Today, When I Grow Up, I'll Go on a Mission makes its official debut as the first book in a series of books written by Valine Vikari to encourage children to plan on doing important things when they grow up. The series starts with encouragement to serve as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“When children read this book they imagine themselves doing every aspect of missionary work,” commented Vikari. “They see themselves working, teaching, and loving the people they serve. My hope is that they imagine themselves as true ambassadors of Jesus Christ and enjoying every minute of their service!”
Vikari’s use of photos of real missionaries in place of illustrations is what really sets it apart from other books of its kind. Vikari shows that missionaries serve in any condition, eat local food, and serve the people they teach. She shows how young men and women learn to be responsible through study, prayer, and self-discipline.
“The missionaries’ faces sell the message,” says Vikari. “Each photo speaks volumes about the joy and happiness these young adults experience as they serve, helping readers catch and feel the true spirit of missionary work.”
The photos began as placeholders for future illustrations, but after working with the photos, Vikari realized that the faces of the missionaries made her happy in the midst of a very difficult personal struggle. She said the photos were truly powerful, even life changing, because she could see the joy that comes in the service of God.
When I Grow Up, I’ll Go on a Mission is available at select LDS bookstores and atwhenigrowup.org.
About Valine Vikari: Valine Vikari is the author of a new series of children’s books that inspires youth to do many important things when they grow up. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University and served a full-time mission in Rome, Italy. Valine is an Instructional Designer, a recent widow and mother of five children. She currently lives in North Bend, Washington. Watch for more of Valine’s inspiring children’s books entitled When I Grow Up I’ll Be a MOM and When I Grow Up I’ll Be a DAD.