Interview with an Elder


And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, the ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

~Helaman 5:12~

Above is the scripture that Elder Gishwiller chose for his mission plaque.  I think that it is a beautiful passage that can sum up a majority of all of our testimonies in Christ and the wonderful blessing that the gospel of Christ brings into our lives.

On this page, I wanted to give a little overview of what my little brother is about, some of his thoughts on serving a mission, and what makes him tick.  So before he reported, I interviewed him personally and I thought it would be fun to share a few of the answers.

Me: “So, Elder, how do you feel about serving a mission for the Church?”

Elder G: “I have always wanted to serve; ever since I could remember.  I mean, serving a mission has never been a question of if, but when.  And when President Monson lowered the age in October of my eighteenth year, I wanted to go and start that very same day.  I am super excited about the change that this will bring to my life and for the change that I will be able to provide to the people in Japan.”

Me: “So you would say that you definitely wanted to get the ball rolling, so to speak?”

Elder G: “Most definitely.  I was talking to Bishop the very next Sunday trying to find out how to get the paperwork started.”

Me: “When did you officially get your call?”

Elder G: “In February.  On the 25th, I think?”

Me: “What were your initial feelings about the call to Japan?  I mean it where you wanted to go, right?”

Elder G: “In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would be serving in Nippon (native for Japan).  I was so shocked; thought I was dreaming and actually wanted to read it twice to be sure.   I think that my situation is definitely unique-getting to go to my dream mission and learn the language that I love- but I feel the most important thing is that I am going where God needs me and feels I’ll be of most use for his purposes.  I mean, if he had sent me to Timbucktoo or Bismark, North Dakota, I would have been just as pleased and willing.”

Me: “Well, I know that Heavenly Father is excited to get to use you as an instrument to touch the people of Japan.  Are you nervous about learning the language?”

Elder G: “Not really.  I’ve been working a little bit during high school and have really been studying since I got my call.  It will be difficult, but it will be exciting.”

Me: “Well, we have a lot of friends and family that will watching the blog looking to see how you are doing.  Any words for them?

Elder G: “Yea, thanks to all of you.  Love you all.  Please send letters and keep me up to date on all the info.  I’ll be looking forward to hearing from everyone.”

Me: “If anyone were to send you a package, what would your ideal care package contain?”

Elder G: “You like making questions difficult, don’t you?  Um, I like candy.  Favorites are Skittles and Peach Rings.  Maybe some teaching materials that people might think are fun.  Paper and pens.  I don’t know.  I think I’ll have to get back to you once I see how Japan is.”

Me: “Awesome. Well good luck, Elder.”

Whilst in the interview, I also polled Elder G for all of his favorites.

  • Favorite Food is Lasagna
  • Favorite Dessert is Cheesecake
  • Favorite Color is Blue
  • Favorite Scripture is Alma 38:9
  • Favorite Activity is Going to the Temple
  • Favorite Music Artists is Lindsey Sterling
  • Favorite TV Show is Japanese Anime

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