Many fans of American Idol remember the pure musical sound of a young man who competed a few years ago on the biggest singing competition on the planet during Idol’s 7th season. His unspoiled and down to earth personality won hearts. His talent was never in debate. The final vote counts between him and David Cook were the largest recorded ever. He came in First Runner Up. However, I believed he won in many ways in the long term. His name is David Archuleta or “Archie”, the nickname given to him by his fellow contestants. His albums that he released were strong. He was on his way to a solid music career. However, he stopped all of it , at least for two years, to do something that he believed was more important and that was to serve a mission for his Church. Archuleta accepted a call to serve in one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ( the Mormons) ‘ missions in the country of Chile.
Whatever you may think of the theology of the Church, the opportunity to voluntarily serve given to young people and retirees is a truly amazing and growing experience. I know, because I did it. I consider it one of the best experiences of my life. It was the opportunity to give of yourself totally in the service of others , people you never met, and learning that barriers can be brought down with this powerful thing we call love.
Archuleta’s experiences in a documentary titles Called To Serve. It is an intimate portrayal of this amazing young man’s resolve to go and serve where they needed him in his faith. The sincerity of his experience crosses any theological differences. It is a must watch for everyone.
The film leaves you with a deeper respect for Archuleta. His naturally shy personality was challenged during his mission where he had to grow , learn a language and serve. He does not describe it as an easy experience (It is not). However, it is one that leaves you with a fulfillment and a knowledge of self.