Sean Collins recently returned from serving a French speaking, two-year mission to Brazzaville, Congo for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He feels he has learned more from the people of the Congo than they have gained from him.
He recounted, “There is a story of three animals: a snake, a chameleon, and a caterpillar. The three of them wanted to change. The snake shed its skin; the chameleon changed its color; but the caterpillar became a butterfly. Unlike the first two, the butterfly cannot become what it was. I think my biggest metamorphosis was learning how to serve and be humble. The Congo had some of the most humble people that I had ever seen.”
One young woman that Collins met exemplified that humility. Collins said, “The last transfer of my mission an investigator went to one meal a day for two weeks so she could afford [a] 6000 fcfa [Central African Franc equal to 12 American dollars] gift for family members.”
Collins’ family members were blessed by his service. He told of how his father retired from the Army the year Sean went on his mission. His dad struggled to find work for several weeks but once Sean sent in his mission application papers, his dad was able to find several jobs and choose one that allowed enough money for the mission and for the rest of the family to live comfortably.
“I learned much about myself by completing a mission especially that I could complete things despite difficulties,” Collins remarked, “and I feel that because I served a mission, I got to know my Savior better than if I had not gone.”
Now that Collins is home, he plans on joining the Army as a career.
— Submitted by Bonnie Holyoak