My name is Hyrum Ruby, and I am preparing to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the California Ventura area. Boy, am I excited (. . . and a bit nervous). Ever since I can remember, I knew I would go on a mission. As a small boy I loved going to church to learn about Jesus Christ and the scriptures. I did my best to read my scriptures and say my prayers as often as I remembered. I soon found that the days that I read my scriptures before I got out of bed were the days that everything worked out. It didn't take long for me to figure out that it was best to just read my scriptures even if I was running late. This testimony of scripture reading encouraged my desire to study and learn more. With the knowledge that I gained from my studies came a passion for sharing what I had learned and teaching those around me. That is where serving a mission comes in.
For two years I, and over 83,000 other young adult members, will be devoting our time and energy to sharing the message of Christ's restored church on the earth. Our purpose is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end"(Preach My Gospel pg. 1).
I call these last few weeks before I leave to serve a mission the warmup because right now I'm preparing to "go and do" (see 1 Nephi 3:7). I am doing my best to find opportunities to talk to people about the gospel, I am teaching alongside the local missionaries, and I am studying more earnestly so that my testimony in my savior can grow and will be more powerfully shared.
Yes, leaving my family for two years will be a challenge. I love them so much. I am allowed to call home twice a year (which is usually on Christmas and Mother's Day), I can email once a week on my day off (Preparation day a.k.a P-day), and I can write and receive letters/packages any time. California will be a whole new world for me. I look forward to meeting many great people there. Sure, I will have my ups and downs, doors in my face, be cursed and reviled, and rejected; but I will also find greater joy than I have yet experienced as I help others come closer to Christ and as I watch their faith in Him increase.
As the day approaches that I report to the MTC (Missionary Training Center), my desire to teach, preach, and invite others to come unto Christ increases. I know that God has prepared people in California for me to meet and teach. He will watch over me as I am on His errand. He will watch over my family and bless them.