As I'm sure all of you know, I have made the decision to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!!! The question I frequently get is, "What made you want to serve?" there was no grand experience or life changing event that really made me want to serve. The desire to serve a mission is something I have always had. Even from the time I was in primary, I remember singing Called to Serve hoping some day I would have the unique opportunity of preaching the gospel to the world! There have been many experiences that have solidified my decision to serve. One-Church History Tour. Every second of that trip radiated the truthfulness of the gospel. When I bore my testimony at church in Palmyra, I looked down to find Brother Jenkins (my preschool teachers husband, previous seminary teacher, institute teacher, and Stake Patriarch who was our tour guide-and my favorite man in the world!) staring at me with a smile beaming from his face. After the meeting, he approached me and told me that when he looked up at me, he could see a missionary bearing her testimony. Two-working at Oakcrest. Having the opportunity to bask in the Spirit and teach the gospel every day only increased my craving for missionary work.
Now, just because I've always wanted to serve, doesn't necessarily mean this decision has been easy. Many have come into my life during my 20 years of riding the Earth around the Sun telling me I was going to get married first, get too far into my schooling, or that I just flat out didn't have what it takes. While my family has been 100% percent supportive, its clear they worry about missing me and me missing them. Then there are my own doubts I've had, which have far exceeded every one else. Question of whether or not I am going for the right reasons, if I know enough, if I can follow the Spirit enough. Worries about taking a break in the middle of my degree, coming back an old maid, getting homesick, all sorts of questions! But every time I sincerely pray, I have felt an overwhelming assurance, greater than I've ever had, that serving a mission is what I'm supposed to do.
I've now come to the point where I think "How could I NOT serve a mission?" I have been blessed with a knowledge of one and only true gospel on the face of the earth!!! How could I pass up the opportunity to share that? While I still get worried about all the things that could go wrong and the sacrifices I will have to make, I try to keep in mind that I'm not going for me, or for anyone else. I'm going for the Lord, and with Him all things are possible. I started my papers a month before I could turn them in, thinking it would take a few weeks. It took three days... So since then, I have practiced pronouncing the names of all the missions (This is a strange fear I've developed... I dont want to embarrass myself...) spent many hours on Google maps, had many sleepless nights, and experienced full on anxiety attacks! I turned my papers into my Stake President two days before they could be submitted. He decided to wait a full week to submit them... BUT! They're finally in!!!!!!!! I feel like I'm the happiest girl in the world, knowing this is the right decision. So, let the waiting begin :) I'm hoping my call will be here on the 22nd or 29th. Pray that I actually live to see that glorious envelope!