This is an email that was initiated by a national sports writer from Connecticut named Scott Schulte. He is an author and a freelance writer for newspapers, internet sites and magazines. Scott is currently writing Dan Gable’s biography. He is LDS and served a mission a few decades ago and decided to write and article on national champion wrestlers who serve missions. He has interviewed Cyler Sanderson, Andrew Hasstrasser, Roy Nash, Matt Brown and a few others. Since Grant is the only athlete currently serving and the one that inspired the story, he sent the following email to Grant last week. The first part is Scott’s email to Grant. Then below that is Grant’s response to Scott.
I am friends with your father and I am writing an article for a magazine about LDS wrestlers who serve missions. While I am LDS and served a mission, I would like to know why you set aside your wrestling career to serve a mission.
Do you ever wrestle down there in Mexico? Anything else you can add?
I would love to answer your questions.
Why did I decide to set aside my “career” to serve a mission?
A very good question. It`s simple. I have been EXTREMELY blessed in every aspect of my life; Physically, mentally, and more than anything spiritually. Why? This is something that I`ve asked myself time and time again. Why am I so blessed? And I believe that I now somewhat understand. It`s because my Father in Heaven has a work for me to do. That work extends far beyond wrestling for a few years in college (and hopefully in the Olympics). Why should I be so short sighted? I believe I have been blessed with my wrestling talent, not to be able to win a national championship, but to be able to inspire people to better follow Christ. Yes it is my goal to be an NCAA national champion. But how many people have accomplished that?
Something that I`ve come to realize a little bit more on my mission is that our success in life means very little if we are not lifting others as well. And success in life is very different than success in a college wrestling career. I spent most of my life before the mission focused on my own personal goals, which isn`t a bad thing. But now I have the opportunity to serve a mission and help others reach their goals, goals that most don`t even realize that they have. I can help lift others for two years so that we can reach our goals TOGETHER. That is success to me. Why limit myself to only personal success? Why not lift those around me and reach our goals together?
I have many goals in life. Goals are what push us to our limits. Goals are what help us make “hard” decisions.
Of all my many goals, my main goal is to have an eternal family, or eternally happiness, and help others have it as well. When I keep that goal in mind, the decision to leave my “career” for 2 years is simple. What do I need to do to reach “The Goal” instead of “a goal”? Serving a mission is one of the most important decisions of my life. Some may think that it lessens the chance of accomplishing my goals such as winning a national championship in college, or making an Olympic team. But they don`t understand “The Goal.” God has blessed me with that understanding. I wish all my friends understood it. I wish all the youth in the church understood it. I`ve seen many make decisions based on their goals. My message and challenge to anyone who reads this article you are going to write, is to remember your greatest goal.
As for wrestling in Mexico… up to now I haven`t wrestled. I think about it every once in a while, but I`m not supposed to wrestle for a few more months because I had shoulder surgery right before my mission. I`m sure I`ll wrestle a few times here in Mexico, but I`m focused on “The Goal” for now.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my testimony! Thanks for writing this article.
Elder LaMont (Elder LaMonster or Elder Lamoni)