Elder Samuel Skidmore
My Mission Vision
Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission
"Because of faith in Jesus Christ, everything can be known." -Elder Douglas
Faith is essential, and is the foundation for every good quality. As I continue to grow in my faith, I grow in my desire to attain more Christ-like attributes. I realize that I can do nothing without faith. I have a firm, deeply rooted bellies that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and the Only Begotten of the Father. I understand that, without Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for me, I would not have the opportunity to repent. Therefore, I act on my faith in Jesus Christ by repenting and doing all that I can to become more like" (D&C ). Joseph Smith "asked in faith, nothing wavering." Nephi was "...led by the spirit, not knowing before-hand the things which [he] should do." I follow the example of the prophets by putting my trust in the Lord and His divine work.
"Hope is trust in God's promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future." -President Faust
I have hope that the challenges we face, if ultimately endured, will be for our eternal benefit. I am known as someone who is always cheerful and happy. I exemplify enthusiasm, optimism, and confidence that the Lord will always provide. I believe that every person I talk to will one day accept the message of the Restoration, whether by my own effort or the efforts of those to come. As a chosen representative of Jesus Christ, I will not hesitate to reach to lift hands which hopelessly hang down, no matter what the personal cost may be. I work through my trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for the benefit of those around me as well as myself. I have hope that "...after much tribulation, the Lord [will] hear my cries, and [will] answer my prayers, and make[ me an instrument in His hands in bringing so many to the knowledge of His truth" (Mosiah ).
"The highest, noblest, strongest kind of love; the pure love of Christ." -Bible Dictionary
Because Charity is a gift from God, I pray every morning to be filled with this pure love. Charity leads me to labor in behalf of all the children of God, as each one has the divine potential to become like our Heavenly Father. I avoid negative feelings such as envy and anger, and judging and criticizing others. I always put others before myself and seek to do all I can to serve others and help them come to a knowledge of the restored gospel. I look for opportunities to serve my fellow men and do all that I can to help people along the straight and narrow path. I follow the Savior's example of love, even if it places me in situations that may not be ideal for me. "Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men" (1 Nephi 19:9). I love my family. I love the Lord, and I love those among whom I serve. I serve because I love, and I love more because I serve.
"Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3).
I seek to understand the doctrines of the kingdom, and am willing to put in time and effort to accomplish this. I study in the Book of Mormon at least half an hour every morning, as well as study the other words of God. I start and close all of my studies with a sincere prayer, asking God to help me understand more and be guided by the Holy Ghost. As I study the words of modern-day prophets, I feel edified and inspired, and strive to follow their counsel with a belief that they are called of God. As Nephi, "my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard" (2 Nephi ). I understand that one progresses only as fast as he gains knowledge, and that he who has knowledge will have the advantage in the world to come.
"...And thou didst bear all these things with patience because teh Lord was with thee" (Alma 38:4).
I am patient with everyone, myself included, as I strive to overcome my shortcomings. I show respect to everyone and am willing to help them as they overcome weaknesses. I recognize my need to constantly work on improving my patience in all relationships, as trials will always be present. I do God's will and accept his timing. I will never forget that the heavenly virtue of patience is required for overcoming all challenges. My attitude towards tribulations is similar to Paul in that I "glory in tribulations: knowing that tribulation worketh patience" (Romans 5:3).
"Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that you have been sufficiently humble" (Alma )?
Humility is an essential in serving the Father with all the energy of my soul. I am always repentant and never try to justify my follies. I take criticism well and am teachable. I can and will remain humble by being reminded constantly of my dependence on the Lord. I will do this by and through real, constant, worshipful, grateful prayer. Like Moses, I understand that "Man is nothing," and therefore I go to the Lord in mighty prayer to ask for divine guidance. I recognize that everything I accomplish in this life is because of my Savior. I am a tool in the hands of my Master Craftsman, and He deserves and will receive all of the credit.
"There is nothing we can't do in the building of the Lord's kingdom if we have the desire, do the work, and have the faith." -Henry Moyle
I will never be known as someone at ease in Zion. I refuse to be idle and am always anxiously engaged in a good cause. Of the two years that I am serving: 3 1/2 months are P-days, 7 1/2 months I will be sleeping, and nearly 2 months I will be eating. Therefore, I have less than a year to actually serve the Lord. Literally every second counts. I am known as one of the hardest workers in the mission. I work consistently, earnestly,, and energetically in "[bringing] to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses ). I focus only on the important things and avoid wasting time in matters of unimportance. I always remember President Hinckley's father's counsel to forget myself and get to work. I know that, as I remain diligent in the work, I will find joy and satisfaction, especially with the knowledge that my Father is pleased.
"Obedience is the first law of heaven, the cornerstone upon which all righteousness and progression rest." -Bruce R. McConkie
Strict obedience is always on my mind, and will protect me and bless me as a representative of Jesus Christ. There will be times when many of my peers won't be exactly obedient, but I will be recognized as an extra-mile missionary. I am making the decision to be exactly obedient now because when the moment for decision arrives, the time for preparation is over. I know that, as I obey every rule given to me, I will increase in my faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom. I, like the Stripling Warriors, obey the words of my leaders with exactness, with my Savior as my King. I will do whatever He asks of me without hesitation, regardless of my own thoughts and desires.
"Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." -PMG
I have memorized and internalized my purpose as a missionary. I am called of God. I understand that my mission will not end once my two years are done. I will be a representative of Jesus Christ for eternity. My authority is above that of the kings of the Earth. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Master and he has chosen me to represent him. To stand in his place, to say and do what he himself would say and do if he personally were ministering to the very people to whom he has sent me. My voice is his voice, and my acts are his acts; my words are his words and my doctrine is his doctrine. My mission is to do what he wants done. To say what he wants said. To be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous latter-day work.
"...But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord..." (Jarom 1:7).
I am a leader by and through my example. I must remember that, as a missionary, literally everyone is watching me. I am a leader by my actions towards my companion, members, investigators, and all I come in contact with. I remain conscious that what makes a leader is not the title, and therefore I can never catch myself comparing myself to other missionaries with a position of extra leadership. I always remember that being a leader is really being a tool in the hands of the Lord in helping others. If you want to give a light to others, you have to glow yourself.
"We should always remember the Most High day and night-always-not only at times when all other assistance has failed and we desperately need help." -Howard W. Hunter
Prayer is an absolutely essential tools in the life of a missionary. If I don't pray, II don't have the Spirit, and I won't be successful. I can only teach people the Lord's way through the Spirit, which can only be obtained through the prayer of faith. As I pray, I come closer to my heavenly Father. i can not finish a personal prayer until I feel the Spirit telling me that my Father is content. I thank Heavenly Father for every blessing He has given me, and recognize His hand in everything. I ask questions knowing that my Father will answer me in His own time and in His own way. I seek the Holy Ghost at the beginning of each prayer to guide me and help bring things to my remembrance that must be prayed for. My family, investigators, and companion are always prayed for. I know that the Lord will protect them as I remain faithful.
"Regarding one's testimony, remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses." -President Monson
I will continually seek to improve my testimony until it becomes perfect knowledge. As I share my testimony often, it will strengthen others as well as myself. I will continually increase in my testimony of the reality of the Atonement as I consistently utilize it through sincere repentance. I will also continue to read the Book of Mormon as well as the prophets to receive a perfect understanding that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's kingdom once again established on the Earth, never to be removed again. My testimony of Jesus Christ is my most cherished possession. I will strive to strengthen it every day as I turn to Him and keep Him in the center of my mind.