This week we had our stake conference and we were privileged to have President Fortunato speak at both the Saturday night and Sunday morning sessions. I also was assigned a 10 minute talk about, "Why I’m on the mission" at the Saturday night session. Really, every missionary was told to prepare a talk and then president would choose someone to actually speak. It was a good experience that gave me a chance to really think about why I'm here.
There is a part in the story, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" where she is walking on a path in a strange land, and she stops at a fork in the road. She is lost but finds the Cheshire cat in a tree, and she asks him, "What way should I go?" to which he asks, "Where are you going?" Alice thinks, and then responds, "I don’t really care." And the cat says, "Then it really doesn’t matter does it?" There are so many people that are just like Alice in this life. Whether they know it or not, they are lost and without direction. That’s where the missionary work comes in.
In Preach My Gospel there is a quote by Elder Dallin H. Oaks that explains the purpose of missionary work:
“We do not preach and teach in order to ‘bring people into the Church’ or to increase the membership of the Church. We do not preach and teach just to persuade people to live better lives. … We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God. No one else can do this”
We are the only ones who can bring this message and open the door to the celestial kingdom. That’s a lot of responsibility, but that's why I'm here.
I love the gospel.