Local woman serves mission dream
Jordyn Coon delayed higher education to do missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church in Washington D.C. She gave up some of the experiences older teens typically experience to serve her church.
"I've always wanted to serve ever since I was little, it's just something I knew I was going to do," she said. "I've always felt very strongly about what I believe, and I figured that I should probably put that passion somewhere. Sharing it with others through missionary work was the best way [for me]."
Coon served in the Washington D.C, South Mission of the LDS Church. This area consisted of Northern Virginia. "I served in Leesburg, Manassas, Bristow, Gainesville and Woodbridge, Virginia." This allowed her "to put my passion for God and service to use and sharing with others through missionary work was the best way," she said.
It appears she really enjoyed the experience. The best part, she says, was getting to know people from so many different walks of life, different countries and different cultures.
"I actually kept a log of how many different countries people came from that I met and it was over 90."
She truly enjoyed working with people, especially those she taught.
"There was an entire family that we taught who had been looking for a missing piece in their lives and finally recognized it as we explained to them how the Book of Mormon and Bible go together to testify of Jesus Christ and how His priesthood has been restored to the Earth."
Coon says the most he most interesting situations came when she and her fellow missionary knocked on people's doors to talk to them. "Yes, I was one of those missionaries that come to talk with you about Jesus Christ. But we don't force it on you if you're not interested. We're just there if you want to learn more.
"The people from Middle Eastern countries were my favorite because it seemed at the times we were most tired, we would happen upon one of their doors. They would let us right in without asking who we were and give us something to eat and have great conversations!"
While that was fun, she says her favorite part of the mission was doing services for others.
"We were always seeking ways to help those around us, mostly by small and simple things like helping with gardens and help the elderly clean their homes. My personal favorite service was finding lost dogs and serving in shelters and meeting the people there."
Although she says she really enjoyed her mission, there were things she missed. There's a ton of things that every missionary gives up to serve, she said, especially for 18 to 21 year olds.
She gave up time she could've spent in college, the freedom to call and talk to her family whenever she wanted.
"I gave up my first name and went by Sister Coon for more than a year. I gave up myself basically as I just tried to be as Christ-like as possible, and focus all my attention outwards to help others, which in turn helps yourself."
She also gave up technology and social media, which she quips was a huge blessing.
"My mission was the best and hardest thing I've done up until this point of my life but I would do it all over again because of everything I learned and became," she said.