Thank you for your questions and especially, thank you for your willingness to be kind to the missionaries when they contact you. My fourth son served his mission in The Netherlands and I am so grateful for people like you who were pleasant to him during those two years. I do realize that it is difficult for most to understand why we feel a desire to share our beliefs. I can explain why, but first let me write about the experience for the young missionaries.
One can only imagine how difficult and scary it is for these young boys, many only 18 years old and girls who are 19 years old, to leave their homes and go to a mission, many requiring learning a different language and often in circumstances that are otherwise difficult. The boys serve full time for two years and the girls for eighteen months and at their own expense for those who have worked and saved up the money to sponsor their missions, or more often for their parents or some other sponsors. They postpone their educations, some even pass up athletic or other kinds of scholarships to serve. I know of one young missionary who passed up a million dollar signing bonus as a professional baseball player right out of high school to accept a mission call to Japan. Many postpone their romance and delay plans leading to marriage to serve.
I call them boys and girls, because, as I have often said, They leave as boys and girls and come back as mature men and women. It is a powerful growing experience for them, not to mention the wonderful knowledge of the gospel and personal skills gained by spending full time in the Lord’s service.
To understand why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one must first understand the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ which was and is intended to help prepare as many of the human race who are willing to follow him to dwell with him for eternity in the presence of God the Father in celestial glory and a fullness of joy. There is so much to understand about life after death for the willing learner, but we will save that for another discussion, if you are interested.
For those who believe, as we do in the Bible, the eternal importance of learning and living by the true gospel of Christ is the most important purpose of this lifetime.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (New Testament | John 14:6)
Most in the world are not familiar with the true gospel, even members of the thousands of different mainstream Christian denominations which spring out of the endless variety of interpretations of the preachers of the various religions. Most, as you have indicated, are satisfied with whatever religion they happen to inherit from their parents or for some other reason have adopted. Most do not make it a serious quest to try to find the true religion and even feel that it is not important and that one religion may be as good as the other. Jesus did not suggest this in his teachings. He said:
13 ¶ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (New Testament | Matthew 7:13 – 14; 21)
The word destruction is in other passages referred to as damnation which means the stopping of progress, and life here means a continuation of progress in the eternities. There is so much to understand about this, but we will also save that for another discussion, again, if you are interested.