Nathan Moody has always been interested in missionary work, and now he's getting his chance during a two-year mission trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He left for his trip on Dec. 16, 2009, and won't be returning until Dec. 16, 2011.
"I really enjoy meeting people and sharing the gospel with them," Moody said.
Moody's trip requires three months of training at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. There he is learning Spanish, studying the doctrine, learning effective communication skills and the Argentinean culture. His missionary work will mostly consist of teaching the gospel and doing humanitarian works if the need arises.
"Say someone came and had a need for their roof to be repaired, they would get in touch with the church, and the missionaries would go over there and help them." Brenda Moody, Nathan's mother, said.
Missionaries are called to serve in one of 334 missions in approximately 120 countries around the world. They go wherever they are assigned to teach people about Christ. They can also help people with humanitarian things, such as building houses or clearing up rubble after a natural disaster. At The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a youth must be at least 19 and live a clean-cut life in order to be eligible to go on a mission trip.
"It's a choice, and you have to be worthy. It's kinda a privilege." Brenda Moody said. "He is sacrificing two years of his life to share Jesus' message."
The sacrifice is hard not only for Moody, but also for his parents. They are only allowed to speak to each other through e-mail once a week and phone calls a few times a year.
"It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to help him do what he wants to do. He wants to focus on Jesus' word and stay focused," Brenda Moody said.
Moody hopes to grow closer to God and help people through this missionary work. He is still unsure of what he wants to do when he returns. Brenda said he would probably go back to Brigham Young University-Idaho, where he has already completed one year. Moody hopes this trip will help him decide what he wants to do with his life.