While I was preparing to serve a mission I was a very sporty person. I loved playing soccer and basketball, and I loved running. I would also go hiking with my family every once in a while. We live in Switzerland and we enjoy hiking in the mountains.
Heavenly Father’s plan is perfect. Just like our bodies need to exercise on a regular basis, our spirits need to 'exercise' by reading the scriptures daily. We cannot run in a marathon if we haven't prepared and practised first.
Serving a mission is a commandment from our Heavenly Father and there is a reason for that. Doing missionary work is important. Yes, but that is not all. The things that we do while we prepare, the experiences we have, and the things that we learn will build us for the rest of our lives. If we prepare ourselves by reading and “ponderizing” our scriptures before we enter the mission field, we are going to be able to help others more quickly.
If you have that desire to help others by serving a mission, but you don’t know where to start, I would suggest that you first read the Book of Mormon and gain a testimony of its truthfulness. The prophet Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. I love this idea. I even like to think that it is the keystone of our conversion. It is the foundation of our house on the rock of Christ. By diligent study, we will come to know of the goodness and love of God.
Thinking of my mission so far, all the people that were active in the church that were baptised recently were those who love the Book of Mormon. People might be able to understand all the doctrine of the Church, they might understand why we believe it, but if they don’t have a sure witness that the Book of Mormon is true and put it to action, their foundation won’t hold.
Why am I now talking about investigators when I was talking about preparing for a mission? Because everything starts with you! YOU are the one teaching, YOU are the one showing them the way, and YOU are the one that they look up to. By being worthy and by increasing your testimony each day, the Spirit will be able to work through YOU and YOU will be an example for them.
I know that our perfect example, Jesus Christ, lives, that He died for us and that if we follow His command, we will have joy in this life and eternal happiness in the life to come.