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Provided by Alicia Hill
Alicia Hill, left, and Paige Sorensen are both returned missionaries and are the authors of "Pep Talk for Missionaries."

When LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson announced the new age requirements for missionaries, we were very excited. As returned sister missionaries, it re-energized our thoughts and feelings about our missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Here are some tips for Mormon missionaries who are preparing to serve:

1. Be yourself

One of the main reasons we loved being missionaries is because we allowed ourselves to be ourselves. We each realized early on in our missions that we were more effective when we were genuine and real. When you are true to your personality, you are happier and more eager to share the gospel. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, said, “But while the Atonement is meant to help us all become more like Christ, it is not meant to make us all the same.”

2. It’s not all about you

Be yourself, but go lose yourself in serving. It’s called “serving a mission” for a reason. We are not talking about just going through the motions of a mission. You will be more successful if you are always thinking of ways to serve others. You have the opportunity to focus solely on those around you for 18 or 24 months. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. The harder you work, serve and give of yourself, the more abundantly the Lord blesses you.

3. The ups and downs

A mission is full of ups and downs as well as twists and turns. Our favorite advice for missionaries is to expect it to be harder than you think. That way, it won’t surprise you as much when it gets really difficult. On the flip side, we tell missionaries to expect it to be more amazing and life-changing than they can even imagine. If you decide to serve with a committed heart and willing attitude, you will never regret your decision to serve a mission.

Alicia Hill and Paige Sorensen are returned sister missionaries and the authors of "Pep Talk for Missionaries." They blog at peptalkformissionaries.blogspot.com, and their email is [email protected].