Some advice for my brother who will soon serve a mission

Late Wednesday night, my wife and I pressed our ears against my cell phone and listened as my brother Chase read the familiar words, "Dear Elder Coppins, You are hereby called to serve…"

Opening a mission call is an exciting rite of passage in Mormon life, but it's important to remember that when it comes to missionary service, the kind of missionary you are is much more important than where you serve. With that in mind, I'd like to offer my brother — and everyone else who is about to enter the MTC — some advice.

(Oh, and since I know you're still wondering, Chase is going to the Argentina Resistencia Mission.)

When I was a missionary in the MTC (and later when I worked there) we often watched a recorded talk given by Elder David A. Bednar in which he described a pair of elders he had once invited into his home for breakfast. They goofed around with his young children, watched cartoons, overstayed their welcome and then, before leaving, asked Elder Bednar, "So, do you have any referrals for us?"

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