disappointed. I had always dreamed of him going off to a foreign country--perhaps somewhere that he'd never been. He's been out 10 months now and is having the time of his life! He says that he wouldn't want to be anywhere else! I truly believe that those who are called to Utah are special missionaries. A Utah mission can be difficult because practically everyone there has already heard about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Don't be embarrassed by your call, be proud!! In the words of my son, "Being called to SLC, is like a Catholic being called to Rome!" Good Luck and enjoy every minute of your mission! ~A Missionary Momma from AZ :)

  • wynn Columbus, OH
    May 13, 2014 10:57 p.m.

    Who are you going on a mission for?

  • MightyMikeO Springville, UT
    May 13, 2014 11:31 p.m.

    Being called to serve a mission at Temple Square is like working for Disney World and then finding out family vacation this year will be at...Disney World. But once you get there you soon realize that what we take for granted has a very special and significant meaning to them, even if they don't yet realize it.

  • Morm On Mesa, AZ
    May 13, 2014 11:37 p.m.

    I understand where you're coming from. But for me it's the opposite. Salt Lake is my "dream mission". You get to be so close to the prophet, the temple, the history. The non-members will already be familiar with the church so all you have to do is make sure their info is right and invite them to be baptized. If you're serving in temple square you'll be able to meet and talk to people from all over the world and share something you love with them to they can take it back home. There is so much to be grateful for and look forward to. Pray to have your heart softened and pray to be able to love the area and the people. It's where you were called so it's where the Lord wants you. You're going there for a reason. You just have to have faith it's right and find that reason.

  • Commonman HENDERSON, NV
    May 13, 2014 11:41 p.m.

    My parents served in the Utah Temple Square Mission. It was the absolute highlight of their lives. You will come in contact with more willing non-members who have come to see what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is about on Temple Square than anyplace else on earth. How fortunate you are!

  • ? SLC, UT
    May 14, 2014 3:10 a.m.

    Why are you and your parents embarrassed? What is it about Utah and the people from it that most people I've met not from Utah despise so much? This includes members of the church not from Utah. Thank you.

  • Kizito Rochester, NY
    May 14, 2014 4:39 a.m.

    I once thought the same thing of Utah missions. A few years ago, I was called to serve on the High Council and shortly thereafter we had a couple elders return from Utah missions - I can't remember which ones. I knew they would love their missions - who doesn't? - but what amazed me most is their talk of who they were teaching. People from everywhere and all walks of life! Their mission was a "salad bowl" of cultures and classes brought together and they often had people to teach - be it less actives or investigators. I realized that I was sent on my own mission to a people, but Utah missionaries are special because the right people are brought to them from all parts of the earth. Often, they are taught and bring the gospel back to their home lands. Talk about planting worldwide seeds of growth! Today, I get weekly emails from an Elder serving in SLC, a boy I've known since his Primary days. I am inspired weekly by his letters and the growth I've seen in his life. I no longer think as I may have once, rather I'm kinda jealous of you!

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    May 14, 2014 5:11 a.m.

    You may want to ask yourself a very important question.
    Why are you going?
    Do you want to live on a dirt floor in a hut and pick up all sorts of parasites?
    Do you want to tract for 24 months, never teach a discussion and never convert a soul? (That was my mission).
    Or do you want to learn something about yourself, grow, understand life and what it takes to be happy within your own skin?
    The sun comes up on every country in the world.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 14, 2014 5:48 a.m.

    I will tell all of you that God anf The Lord knows each of us, personally. He has given each of us experiences along with our parents help to prepare us for this wonderful mission in life. He has given us His Son to set the example for His own mission on earth. I believe sacrifice is good for all of us but His sacrifice was necessary for all of us. You will find happiness in serving The Lord no matter where you go. However, you will be going where the Prophet, God, and Jesus Christ want you to go. With the Gift of the Holy Ghost you will succeed now and throughout your life.

    So many here are testifying to you about their life and what your service will do. ATTITUDE and a loving Heavenly Father is what you have with a Son who sacrificed by sharing with his friends and many that he changed their life. The Holy Ghost will comfort and guide you through the Spirit, everyday.

    I know God knows you and His love and Prophet has called you to where you are supposed to be. Thank you for asking Heavenly Father everyday for His help.

  • staypuffinpc Provo, UT
    May 14, 2014 6:28 a.m.

    @JC from CT
    I had that same roommate, or at least one who fits that description. He was even assigned to BYU campus part of his time here and everyone called him Ernie instead of elder. Don't know how he was as a missionary, but he was a great roommate to a new college freshman (he graduated after one semester of us being roommates and I was just getting started).

  • oldschooler USA, TX
    May 14, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    Similar thing happened to me, I serve mi mission on the Mexico city North mission on 1986. I was studying at Benemerito church's school in Mexico city, but Ii never thought it was wrong, the Lord called me to serve there and to this day I still think I went to the right place. Hope this help you, knowing thatt things like this happen for a reason. You will never regret it.

  • Realtrgrl St. Louis, MO
    May 14, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    I know a young man from Salt Lake, who had extreme health problems, even temporary ones, but was still functional and totally bright. He really wanted to serve. Because of his health problems, probably, he was called to a mission at church headquarters. He would live at home and drive in every day.... NOT what he wanted. But now, years later, I can say it all turned out VERY GOOD.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 14, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    Baggage has a lot to do with things. You might think about eliminating some before you start to get too week to carry it. You'll end up broken.

  • EW HENRIETTA, NY
    May 14, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    I know some Utah missionaries rarely have to buy food, groceries or gas because members who see them checking out pay for them! There are worse things that could happen :). In all seriousness, everyone I know who has served in Utah has loved it. And not because of the members, but those they teach.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    May 14, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    This letter brought a smile! I remember a quote from Relief Society about "growing where you are planted" Heavenly Father knows what he is doing always, don't ever doubt that. What if you are going to be baptizing a really important member into the church, what if you will meet your future spouse in Temple Square? What if you meet the Prophet and he tells you something that will change your life? Heavenly Father needs his valiant missionaries all over the world, even in temple square. Go on your mission, do the absolute best job you can for Heavenly Father and you will be rewarded in ways you haven't thought of!

  • jans Pickerington, OH
    May 14, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    When I was a BYU student about 20 years ago, the practice for announcing mission calls for on-campus wards was for everyone to walk up to the Marriott Center Tunnels for tunnel singing and then everyone who got their call that week announced their location. Predictably, the foreign missions got much celebration, the stateside not so much, unless a language was involved. In my opinion, the hype over opening mission calls is counter-productive to the service itself, and can create an arrogance in some that is not desirable in a missionary. Missionaries are not serving a mission to honor and serve themselves - they are serving a mission to honor and serve the Lord. Yet our cultural preoccupation with "opening the mission call" and status over locations puts the focus in the wrong place, before the mission even begins.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    May 14, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    2 sons opened calls to Oregon surrounded by family. 3rd son went up the canyon to open his call alone, where he prayed and got personal confirmation before sharing his location. When he came home, he calmly walked in the door and said to me (who was home alone) - "Honduras, Tegucigalpa" then immediately got on line to see exactly where that was. I hear missions are selected for missionaries not so much on the location, but on the Mission President.

    I can tell you as a mother, I was far more relaxed about the 2 Oregon missionaries than I have been about my son in Honduras! Your mother will be grateful that mail is easy, food and personal supplies will be familiar and easy for you to get, you'll have a warm bed and apartment, access to quality medical care and she'll feel confident of your personal safety in Utah. For that reason alone it will be worth it. You'll "hit the ground running", not have to waste time feeling unproductive over a language barrier and unfamiliar food or climate.

    Utah is becoming less and less Mormon dominant. Don't worry, there will be plenty of investigators here!

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    May 14, 2014 7:38 a.m.

    In some ways serving on Temple Square is a mission outside of Utah and or a foreign mission. You will meet people from every state in America, and from a good number of countries around the world. Plus, you will be treated to being around and seeing the leadership of the Church regularly. And, I doubt you will run into much if any anti-Mormon sentiment that most other missionaries do elsewhere. There are many upsides to serving on Temple Square.

  • Pale Bear Orem, UT
    May 14, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    @MamaG:
    When was your husband contacted by missionaries? What city? I wonder if we can help you track them down.

    I served in the Ogden mission over 20 years ago. My call was disappointing because my non-member parents didn't want me to be a missionary at all and thought Utah was pointless. One person said, "Oh, I'm sorry you don't get to serve a real mission." I was driven from the MTC to the mission--no airplane. I hated it. But then I started serving and oh man! What an incredible place! Yes most everyone we taught knew a member. Yes we once covered 5 stakes and 32 wards. Yes we went to three sacrament meetings each Sunday. But we also taught and taught and taught and baptized dozens of people and touched so many lives. And you also get to reactivate, which is an amazing blessing for all involved. Utah missions are the best!

  • twinfallsid TWIN FALLS, ID
    May 14, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    My son just opened his call last week. He wanted to serve a foreign mission and learn a language, and he really wanted to go someplace where he would learn do very hard things. My husband and I were worried he would be disappointed he would be disappointed if he opened his call and it was state-side. Instead of praying that he would receive a foreign assignment, we prayed for weeks ahead that he would receive a spiritual confirmation that where he was going is where the Lord wanted and needed him to go. Several hours after he opened his call, when things were a little more quiet, I asked him how he felt when he read where he was going. Our prayer was answered. He said he knew immediately that it was the right place where Heavenly Father wanted him to go and serve. He is so excited. It is important to remember that these calls are made by our Heavenly Father. Try praying to receive a confirmation that the call is right. Forget yourself, serve those your are called to serve and you will learn to love the people there and find joy.

  • Quagthistle Hays, KS
    May 14, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    I'm sure more than a few missionaries called to serve in the Salina Kansas Stake wonder where Salina (or Hays) Kansas even is. The fact is that, no matter where you go on your mission, you'll be serving the Lord. Isn't that all that really matters? Whether your battles include mosquitoes or bears or the urban jungle, the important battle is the same. Best of luck on your mission!

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    Called 2 Serve:

    Trust me, Utah is the mission field. Many people are getting baptized and others are coming back to activity. But, you would be surprised how much more work there still needs to be done here. There's no need to be ashamed -- you will be proud of serving here so long as you serve with all your heart, might, mind and strength!

  • Duncan Horne Kuantan, 00
    May 14, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    This is absolutely ridiculous! I cringed reading this article. Firstly, I detest all this guessing and video-making associated with opening a mission call. It is supposed to be a HOLY EVENT. It seems that so many are losing this sacred spirit of the mission call. Secondly, I mean, come on man, where's your faith? Do you realise that you have been called BY THE LORD to serve in a specific area?? Would you complain directly to the Lord's face if he personally gave you the letter? My suggestion to this young man: grow up, exercise a little faith, and get to work!

  • Carol7 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    The truth is, the Utah missions are the highest baptizing missions in the world....you are going to have an incredible experience! I know because my own grandson, who was raised out of Utah, was called on a mission here. When he received his call he said, "Dad, what'll I tell my friends?" His dad gave him great advice when he said, "You're not called to a place, you're called to teach the gospel....you can do that anywhere." He LOVED his mission! He felt like he had such an advantage....he got to go to general conference with investigators, he got to visit historic sites on his P-days, he was able to go to the temple regularly...and, he received lots of dinner invitations. And, the mail system allows you to receive packages regularly....it's a much easier place to live than a third world country! You're going to have the adventure of your life....you are so lucky to go!

  • amijangos Columbus, IN
    May 14, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    I was living in Mexico when I submitted my papers for the mission. I would pray to be called to anywhere but Mexico. I wanted to experience something different.

    I was called to a mission in Mexico, and I was devastated, but I decided that I wanted to experience a mission, and it didn't matter where I was called.

    Looking back, there was no better place for me. Where you are called has very little to do, with what you can do. You will treasure that place, not because of the place it self, but because of the changes you will experience in you own life.

  • Pedrecito Draper, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    As a former mission president of a Utah mission I would like to share with you some of the blessings of serving a mission in Utah. You will be serving in a state that hosts some of the highest baptizing missions in the English-speaking world. My own mission baptized between 170 and 240 converts a MONTH. You are not coming to Utah to "serve a home teaching mission" as some of our missionaries were told by unknowing friends in their home wards. You will be participating in an amazing teaching, testifying, and conversion experience in a place where many missionaries baptize nearly every week. You will also activate many. And you will gain amazing leadership experience from working with experienced and committed local leaders. If you desire to serve a mission not merely for the glory of serving in some far-off part of the world but to bring Heavenly Father's children to Christ, you will have no greater opportunities to do so than right here in Utah. Examine your reasons for serving a mission, and then go forth with joy and commitment in the call. You will soon find out that Heavenly Father needs you here.

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    What a great opportunity to serve the Lord! Temple Square would be so neat!! Our callings in the Church to any position are a great blessing to us if we can serve with the desire to "be instruments in the Lord's hands". Often the positions we are called to can be quit overwhelming, but if we are humble and ask the Lord to bless us and help us succeed in what He has called us to do - He will never fail us and the experience we have is very rewarding. I'm a convert now of many years and can testify to all the blessings that my callings have brought into my life. I must admit I have have even thought "oh yuck" to some of them - but when I put my heart and mind into the calling with faith that the Lord knows what He is doing it has always been a wonderful experience. May He bless you to know you got the right calling!

  • BehindTheGoldenCurtain San Diego, CA
    May 14, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Opening a mission call in front of large groups can be a positive or negative experience. A good friend of mine literally cried for several days when he got his call. It can be a let down when you don't get that call to a "glamorous" mission.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    I will go where you want me to go dear Lord, over mountain or land or sea. Forgive me if I can't remember the exact words. look it up I the hymn book and ponder the meaning.

  • alleycatrn Lilburn, GA
    May 14, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    All you kind folks of Utah. Please take care of my boy, who will be reporting to the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission (mid July) after a brief stay in the Mexico MTC. He is thrilled to be heading to Utah. What is kind of funny to us. His big bro (currently in Texas on a mission) will be a Runnin Ute when he gets home. There is going to be a lot of avoiding the mission boundaries when we make our trips to SLC. That will be the biggest task of all.
    Curious, he obviously will be learning Spanish. Is there a large population of Spanish people in Utah?

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    As a transplant to Utah I can honestly say that Utahns need to learn the gospel too.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    May 14, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    I can sort of relate. I remember hearing the classic story of Pres. Monson telling the MTC teachers to put the Elder struggling with Spanish into a Japanese class and thinking, "Well, of course I'm going to be one of the Elders in the Japanese class, because Spanish is just too easy!" I remember thinking I would fit in better in Northern or Eastern Europe than in Western Europe or South America. I had all these preconceived notions of where I should get called to. And then...I got called to Brazil. Huh?

    And what's worse? Even afterwards, I had all these reasons why I knew I had been called to the wrong mission. What? We don't get to go to the temple during our mission? We're not one of the missions that can listen to classical music? LDS music only? How did this happen?

    But I got through it. And then I came home and married a Russian. ;-)

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    If you fast and pray, become worthy to serve God. There is only one question a person should ask. What would you have me do.
    If you sincerely prepare and offer yourself to God.
    God will use you for his purposes on earth.
    What could be of more worth to yourself and other brothers and sisters than that? Nothing I promise you that will be the best choice of your life.
    By someone who knows.

  • Helmigr Brighton, CO
    May 14, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    If a person is embarrassed about where they're called to serve, they're serving for the wrong reasons. Is there a harder mission that one in Utah? The Lord must have a reason, either the missionary needs the lesson or the people need the missionary.

  • spiffy3 South Ogden, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    I think the most important thing to remember about a mission call ... its not about you and your parents. It's about serving the Lord and the people in the mission to which you were called to SERVE.
    One of the unfortunate things about LDS culture is the expectation that a mission call to somewhere exotic is better than somewhere ordinary. It is a privilege to server where ever you are called.

  • BelgiumBro d, VA
    May 14, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    When the Bishopric announced my call to Utah in Sacrament meeting, everyone laughed, and I mean hysterically. Most of my family lived there, half my siblings were born there. But I went, and had a great mission. Some of the greatest Mormons I have ever met, I met in Utah...as well as some of the worst. But if you focus on serving the people, it will all be fine.
    But when you serve in Utah there are many, many church experiences that you will not have in other missions. I was able to learn from 10-30 different Bishops at the same time in each area, 2-5 Stake Presidents as well. This has served me well because I have been in administrative church callings since I came home (nearing 20 years) and I have been able to pull from the best of what I observed in order to move things forward in the best manner.
    You will likely serve in areas where people know little about church history outside of Utah, but learn from them and share your education with them. Enjoy it, and if you ever serve in this one town, you MUST pronounce it HurriCANE, not the way they say it!

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    @NeilT
    "I will go where you want me to go dear Lord, over mountain or land or sea. Forgive me if I can't remember the exact words."

    I think you got it right. Not sure why exactly but that was always my favorite LDS-specific hymn when I was a member.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    May 14, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    I think it unwise to make it a social event for opening mission calls. How did it get to be that way? And if it still happens that way, why wouldn't everyone present be excited that a young man or woman is going on a mission and rejoice wherever the call is made? Very disappointing that the parents are "embarrassed" by the mission call. Why should they be? This is a mission, not the Foreign Service or a world tour. They should be counting their blessings.

  • Way of the Warrior Arlington, WA
    May 14, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    Missions are not about geography, they are about the people you will get to know, serve, and teach the gospel. I had to learn that lesson myself.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 14, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    Working at Temple Square should be a very enjoyable assignment. The people you'll be talking to are people who are much more open to discussions than you'd find from cold-calling door to door, and you'll have every resource you might need right within a few steps distance.

    The missionaries I feel sympathy for are the ones assigned here in Pleasant Grove. They're really got their work cut out for them. About 95% of the residents are already LDS, and the remaining few have had heavy exposure to the church already and generally aren't interested. Sort of like being a missionary at BYU. :)

  • alina karlova mocow, 00
    May 14, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    i was called to serve 2 hours away from home when I opened my mission call there were many expectations from my parents and of course from my friends, at fist I was so disappointed but then I remembered what was the reason why I decided to do it, serve the lord, im pretty sure you will love your mission, pray for strength

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    May 14, 2014 1:48 p.m.

    I enjoyed reading the comments here - each story another bit of inspiration.

    All that I can suggest is that some times church members have a tendency to suffocate the precious moments of personal inspiration by their own skepticism and limited vision. Pageantry gets added - say for (drum roll please) the opening of a mission call and so on and so forth. If a family wants to gather when the envelope is opened, fine, but then nothing but words of encouragement should be uttered.

    And this should continue after the homecoming. Once again family and friends intervene with quotes and rules about how soon and to whom the RM should marry. Let's stand back and allow the Spirit to shine and touch our lives - before, during and after our missions.

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon Gilmer, TX
    May 14, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    I guess I'm missing something. What is embarrassing about serving a mission in Salt Lake City?

  • Kendy831 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    I have not read all 92 other comments ahead of me but here are my thoughts. I moved from another state to SLC about 9 months ago. I expected a fairy-tale "MormonLand" to be my new home. Wrong. There is such a huge need here for missionary work. It may be a really humbling experience to be called to Utah and to tell others where you have been called to serve. But, Heavenly Father has called you via inspiration to His Church leaders. Of course, you can always verify the calling through your personal prayers. But please know, YOU are needed here. Not only to bring new members into the gospel but to help reactivate and strengthen those who have already made past covenants. I wish you all the blessings Heavenly Father is waiting and ready to give you for your service.

  • ed in atl Duluth, GA
    May 14, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    After my daughter got her call to Las Vegas I was not too sure of the inspiration. And then in April conference the Priesthood session, I think it was Elder Rasband that gave a talk on how they decide on assigning missions. After that I knew my daughter was called by true inspiration to serve where she was called!

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    May 14, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    I wish we had been told what GENDER "Called 2 Serve" (the prospective missionary) is.

    I'm just trying my hardest to understand WHY this person is SO disappointed in being called to Utah. And knowing which gender they are might help me better-understand their frame of mind.

    I'm particularly disappointed that the parents have shown such a "negative" reaction to their child's mission call. HOW SAD IS THAT?!?! How haughty and proud of them!!!

    Regardless.... the point I would make is that EVERY single Mission in the world has MANY pros and cons to it. I think too much "credit" is given (in today's church culture) to going to some exotic or mystical (or "more worthy??") foreign land. How sad!

    "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord...."

  • Socal Coug San Diego, CA
    May 14, 2014 4:06 p.m.

    I know someone who was called to Ogden, UT (Actually I know a few who embraced it and rocked it as a missionary and afterwards). But this particular person struggled with his testimony and was "willed" a bit to even go. When he opened the call, it just made it worse.
    So long story short, his leaders and parents implored Salt Lake that he be sent somewhere else.
    He was called to another part of the country. He didn't have a great mission and struggled to make it a positive experience. He is active today but doesn't have fond mission memories.
    To me, his story may have been better had he served where he was called. If you believe you are called by inspiration, you're better off not challenging the powers that be.

  • Beaver Native St. George, UT
    May 14, 2014 5:12 p.m.

    When asked by the Stake President where I wanted to serve, I told him anywhere would be fine, but in my mind I was saying, "Please, not to (place name). It turned out to be the perfect mission for me. The Lord guides the missionary committee and if you were called to Utah, then that's the right place for you be called.

  • portlander Arlington, WA
    May 14, 2014 5:45 p.m.

    I hoped and prayed to go to a foreign mission to Japan. I had grown up around many east asian people and I loved them. However, my call seemed to be delayed for some reason. 6 weeks...8 weeks, and I was getting very nervous about it. One of the counselors in the branch presidency had made a standing invitation for me to eat dinner each week, at his home. I did not have a permanent address, so my call was to be sent to the branch building and he picked up the mail.

    As I was driving out to their home one evening, I had a great feeling of humility come into my heart and I began to pray. I told the Lord that as long as I could serve Him, then it didn't matter where I was to serve. I told Him that I would go anywhere that He wanted me to go. When I got to my destination, a miracle was waiting there for me...my mission call...to Lansing Michigan. I will never regret serving where the Lord Himself sent me!

  • Hauulamom Hauula, HI
    May 14, 2014 6:23 p.m.

    Dear Called to Serve-
    I have a daughter in Utah who has become inactive and "lost" -- she is surrounded by the "core" of the Church but seems invisible to the members there. She is not bitter towards the Church - she did not "leave" the church-- but through a long string of lifestyle choices has wondered away. I pray daily for those who are called to the Utah mission that they might find her and/or inspire members in the area to reach out to her. Find her - and find others like her--

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    May 14, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    My friends served "exotic" missions, I was called to: California. I was disappointed and was teased a lot. My mission included California and parts of Oregon, Nevada, and UTAH! What did I do wrong?
    I had a very hard time at first. I tried to quit but recalled hearing President McKay's "act well thy part" story and couldn't quit. So I "hunkered down" to try my best. Being in CA made this possible; an “exotic” mission would not.
    Some time later, I became very ill and was sent home. A few months after surgery, I wasn't sure what to do. I learned a woman I had taught would only accept baptism by me, so I went back and baptized her. Several months later I was ill again (first surgeon had botched the surgery) and had to go home. Before I left, I met my future wife. I was released because I had served most of my mission. I have been married 44 years with five children, three returned missionaries who were all zone leaders, etc.
    If I had not gone to California? Which blessings would I have missed? You can figure it out (out of room).

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    May 14, 2014 6:34 p.m.

    Like I said in my earlier comment: There are significant Pros & Cons to *EVERY* LDS Mission in the world!

    But... for some prospective missionaries (outside of Utah) to be disappointed or even offended at being called-to the "UTAH MISSION FIELD" is quite a personal insult to the million-plus Utah Mormons. 8~[

    How would "Called 2 Serve" and his/her parents feel if they were from the state or country of XYZ, and they heard lots of other Mormons say they were just hoping and praying NOT to be called to THEIR state or country?! Ouch!!! Thanks a LOT! ;)

  • cowshed Provo, Utah
    May 14, 2014 7:00 p.m.

    As a young man, over 50 years ago, I put on my mission papers that I thought I'd like to learn a foreign language. I was thinking of French. When I opened my call and found it was to a Spanish speaking mission in Texas, of all places, I was a little disappointed, but knew the Lord was aware of my needs. Although it was not a high-baptizing mission, we saw some success, and I gained a lot of good experience, and a much deeper testimony of the gospel as well as some facility with Spanish. My wife and I have recently served three missions, including a full-time one in our home-town of Provo, Utah, where "everyone is already a member." The mission only had 3000 convert baptisms during that year, and my knowledge of Spanish was put to good use. Since then we've served overseas in two missions where the Spanish was a requirement and have had incredible experiences in a number of different assignments as senior missionaries. You never know what the Lord might be preparing you for if you have the faith to take that first step.

  • Canadagirl Victoria, 00
    May 14, 2014 7:58 p.m.

    To Called 2 Serve: I'm in tears as I read your apprehensions about serving in Temple Square. I was converted there 35 years ago at age 21. I knew nothing about the Church when I walked through the gates of Temple Square. It was a fluke that I ended up there. I had to wait for 6 hours for a friend to pick me up and so I spent the time taking all the little tours they offer and talking to the young Sister missionaries serving there. I was blown away by what they were teaching. It was so uplifting. I didn't know anything like it existed. I felt a friendliness and caring coming from the young Sisters (and Senior couple) and there was a warmth just glowing from their eyes that was so earnest and genuine. I knew they loved the Savior and this Church. When I got back home to Canada, I looked up the Church in the Yellow Pages, called the hall phone of one of the Chapels and asked if I could get baptized. How grateful I am to those young Sister missionaries serving in Temple Square! And how blessed my life has been ever since!

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    May 14, 2014 10:34 p.m.

    I recall working in Provo where young elders would come in after receiving their calls to take photos for passports and mission presidents, and the office staff would ask where they were going. The audible oohs and ahhs, and excitement over the exotic destinations such as Papeete, Zurich, Tokyo, and Honolulu has always bothered me, because anytime someone said Detroit, St. Louis, or Denver, the place went silent.

    Seems unfair to celebrate like you won the lottery, the way families would publish their exotic calls in the local paper. And then if you did have the misfortune to be called domestically, the saving grace was to have the follow-up Spanish-speaking, which somehow made you just as valued as your foreign called associates.

  • Bingham Student South Jordan, UT
    May 14, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    I am not sure where you are from, but my cousin in Sandy, UT got called to St. George, and he is extremely happy there right now. You will be blessed wherever the Lord puts you.

  • jjtotten Washington, UT
    May 14, 2014 11:12 p.m.

    Time after time I have heard feelings like this expressed at the beginning of the process only to hear a completely different feeling expressed during and after the service. There is no telling who you will influence while you serve in the Utah area. We have people visiting from so many different countries. A young sister that I am aware of had 7 years of French by the time she left on her mission. Her call was to Italy. Guess what happened. She met many French speaking people during her mission who were from Africa. So by the time she came home she was fluent in Italian and even more fluent in French. She found that the Lord knew where she needed to be. That has been my case in my service in four different missions over my lifetime.

  • RedHotAZ Buckeye, AZ
    May 14, 2014 11:14 p.m.

    Oh how exciting! I loved serving in SLC!!

    A tip ---- when asked//telling where you are going - don't say I'm going to (fading out and/or mumbling) Utah....

    Instead say brightly and happily (fake it if you have to!) I'm going to Utah!!! :)

    People take their cue to be excited or disappointed for you from how you react. We are in Arizona, and a friend's son got called to Bakersfield, which is only maybe 6 hours drive from here. (His father even farms near Bakersfield!) But he's happy and tells us positive things and so we're happy for him too.

    It's your mission, the Lord KNOWS YOU, and knows where YOU need to be. He knows who is there that YOU need to reach. You will love it (if you haven't already grown to love your call.)

    SLC was my favorite of the 3 states I served in.

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    May 15, 2014 6:47 a.m.

    Then those who learned the language would come back and take exams for college-level credit.

    It all seemed so unfair, until I heard Elder Scott in conference say something like, I feel The Lord saves his best and brightest to serve and strengthen the Church as its center. How true that is.

  • Deliriousdd Benicia, CA
    May 15, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    I just have to share my feelings on this. I served a mission abroad, and felt that was the place where I was meant to serve. But as I have read the Book of Mormon, and read about the curse that can come upon this land if the inhabitants do not serve God, I have become more grateful for those missionaries who serve here and try to help our country become a God-fearing one. I think it takes a lot of humility to accept a call that isn't as glamorous, but our country is going through a tumultuous time, spiritually speaking. I hope that all missionaries who serve here will be proud of the opportunity they have to help our people remember God, and keep our country free.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    May 15, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    A colleague of mine was talking about her mission, and said it was the hardest 18 months of her life and she didn't enjoy it very much, but stuck it out. It was to a foreign country, where she said she and her companion would sometimes go for days without running water (I'm sorry, American girls NEED running water!), slept on the floor, walked everywhere they went, ate food that was barely palatable, and were constantly taking measures to protect themselves to preserve their personal safety. I asked her what she learned from it, and with tears in her eyes she said , "I learned I can do hard things". Being asked to live under those circumstances sometimes shakes the faith of people.

    I think once you realize the difficulties that are natural to some missions, you will be really grateful for the "luxurious" circumstances of your own mission in safe, clean, up to date, technologically equipped Salt Lake City Utah. (And yes, we do have running water here!)

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 15, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    I went to the Texas Dallas Mission way back in the late 70's. My daughter was called to the Texas San Antonio Mission. She didn't believe me when I told her that she was going to Texas prior to getting her call. She's been there for three months and is doing well, so far. It's lovely how things tend to work out. She and her college roomate exchanged missions. Her roomate is in Utah Salt Lake City South and she lives in the Texas San Antonio mission. My daughter lives in Utah Salt Lake City South and went to TSAM.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 15, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    Clifton Palmer McLendon. I thought you were living in Houston. It's been a long time since Nacogdoches. Remember the song I taught you to the tune of Book of Mormon Stories all those years ago?

  • lixircat Indianapolis, IN
    May 15, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    J Reuben Clark served as First Counselor in the First Presidency to George Albert Smith in the 40's. Then in 1951 when David O McKay became the prophet, Pres Clark was "demoted" to Second Counselor. He gracefully accepted the new assignment saying, "in the church it is not where we serve, but how."

    Good luck in Utah!

  • Downtime Saint George, UT
    May 15, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    You should be embarrassed that you are embarrassed.

  • Don37 Nottingham, MD
    May 15, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    Try to remember that the Lord called Thomas H Monson to be the head of His Church on this earth at this time. To deny serving the mission call issued to you is to deny the previous fact and a big step towards apostasy. President Monson serves all of us at the will of the Lord. You will be as good a missionary in the heart of Zion as in the loneliest outpost of humanity.

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    May 15, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    It's not a vacation anyway. I went to Belgium and loved ie, but we didn't teach that many people. It was nasty weather a lot too. Every mission call is unique. I know some who were called to Utah who still act like it was a letdown, but most loved it. The right attitude and reason for going are hug wherever you go.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    May 15, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    RedHotAZ: "A tip -- when asked telling where you are going - don't say I'm going to (fading out and/or mumbling) Utah . . Instead say brightly and happily . . I'm going to Utah!!!"

    Sounds suspiciously like what you might tell your kids when they find out you're serving brussel sprouts.

    Look, let's be honest and look outside the phony "textbook" Mormon answers to these questions. OF COURSE most kids are going to be disappointed to go to a "non-exotic" mission. New Zealand . . Germany . . Finland . . Singapore . . Ogden. One of these things is not like the other. I grew up in Ogden for crying out loud, but when my current bishop's son got called there, I wanted to hug him and console him. To assert there's no cultural value to going somewhere "different" is to be willfully blind. Yes, it can still be a great experience . . but the initial reaction is understandable.

    Me? I opened my call in a crowded cafeteria at BYU. With a couple dozen onlookers looking on, I read "Dallas, TX . . Vietnamese speaking mission." No-one, including me, knew how to react. That's a weird one.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    May 15, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    I need it is amazing and wonderful that so many upbeat inspired posts have been appearing about missions, and how it doesn't matter where a missionary is called. It matters how he/she serve. I'm glad "Embarrassed" wrote the letter and all this great advice has appeared as a consequence!

  • Max Upstate, NY
    May 15, 2014 5:56 p.m.

    I feel this young man's pain. All my friends were being called to places like Australia, Argentina, Switzerland. I was so disappointed to receive my call to Los Angeles that it was three days before I could tell anybody outside the family. I didn't want to sound depressed. Of course, L.A. is a great place but I was already quite familiar with the area and I must confess I wanted to see the world while I was at it. However, once I got there my attitude changed and it was a great place to serve a mission. We had a lot of success that my friends around the world never had. I learned that it is most certainly The Lord who makes the call. You are there to serve the people, not the place.

  • Boy_London Pasig, 00
    May 16, 2014 12:11 a.m.

    I may not know how you feel or what you're going through after receiving your call, but I do know this: "EACH CALL IS INSPIRED". We may not have the slightest idea why we would be assigned to this particular area, but I assure you. You were called to do the Lord's work in this area and do marvelous things that only you and only yourself are destined to do.

    Remember: "... In a world so large, the Creator... somehow not only knows you but loves you enough to ensure that your call is where He needs you to go to teach the children of our Heavenly Father."

    Oh and good luck on your mission sister! Trust me, you will love your mission, wherever you may be.

  • Nachtmerrie_in_Brugge Mesa, AZ
    May 16, 2014 1:31 a.m.

    When I became a full time missionary there were about 50,000 of us across the globe. Once I arrived in my mission, was dispatched to my first area, met my trainer and started working, I realized it made no difference where I was. All 50,000 of us were engaged in the same work.

  • alleycatrn Lilburn, GA
    May 16, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    @ FLASHBACK in Kearns

    too funny. My eldest son is currently serving in TSAM and my one who is leaving soon in the USLCS.. :)Small world!!

  • Don Bugg Prince Frederick, MD
    May 16, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    I'm struck by how many commenters believe this prospective missionary will be serving on Temple Square. The letter doesn't say that--only that he/she will serve in Salt Lake City. There's a lot of good advice here, though.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 16, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    If you believe that these callings are truly from god (which they aren't), then you should have no problem accepting the call.

    If you believe that the calling is not from god, and it is only a matter of what missions have vacancies to fill, then you should have no problem with the call either. A mission isn't to glorify the one serving the mission. It isn't to get accolades or recognition for serving an an obscure of exotic place. If you are truly in it to serve where you are needed, then serve where you are needed.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    At our Stake Conference, we were told that only 40% of the East bench is members and of those 40% only 20% are active, Sister, you have a lot of opportunity here in Salt Lake.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    May 16, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    The Primary songs playing up the glamor of international missions ("When it's time for my mission, I may be sent to Hong Kong etc.") do tend to create this sense of "OGDEN?? Meh."

  • Applelovernow Henderson, NV
    May 17, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    I agree that we have made the opening of the mission call too big of a production. We Mormons tend to do that. Remember the days when the mission farewell on Sunday was the Ode to the Missionary and they had not even gone. Or done anything worthwhile up to that point! As for serving in Utah. H ave you been there lately? It is full of new move ins from other states, parts of the state have very few active LDS members. While you are there please seek out my son who is one of those returned missionaries who is inactive. Thank you.

  • John Reading LITTLETON, CO
    May 20, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    All these years later (37?!?) I do not remember why I was originally disappointed in my call to Bolivia. However, my mission there was a great blessing to me, and my love for Bolivia and its people continues just as strongly now as it did while I served there. It's OK to have doubts, just try not to act on them.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    May 20, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    If you’re looking to serve a mission for the right reasons, it doesn’t matter WHERE it is; you will nevertheless be overjoyed to have the opportunity to serve. Utah is after all only about 60% Mormon—do they other 40% not need the Fulness of the Gospel in their lives as well? And Temple Square attracts visitors from all over the world, making missionary work crucially important. I would have loved to have the opportunity to serve a mission in Utah or anywhere else, but I joined the Church too late in life for that to be possible. I think this person needs to show more gratitude for the opportunity to serve at all and not just be disappointed that she won’t get the chance to go sightseeing in some foreign, exotic country, which is not what a mission is supposed to be about.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    May 26, 2014 5:28 p.m.

    Ultimately a mission assignment is an administrative decision. If you aren't interested in the location you are being sent, you certain can request another location. If the response is not to your liking, you have other options.