Sunday, May 2, 2010

Delusions of Grandeur

This is a logo I designed for my new independent film/art "studio", which is pretty much on Youtube at the moment, hence the post title "delusions of grandeur" lol. It's only a dream and a logo at the moment, but we'll see where it goes.

A little under a year ago I returned from serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Spokane, Washington. For those of you who may not be familiar, a mission is an opportunity for 19-year-old LDS (Latter-Day Saint) young men to spend 2 years serving other people full time. It was the defining experience of my life. As you might expect, we taught people the gospel, but we also had the opportunity to serve in other ways. From shoveling snow off roofs and butchering deer in the country to working on sprinkler systems and cleaning up the aftermath of gang violence in the city, it was a full-time service experience. Through each of these experiences I grew closer in my relationship to the Savior.

At the beginning of my service, when I was a "greenie" (slang for new missionary), I was given a word of advice by David R. Clark, my mission president. He told me never to lose my "Greenie Fire". New "green" missionaries enter the field with a zest for life, a love of the people, and a passion for the work. Though inexperienced, they serve and bear their message powerfully from the heart. However, unfortunately there tends to be a metamorphosis over the course of a few short months. As much fun as it is to serve, not everyone appreciates it. A new missionary encounters rejection after doorstep rejection, and begins to doubt whether he/she is accomplishing anything. People swore at us, slammed doors in our faces, threw things at us, threatened to sic dogs on us, and once even put a rock through our car window. Under pressure, the "Greeny Fire" can soon begin to burn out. It's so easy to become jaded and lose that passion, that love, that will to serve. But that is what prayer is for, and that is why Jesus Christ is there. I was not a perfect missionary, but I set it as my goal never to lose that desire to serve, the "fire". Though flickering at times, with Heavenly Father's support, that flame managed to burn for the full course of that two years. I made mistakes, but I repented every day and did the best I could muster to love and serve every day. While some missionaries might take it as an insult, I took it as a compliment when even in my last months in the mission field new acquaintances would ask me if I was "Green".

Then came the last day. As a joke, the Day family, who I stayed with in my last area, served me a "greenie breakfast", complete with green waffles and juice (For those of you who are not up on Mormon culture, the greenie meal is a joking informal tradition normally reserved for new missionaries). It was done in jest, but it got me thinking about the advice from my mission president- "Don't lose that greenie fire". That night, I made a commitment to myself and concieved of the idea for what I hope will one day become a real production company, sketching a rough version of the logo on a piece of looseleaf. I determined never to lose that "greenie fire", to continue applying the lessons of the mission in my daily life. My goal is to create films and media that will fulfill the same purpose that I had knocking on doors as a missionary- to "Invite others to come unto Christ", and hopefully ignite in others that same fire for doing good President Clark taught us about.