So as ever missionary will can tell you there are many misconceptions we face when we’re out serving. So here are Elder Longhurst’s 9 most encountered misconceptions. So while there may be missionaries that these descriptions do match they do not apply to all of us. These are my feelings on them.

1. We as missionaries know everything, we know the answer to every Gospel question.

Well hate to break it to anyone this is a surprise to but we don’t know everything. I left when I was 18. I knew that Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and I knew that I needed the Spirit with me but other than that I really didn’t know very much. I’ve learned so much since then but the biggest fact I know is that without the Spirit I would be wasting my time.

2. That we have no identity, that we are all clones of one another that the Church just keeps pumping us out.

When people see us all in the same uniform aka white shirt, dress slacks, ties, and tags that must mean we all think the same. Well guess what, we aren’t. Take Elder Dobson and myself for example, we both like sports, both raised in the Church and both have 2 sisters, 1 brother and parents still together. Sounds like we’re pretty similar eh, well beyond that we’re worlds of difference. However the biggest differences in missionaries is why we’re on our missions, our testimonies and how we found out this is true. Cause trust me, if this wasn’t none of us would be out here.

3. We have no emotion.

It is true that missionaries generally try not to show their disappointment or anger towards people and some of them are really good at this. This isn’t because we don’t have those emotions but because we’re supposed to be representatives of Christ so we try to always act as Christ would, which is in a kind and loving way.

4. That we’re going to force you do do it our way.

This one is run into a lot, yes its great when people do what we invite them to do but we never will force you to. Our purpose is to invite others, invite not force. As a missionary we want to follow our Heavenly Fathers plan as closely as we can and that is all dependent and agency. Free choice, liberty to choose is the way, so we will never force you, that’s the adversary’s plan.

5. Its all about the numbers.

Oh they just want an other baptism, they just want one more lesson. Statements like these are completely and totally false. We don’t want to see those we teach progress towards baptism but really that’s just coming closer to Christ and if I can help 1 or 2 people come closer to Christ on my mission then it was well spent.

6. We are missionaries because its what’s expected.

No I am not out here because the Prophet has said every boy should serve a mission. No I am not out here because my family made me. No I am not out here because there is some reward for me. I am out here because my Heavenly Father has asked me too and because I love him I am serving him. The mission is not about me, its not about my  companions, its about serving my spiritual brothers and sisters and helping them come to Christ. It can be summed up as, I love my Heavenly Father and I want to do what he’s asked.

7. Being a missionary allows us to rise up the corporate ladder of the Church.

First off the Church is not a corporate ladder. I’ve met men and women who served full time missions, have been active in the Church their whole lives and still they serve in Young Mens, Young Womens, Primary or Nursery. One of the best men I’ve ever known in my life never served as a missionary, never been a bishop or president of an quorum, never even been one of the counselors for such groups. We serve missions because it is what our Heavenly Father has asked us.

8. That we can always work at 100%.

Missionary work is exhausting. There is simply no other way to put it. That said I absolutely love it. But if your missionaries, if we sometimes seem tired, sometimes fall asleep in meetings please don’t hold that over our heads forever. Should we, absolutely not but it happens. We make mistakes, then we kick ourselves and try to do better. There will be times we look like complete fools, but we’re trying.

9. That we are perfect.

Being a missionary doesn’t make you perfect. Wearing the badge that shares Christ’s name doesn’t give you the Spirit. We do not become perfect people. Missionaries can get depressed, they can get mad, disheartened, and even want to give up at times. We still suffer from our same vices as we did back home, we are doing our best though to stay away from them. But we make mistakes.