The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Missions are exciting, said Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, to an audience of 1,770 new missionaries. Then she added a disclaimer that a mission can feel a little overwhelming.

“You will be doing things you may have never done before and going places that you have never been before,” said Sister Craven, who served with her husband, Brother Ron Craven, as mission leaders over the North Carolina Charlotte Mission from 2012 to 2015. “That might cause a little apprehension, maybe some lack of confidence or maybe even a little anxiety.”

How can missionaries be successful despite these challenges? Sister Craven invited listeners to look at a photo of a basketball game. Her 11-year-old grandson, Mackay, was pictured guarding a much bigger player on the opposing team.

Although he had little chance to stop the rival player, she said, Mackay was successful in another way.

“Success looks different here than others may define it. Mackay is doing exactly what the coach asked of him ― to defend a big player. His success is defined by his effort to be diligent and obedient to his coach and the rules of the game.”

In a devotional at the Provo Missionary Training Center on Tuesday, July 18, Sister Craven taught listeners that strength in missionary work comes from one’s courage, desire to serve, trust in God’s plan and capacity to grow.

How missionaries can gain ‘courage in the gap’

Sister Craven asked a sister missionary from Denmark to read the German phrase “Mut zur Lücke,” which she learned from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Although its meaning does not have a direct English translation, it means “courage in the gap.”

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