Australian Rugby Star Shares Mission Experiences and Blessings

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At 22 years old, William Hopoate of Sydney, Australia had his life career presented before him. Hopoate is a rugby star in Australia, but he is also a returned missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a teenager, Hopoate won a premiership in 2011 at Manly and represented his state within the same year.

Hopoate left for his mission soon after that when he came off of his contract, and had very few problems getting back into the game. Hopoate believes it’s due to his presence in serving a mission. interviewed Hopoate about his mission and post-mission experiences; he responded:

Being away for two years and facing quite a bit of adversity and rejection, it’s helped me to be a bit more mentally stronger and a bit more thick-skinned, I think that helps.

In an email interview with Deseret News he commented,

The mission has blessed my professional career by helping me to be mentally stronger in dealing with adversity. It has also helped me to be spiritually stronger in facing the many tempting challenges the adversary throws my way. 

Before leaving for his mission, William Hopoate made a video with and returned from his mission in November 2013.

Natalie New is a writer and intern for and a current English student at BYU-Idaho. She was born and raised in an LDS home and has attending two Mormon universities up to this point. Natalie has also held a variety of Church callings and has had unique experiences, giving her a unique outlook on life. You can contact Natalie via email.