Young church-service missionaries find joy in service

Like the 55,410 proselyting missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the globe, Elder Ernesto Sarabia wore a black missionary badge each day of his mission. But in some ways his mission assignment was unique from many others’—Elder Sarabia served as a young Church-service missionary.

For medical reasons, Elder Sarabia was unable to serve a full-time proselyting mission. For a year he insisted on going, and submitted his papers multiple times. But each time the answer was the same.

“We recognize that it may not be wise for some of our young men and young women to face the rigors and challenges of a full-time mission,” Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said. But this, he said, does not mean they can’t participate in the blessings of missionary service. He continued, “If priesthood leaders excuse any of you from full-time missionary service, we ask you and your families to accept the decision and move forward. You can prepare to participate in the saving ordinances of the temple and find other ways to be of service.”

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