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  1. Hey! :) Congratulations on your decision to serve a Mission! I promise you that it will bless your life as your baptism has. It's a fantastic way to draw closer to the Lord and His children. I'm kind of in the same situation as you (baptized in 2012, only member in my family, going on a Mission soon, and a lot of fears about that topic). So I hope some of the advice I give you is helpful. My parents were ok with me getting baptized. Not more, not less. They actually came to Church for both my baptism and my confirmation but they haven't been since. They are just not interested. The general tone of them would be that as long as I don't use their money on behalf of the Church, they are ok with it. While I think the situation could have been better or worse for being a member of the Church, they were at first very much against me going on a Mission. Mostly because they thought that I would have to leave my education behind and I would never be able to come back the way I had been. Things have changed a lot since, considering that my family is now supportive of me going, though still absolutely uninterested in the Gospel. For me, I think these circumstances helped my family come to peace with me serving a Mission: - TIME: I think it helped them a lot that I've been wanting to go for a relatively long time (a good three years by now) so they know it's something I really want and not just something I'm getting myself into out of youthful excitement. - FINANCIAL ADVANTAGES: When my family (who is helping me a lot with paying for college, although I contribute myself all I can) learned about how affordable BYU is compared to a public university and how much better my chances are of getting in there as a returned Missionary, they were so excited that they decided to lend me all the money for my Mission. And I only have to pay it back if BYU doesn't accept me. - KEEPING IN TOUCH: The fact that I'm not completely detached from them when I'm gone. In fact, I'll probably be in closer touch with them on my Mission than I was during college, where I didn't write a letter or email home every week. - ALWAYS WITH SOMEONE: More than anything about my Mission, my family loves that I'm always with someone and that I have a lot of people I can ask for help anytime if necessary. Which is something they didn't really have the same way when they shipped me halfway around the world for college. Circumstances with your family might be totally different, but notice how I have managed to emphasize things about my Mission that will help my parents in ways they care about. Something that (though well-meaning, of course) has always ticked me off was the promise other members gave me that my family would be blessed spiritually because of my service. Of course that's true, but guess what? My family DOES NOT CARE. They care about my security, my education prospects, our relationship with one another and their finances. Once I had established those strong points about me serving a Mission, I pounded them again and again and again. Even though they are totally not the reason why I'm going on a Mission, I think it was a good thing to tell my family what they want to hear. And I'm not lying, so that's definitely a plus as well. :) What do you think are reasons why your parents would appreciate you serving a Mission? Think about it and talk to them about it. I know it works, because I've done it, and I've met a lot of other Missionaries who did the same. As for them being around when you go through the Temple: Don't care as much about it. I (of course) had no one to go with from my family. I chose one of my good friends to go with instead. It was a great experience but I think it's about you and not about who you are going with. Even if you are by yourself (i.e., without someone who accompanies you), you will have a great time. At some points during the endowment, it is good to have someone who assists you in doing certain things, but if you don't have a person who accompanies you, they will find somebody else to do it. I understand your concerns, somewhat at least, but I can testify that it will be a great experience no matter who you are with. The only time you should really care about who you bring to the Temple is during your own sealing ceremony Also, it is perfectly normal to say goodbye at the airport. It's the way I'm doing it. And, to be quite frank, I have never heard of any recent Missionaries who have been flown out by their parents. Those who drive, sure. But not those who fly. I might be wrong with my assertion that most flyers come to the MTC by themselves, but you're certainly not alone :) I hope I could help you a little bit! Let me know if you have any more questions.
  2. Hey everyone, I've been on the less-active side in this forum for a while but I'm definitely glad to be back. :) I obtained my Associate's Degree at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah this past month and now I'm preparing to leave for the Alpine German-Speaking Mission in March. While I know my Mission preparation has been going on for a long time, especially due to some health issues that delayed me (I'm turning 21 this summer), I've also wondered about what my educational future should look like when I get back. I'll be an RM from a foreign country with relatively few members, a convert and the only member in my family, and I have a 3.6 college GPA with a 3.9 in my major department prerequisits. Granted, BYU has been on the table for me and I would love to go there ('tis to say, my wallet would love it even more). But the whole idea of transfering to BYU from another public school is a bit of a scary thought for me. Those of you who went to BYU (preferably recently) and have transfered from another school: What were some of your experiences? Was the transfer process difficult? And how did you handle the culture shock of transfering from a public school to the Y? I would assume it's different for someone like me who'd be coming straight off the Mission when it comes to the culture part, but what are some of the things I could expect as to how professors treat their students, how much the Church interferes (for the lack of a better word) with "worldly" aspects of academics, and so forth? I'd love and appreciate just about any help and advice I can get. :) Thanks!
  3. friedmann

    How do Mormons feel about interfaith dating?

    Hello! :) Welcome to our forum. I'm so glad about your decision to learn about the Church. :) What Bini said in her first paragraph is pretty much right. Over the long run (say, you were single now, joined the Church and then had a choice between a lovable member and a lovable non-member), we are encouraged to date members. But really, it's between you, her and the Lord. Whatever works for you. A Church with 15 Million members has people in just about as many different life situations. There isn't *one* perfect approach to this. In your case, it is absolutely not necessary to end your relationship. Just make sure that you live the Law of Chastity. You may date all day long, hold hands, even kiss, but avoid sexual conduct before marriage. Also, if you live together in the same household, you will either have to move out or get married if you want to be baptized. I would be open about your desires to learn about and investigate (as we call it) the Church. Talk to your girlfriend, bring her along for Church, etc...she might be interested as well and if not, she will most likely be more understanding at least. This will help you greatly in case you get serious about baptism. :) That's all I can think of right now. Let me know if you have any questions :)
  4. friedmann


    In my humble opinion, you should not get a tattoo, just like you shouldn't spray graffiti at the Temple. There are very good reasons for our leaders taking the stand against tattoos and piercings for males. It is esstentially a way to permanently self-mutilate your body. This should, if possible, be avoided. Sorry for the strong choice of words but essentially this is what it is. It's a really bad idea to get a tattoo if you are an active member of the Church.
  5. friedmann

    Are there any Arabic speaking missions?

    There is a Farsi-speaking companionship laboring in the Canada Toronto Mission. And no official and permanent Missionary activity in the two Sudans.
  6. friedmann

    Mission papers?

    Hi Padmoose, thank you for your desire to be an embassador of Christ and His Church. :) I would scan the license, although I'm not 100% positive about it and it might work with just a picture. But better scan it, just in case. :) I've seen papers coming back without a call for various reasons and I suggest that you should try not to be one of them. :) And no, not having a passport won't have any effect on where you are called. If you are called to serve in a foreign Mission, you will have to get a passport before you get to the MTC, although that shouldn't be a problem. Passports are useful to have anyways, so I would encourage you to go and get one as soon as possible, even though it may not make any difference on your Mission. I hope that helped! :)
  7. friedmann

    Afraid to take the next step

    I'm so glad to hear that your testimony is growing stronger! :) I've been in a very similar situation as you. I investigated the Church for half of eternity before being baptized. Although it hasn't harmed me, my testimony or my activity, looking back I am sad about all the blessings I've missed out on while waiting. If I had a choice now, I would have been baptized as soon as possible. You can have a testimony of the Church and feel the Spirit sometimes without being a member, but after baptism, your spirituality will increase tremendously. The permanent companionship of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift God has for us in this fulness of times. If you have repented and you have a testimony, there is no reason not to be baptized. I promise you (from my own experience) that your family will be blessed if you get baptized. As you live the Gospel, their hearts will soften and they will eventually accept your decision. It took my own parents about two years for going from being completely against the Church to supporting me (also financially) on my Mission. The people surrounding you will see you change to the better and they will not go unaffected. I highly doubt that any member of my own family will join the Church in this life. However, if you care sincerely for your family, you will not be rejected. I promise you that. Consider carefully if you want to be baptized, however, listen to the right source. Do you think that Christ is the source of negative thoughts that would keep you from joining the Church? Think about where your fears come from, who puts them into your mind (hint: it's the adversary, also known as Satan) and if you want to "give heed" to this source. If you choose to follow Christ and don't give in to the doubts the adversary puts into your mind, baptism is right for you. :) Also, (re-)study 1Nephi chapters 8 and 15. I found those quite meaningful in making my decision about whose side I wanted to be on. I pray for you! :)
  8. friedmann

    Contention with home-teaching companion

    Thanks for all your support! I think this is pretty much going into the direction that I had in mind...once a substential amount of people is back from their Christmas trips home, I'll myself or not. :)
  9. friedmann

    ...And Another from Germany

    Willkommen! :) I'm actually from Germany (who knew?) and there's a few more Germans on this forum as well...I'm just not sure about how active they are (this being said, I'm probably not that active on this forum as well...). I hope you enjoy it here! I always have, at least :)
  10. friedmann

    following personal revelation

    If it is not against the teachings of the scriptures, basic commandments or teaching of the living Prophets, DO IT. I attended a devotional with Elder Summerhays of the Seventy a couple months ago, and I loved the guideline he established: If it`s not bad, it is from God. Also, I`ve personally experienced a few times how God gave me some "insane" promptings, likely just to make sure I`m obedient if He really wants me to do something important. I hope that helps. :)
  11. friedmann

    Availability Date vs. Reporting Date?

    Hello, Congratulations on your decision to serve the Lord full-time! I can guarantee you that it will be among the best things you`ll do in your life. Now to your questions: Since you are probably filing your papers from the United States (from what I can tell), expect to have your reporting date anywhere between dead-on to about 3 to 4 months after your availability date. If you lived abroad, I`ve seen it go up to half a year, but those cases are generally rare. With many people I know reporting recently, there seems to be a tendency that stateside calls have slightly shorter differences than foreign calls, but that`s just my subjective experience. Either way, it`s rather unlikely that you`ll be able to hear each other`s homecoming talks. A good chunk of Missionaries I know report on mondays and wednesdays. Here again, nothing official, but I would guess that there`s just two or three days of the week with Missionaries coming in. It gets close. I personally know two Missionaries who reported this wednesday. I see no reason why there should be no reports to as close as the 23rd. Put your papers in 120 days before your availability date, which would be sometime in mid-September for you. The sooner the better, so you can get enough time to prepare actually knowing where you`re going, and so you can be prepared for potential difficulties (roughly 15-20% of all applications get sent back for corrections which takes extra-time). Just some advice! I hope I could help you a little :)
  12. Hello everyone, I have moved away from my home ward in the summer to attend college and now I`m going to one of the many YSA wards over here. Yes, it`s a huge difference, but the more I get used to it, the more I like it. Anyways, with moving to a new ward comes having a new home-teaching companion, and here is my problem/question. For about two months now, I have not been able to get in touch with my companion. He`s not at Church anymore, I fear he`s struggling himself, but I just can`t get a hold of him. He doesn`t answer calls or texts and when I tried to visit him at home a couple of weeks ago, he wasn`t home and his family was not very excited about the idea of me coming back. I don`t know him all that well, simply for the lack of time we had to get to know each other, but he seemed outgoing and spiritually very capable. However, he also seemed to get offended rather easily. That`s my fear: He`s also on the committee that is in charge of FHEs, and shortly before he left, I offered him some (kind, I thought) advice by which the whole event could become more spiritual (having someone share a short thought in the beginning, that is). I fear that he has been so ticked off by that that he ended up leaving and quit talking to me. I know that there are many more potential reasons but I just feel some guilt and incapability of changing the situation to the better. Has anyone else ever experienced something like that? Is there maybe an official guideline I couldn`t find out about yet? Thanks so much, your help is really appreciated! Merry Christmas to all of you :)
  13. friedmann

    Hi friends !

    Welcome! :) I also study journalism. It's a fantastic career choice and I am really looking forward to get working as a journalist after my Mission and after going through college. Bangladesh sounds interesting! :) It's good to have members on this forum from all over the world :)
  14. friedmann

    When can you not take the sacrament?

    Given that you repent on a regular (best: daily) basis, there is not that much room for doubt. If you stay away from sin you would need to confess to the Bishop during your repentance process, and you repented, you are allowed and encouraged to take the Sacrament. If you confess serious transgressions to your Bishop, he'll tell you what to do. This might include discouraging you from partaking of the Sacrament. This happens often, but not generally in these situations. For example, I had some problems quitting masturbation prior to my baptism. I managed to quit after my baptism though and my Bishop told me that it would be fine for me to take the Sacrament once I was baptized, as long as I don't break the law of chastity anymore. In the end, it's you who makes the decision, unless your Bishop really tells you something specific.
  15. friedmann

    What do you do?

    I deny, stating that there are plenty of traditional married couples who are for some reason unable to bear children themselves, who should always be preferred in an adoption scenario. Living in a homosexual relationship includes the decision not to have kids in the first place, and everyone deciding on living in such a partnership should be aware of that biological consequence. Although one could with every right mention the Family Proclamation in this context, I don't even think that it would be necessary to support my claim religiously. It's just common sense to me and I would say that my decison would be driven by it for the most part. Other than that, I wouldn't be aware of any meaningful additional scripture references about adoption (except for Moses, given you want to call it an adoption), just about adultery. I think those are clear enough though.