The life of a missionary is a life of sacrifice. Growing up as a Catholic, I learned much about sacrifice especially through the lives of those who have sacrificed much, if not all, in the service of God. These people, saints of God, did not care about the world and what went on in it that did not bring them and others closer to God. They concerned themselves with the spiritual and not the temporal.
The sacrifice we suffer is but a faint shadow, but an important type nonetheless, of the sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I wear a name tag that bears the holy name of Jesus Christ. I am literally one of His messengers here in Idaho. It is a solemn responsibility and calling. I have been called to sacrifice.
The interesting thing about sacrifice is that it brings about greater blessings and increase than what would have come had the sacrifice not occurred. Jesus Christ brought about immortality and eternal life for us all through His Atonement. As a missionary, I am sacrificing time and contact spent with my family. We call home twice a year and get to email once a week. This is the toughest. However, I know that after this life, I can spend eternity with them. Two years out of eternity is all right. We also sacrifice movies, music, news, other forms of entertainment, etc. In the long run, these are all small, insignificant things.
As I've been out here in Idaho, I have gained a greater desire to sacrifice temporal wants and to focus more on the spiritual. The sacrifice hasn't been easy, but greater blessings have come from it. So, basically, I'm living a two-year Lent and it is awesome!
The reason I bring this up is not to boast about what I'm doing, but just to explain why I'm choosing to sacrifice this time for God. I want to help others. We meet quite a few people who think that we believe that we work our way to heaven and don't accept Christ's Atonement. I believe that Jesus Christ's Atonement saves us. I have faith in Him and I will only be able to return to God because of that sacrifice. However, works are necessary. They are necessary because they help me become someone different. They are the physical manifestation of a spiritual changing. Faith without works, without sacrifice, is dead.
I have had a good week. It is inspiring to meet people who, Mormon or not, work diligently to strengthen their faith in Christ so that they will be able to stand before God at the last day.