The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Service for Peace


A couple days away from graduating, the constant contradicting thoughts battle in senior Derek Larsen’s mind. He feels ready, but the closer the day comes, the more he doubts himself. Larsen has worked hard, he played varsity football for two years and was the student body president.

“I’ve just been trying to focus on finishing strong. I’m not going to get these four years back ever,” Larsen said. “Why complain about the next 20 days that I have left when I can just enjoy them?”

After high school, Larsen isn’t planning on going to college right after high school. Instead, he’s planning on following his faith. A two year long service mission in Flagstaff, Arizona for his religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

“I’ll be teaching people about Jesus Christ and doing service projects with some of the locals in the area,” Larsen said. “And kind of just fostering relationships with others to just help them better themselves in the communities,”

Larsen’s story doesn’t end there. He plans to go to Brigham Young University to study marketing or entrepreneurship.

Larsen’s goal mission didn’t just appear out of nowhere. People all around him have motivated him to pursue service, including his parents who had also served on mission trips of their own.     

“The gospel brings me a lot of peace and a lot of joy,” Larsen said. “And that’s something that I want to share with other people as well, as there’s not going to be time in my life that I can like, set aside two years to go full to go and serve Jesus and go help a totally different community of people.”

The closer Larsen gets to graduation the more real his service mission and life beyond it become reality. In a way he’s ready to share that peace and joy that the gospel brings him, not just in Arizona but wherever life takes him.

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