The most important things I choose to do in life, I do for free. When you do something with no expectation of compensation, it says something. It says you are sincere. You may be misinformed or mistaken, but you are definitely sincere.
I have taken countless people flying, for free. Why? To share the joy of flight with them. To see the wonder and thrill of it in their eyes. Check out this video of an adorable 4-year old getting her first airplane ride. This is what I’m talking about!
Although I was a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) for many years and managed retirement portfolios, I much prefer using my experience and knowledge now to teach people to manage their own investments. Imagining my friends becoming financially independent is reward enough. I love investing. And I so enjoy teaching those few souls who can catch the vision, and have the courage and clear thinking to take control of their own financial destiny.
Wendy and I have had a habit, our entire lives, of volunteering at church. And we love it! I have had so many amazing adventures as a scout leader, a public speaker, a teacher, and a leader through these volunteer church assignments. I’m convinced that I get far more out of these experiences than those I’m supposed to be helping. I learn, I grow, and I feel satisfaction.
As Wendy and I looked at our schedule for 2016, we saw a great opportunity to volunteer this year. So we went through the process (with the help of Bishop Jon Allen of the South Mountain Ward, and President Porter of the Phoenix Arizona Stake of our church) of applying to be senior missionaries for the Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints. And Monday, January 18, we received a formal letter from President Thomas S. Monson, the President of our church, inviting us to serve for six months, beginning May 2, 2016. He has assigned us to serve in the Wyoming Mormon Trail Mission.
What will we be doing? Helping people understand and appreciate what it was like to walk with their families, pulling all their earthly belongings in a hand cart, 1300 miles from Illinois and Iowa to join other members of their faith in the desert of the Utah Territory during the years 1847-1868. I love this history and am fascinated by what motivated these ordinary people to do such extraordinary things.
There are several historical sites where guests are led on treks, pulling hand carts to reenact and experience for themselves what the journey was like. And there is also a visitor’s center where missionaries can tell the stories and show video reenactments.
So that’s where we will be from May through October of this year. Again, the most important things I do, I do for free. And I’m looking forward to honoring these pioneers who helped build the character of our nation. Freedom of religion and the desire to be with others of the same faith was so important to them, they gave up their homes and jobs, sold all that they had to pay for ship’s passage from numerous countries in Europe, to come to America. Then they took ferries and trains to what was at that time, the western edge of the United States, in Iowa. And from there they walked with their children to over 1,000 miles to the Salt Lake Valley. I expect to learn a lot from these pioneers as I dig into this part of our nation’s history.
More details to come once we get there and get our assignments. It’s going to be a fun and meaningful year.