A Thought From David Archuleta Mormon Missionary
David Archuleta is a famous Mormon singer who has decided to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Before he left to serve as a Mormon missionary, he filmed a short video message for those wondering about what he will be doing while he serves a Mormon mission.  Missionaries are called by a modern prophet of God (Thomas S. Monson) to “invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end” (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, 1). In other words, David has temporarily put his career on hold to preach the gospel to people in South America. David, like all other Mormon missionaries, had no choice as to where he was sent to serve. The Lord decides and reveals that information to His prophet and apostles.
I’m going to be trying my best to focus on the people over there and more one-on-one experience,” he said. “It’s going to be a big sacrifice, but I’m doing this to be able to have more of that one-on-one time with my Heavenly Father — with God. I hope that you guys will respect that it’s time for me to work on my relationship with him and the time that I need to give him. 
In another video message prior to leaving on his mission, David ensured his fans that this was not goodbye:
David was an American Idol contestant during the time that I was serving a Mormon mission. As a missionary, there are rules that most of the world doesn’t comprehend, such as only two phone calls home a year, emails to family only once a week, and no entertainment such as television, newspapers, or online media. These rules are to help missionaries focus on their work and not get easily distracted from serving others and preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. On my mission, I didn’t use Facebook and didn’t know who David Archuleta was until I returned home from my Mormon mission. During the fall of 2008, I was walking around in a corn maze (depicted as a portrait of David Archuleta) when I asked someone else who he was. Of course they stared at me and said, “You don’t know who David Archuleta is?” I had been out of the country for a couple of years. Fortunately, I was quickly brought up to speed and informed that David Archuleta is a Mormon entertainer who had almost won American Idol. Shortly afterwards, I was also able to hear him singing at a local Christmas concert celebrating the birth of Christ. I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is important to him, since he’ll be wearing a nametag for two years that says “Elder Archuleta” next to the full name of Christ’s true church.
In David’s short video message, he said, “It’ll be interesting—being gone for 2 years,” and wondered about the type of people he will meet.  On my mission, I spoke with people from different nations, cultures, and religions. I spoke with atheists, Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, and Muslims. I lived in the city and in small towns filled with families, young single adults, college students, and immigrants. I volunteered teaching English classes, genealogy, and performing other types of community service for people of all ages. I also really enjoyed being invited into homes to teach entire families. The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone, and it was a blessing to share my testimony with many of God’s children.
Mormon singer David Archuleta remarked that his family and friends “will grow on their own while I’m gone, away from them, not in touch with them”. Even though he is able to email his parents every week, it is hard to reflect everything accurately through email, and he may come home to changes in his family and career. Fortunately, he is excited to have this experience independent of his family. He stated he would “never normally separate himself from what he’s comfortable with,” and being a missionary could put him out of his comfort zone. Some missionaries have a hard time learning a new language, adjusting to another culture, doing their own cooking/laundry, or even starting conversations with perfect strangers. Fortunately, David Archuleta, as a new Mormon missionary, has faith that he will grow from his challenges. He will have the opportunity to broaden his perspective and trust in God. As a young teenager, he overcame vocal cord paralysis and said:
Instead of acting like everything in life is so hard and confusing, look at it this way: the only way you can go from here is up… It’s our decisions and how we handle things, even when they get rough. If we keep holding on, looking at things positively and working hard, we can improve our lives, help ourselves, and even help the greater good. 
David Archuleta put a hold on live concerts, recording music, and more to serve his mission. He wondered about his fans, and I imagine was concerned to stop developing professionally for awhile. Fortunately, he prepared for his absence from the musical industry by pre-recording videos and a new CD for his fans. One of his fans remarked—
I am so happy that he carefully planned out his career while he was gone. It was a great gift and helps to keep him in the attention of the media while he is doing some serious good. I have no doubt that we can expect amazing music from it. It may even be even more passionate since he knew that he would be disconnected away from his fans for as long. I personally cannot wait to see what it will have and what his songs will be like off it. I think we can all agree that it will hold a lot of love that he has for his fan base. In a way, it was his going away gift to his fans and thus I am sure he treats it more special than his normal releases. 
At the end of his video, David said, “I can’t wait to bring back the person I’ve become while I have that time away”.  From my personal experience, I know that my mission changed my life and helped open my perspective to those around me. I became a happier person and more Christ-like because of my service. I learned more about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessed the blessings it brought to those who were baptized members of the LDS Church. It brings me great peace and happiness to know that God loves and guides us today through living prophets and revelation.
What do Mormons Believe? See the LDS website about the Restoration of Jesus Christ’s Church
Read your own free copy of The Book of Mormon, which contains the same message David will share with others in his mission