Story told by a president of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah (Max Pinegar):
"I am thinking of a young man at the Missionary Training Center a year and a half ago, preparing to serve in Japan.
We had arranged with the BYU ticket office for all of the missionaries to attend the final home football game. They had tickets all arranged for us in the north end zone … and we announced to the missionaries that they would all be permitted to go to the ball game the next afternoon.
This young man came in to see me and asked, 'President Pinegar, do I have to go to the football game tomorrow?'
"I thought he was ill. I said, 'Don't you want to see this ball game?'
"He said, 'Oh, if you only knew how badly I want to see this game! I played college football for two years. But when I came to the MTC I made a commitment to myself and to the Lord that I would learn all eight of the missionary discussions in Japanese. If I go to that ball game tomorrow, I will not achieve my goal.'
"Well, of course, permission was granted him to stay and study.
"I saw him some weeks later. In fact, it was about five days before he departed for the field. He came up to me in the cafeteria and said, 'President Pinegar, remember me? I am the elder who did not go to the ball game because I wanted to study the discussions. Today I pass off the eighth discussion.' S
He continued, 'You ought to hear what happened to me the day I stayed here and did not go to the ball game. Up to that point in time I had been able to memorize twenty lines a day in Japanese; that day, the day that I sacrificed—and I felt it was a sacrifice—I memorized 120 lines. From that point on, I continued to move up and today I will pass off my eighth discussion.'"