Paige Morton, a freshman biochemistry major from Idaho, was attending BYU-Hawaii and explained how she loved the spiritual environment surrounding her, but felt something was missing. Spiritually, she wanted a way to better prepare for a mission. There were no mission preparation courses to take in school and her ward did not offer a class at the time, so she decided to form a student-led missionary prep group every Sunday at the Stake Center Pavillion.
“I would really love to serve a mission because nothing makes me happier than the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want nothing more than to share that with others… Once you understand you are a child of God and he has designed a plan that takes you back to him, your life becomes so much more and so much easier to find joy,” said Morton.
Morton spread the word about her group by asking anyone if they were planning on serving a mission. If they said yes or even maybe, Morton exchanged numbers with them and organized a time when everyone could meet. Now the group has formed a strong bond which allows for impactful teaching according to Morton.
“I have learned what self-initiated spiritual growth looks like. Most of the time I feel I have grown spiritually, but it has been handed to me by a seminary teacher or a young women's leader. The idea of taking responsibility for your own spiritual growth is something so important to start now because you are going to have to teach others to do so on a mission.”
Shelbi Rigby, a freshman hospitality and tourism management major from Utah, recently got her mission call to Vancouver, Canada. She was a part of the missionary prep group Morton started. Rigby said her decision to serve was influenced by her sister and the way the gospel of Jesus Christ made her feel.
“I decided to serve because I watched my older sister serve a mission. I saw how the mission changed her as a person as she brought people to the gospel. I also chose to serve because I love the church and it makes me happy. I want other people to feel happy too.”
Rigby said she thought studying the missionary manual “Preach My Gospel” with a group was a great way to prepare for her mission. “It is a really comfortable setting. We all take turns teaching and have really beneficial discussions.”
Olivia Griffth, a freshman psychology major from Utah, echoed Rigby. She said she felt the group was more beneficial than just sitting in a classroom setting. She went on to say how preparing for a mission is vital because a mission is a significant step in life. “I think a mission is very humbling because you are turning your life to the Savior. It is a very selfless thing to do. I think it can better create you as a husband or a wife.”