Serving a mission wasn't always what I had planned for myself. I know now that it is what the Lord planned for me but I didn't know it until about four months ago. About a year ago I decided that school was where I needed to be so I moved out and started my freshmen year of college. It was an awesome experience! I met my four very best friends and also found a passion for chemistry. I loved the college life even though it had many ups and downs. During my first semester I thought a lot about serving a mission. I was already nineteen so I could have gone after the fall semester, but whenever I thought about it, well, it just didn't feel right. I really didn't have a desire to serve and I felt like there was no way I could leave everything behind. I took this feeling as a no and enrolled in the next semester. Life went on and I didn't think much about a mission. My friends and I found an apartment for the next year, we signed up for 2014 fall classes, finished up our finals, and moved back home. I was happy to be home and I was very happy to have a stress free summer.
On June 1st, I attended a YSA stake conference with my family. During that meeting I could not get serving a mission off my mind. The speakers never mentioned missionary work, but sitting there in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square I knew that I needed to ask again. I also knew that I had done it all wrong. I needed to pick a choice and pray to my Heavenly Father if it was the right choice. The next week I prayed and started studying Preach My Gospel. I began to have a desire to serve and I was filled with so much joy! That next Wednesday, I went to a mission call opening for a friend, there I ran into another friend who was reporting to the Mexico MTC in just a week. We walked home together and she was able to share with me a little bit of how she decided to serve. Her story of faith and obedience touched my heart and I knew that I wanted to serve a mission. I knew that any worries or qualms I had about serving a mission would be resolved through faith in my Heavenly Father. I went home that night and decided to tell my mom all that I had been feeling. I told her that I felt like now was my time to serve a mission, but I was worried about varrious things. For the first time I said everything I was worried about out loud. As soon as I said them I realized how small and insignificant they were compared to serving the Lord. I decided to go to the Lord in prayer and let him know I had decided to serve a mission and ask whether or not that was the right thing for me. I prayed and studied each night for the rest of the week. I don't think I have ever been that happy or had that much peace about a decision. The upcoming Sunday, June 8th, was fast Sunday. I decided to fast to know for sure that this is what I needed to do. Sunday came and went. I was so happy all day! I knew I had my answer so I shared the news with my parents and my sisters. That night I set up an appointment with the Bishop to open my mission papers. I met with him on June 10th and started the process. Two weeks later my papers were submitted and two week after that on July 9th I opened my mission call in front of my family. Peru Cusco Mission October 21! From the moment I read it, I knew it was exactly where the Lord needed me. The timing, the Peru CCM, the language, the country, the weather there! Everything seemed to be just what I needed.
|Mi Familia and I on a great day!|
Deciding to go on a mission wasn't easy for me. It took the Lord about a year to work on me to the point where I even had the desire and the faith to go. There is two main reasons why I decided to serve a mission. One reason is kind of selfish. I wanted to do it for myself. I knew that just going to school and church was not enough for me. I needed something more to become the woman Heavenly Father intended for me to become. I needed to completely turn my life over to Him. I needed to align my actions with His actions. How would I do that? By serving a mission and serving with everything I had. The second reason is to, of course, spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it is true. I can see that it is true through the joy and hope it brings into my life. The Church has taught me how to stay grounded, how to talk to people, how to be quiet, how to be disciplined, and how to have a great life. The Gospel has taught me about my Savior, my Heavenly Father, and how I can return to live with them one day. My relationship with my Heavenly Father is one of my favorite things. I talk to him everyday and I tell him everything. I want to help people build their relationship with their Heavenly Father and with their Savior. So that they can have hope, faith, and joy in this life. Every once in awhile I get a little nervous about leaving, but I have found that when I do get scared I think about the people in Cusco who are ready for me to bring them the Gospel. They must be even more scared than me because they do not know their Savior yet and they have not experienced the true joy that comes from living the Gospel. I am so excited to serve the people of Peru! Four weeks can't come fast enough!