Friday, June 28, 2013

Opening my Mission Call

40 days, everyone!

So, here's the story of when I got my call. It's funny, so I want to share it.

At my final interview with my Stake President, I was told I would receive my mission call on April 3 - in just ten days - this is how quickly the mission assignments were being sent out at that time. I was was SO excited until a girl in my ward told me that she had been waiting for her call for three weeks, and that I would probably have the same wait - an additional two weeks. I was crushed.  That night and the next day became one of the longest days in my life. I had been really excited and motivated to get my mission assignment, but when I realized that I was going to have to wait that much longer for my call, the adversary started to mess with my brain and heart.  At that point, I prayed hard to have the feelings of disappointment and frustration abated, so I could continue with my mission preparation and school.   Peace came to my soul and waiting was infinitely easier after that. 

On April 10th, I was walking home from campus (around 5 pm MST) and was talking with my friend Austin. We started talking about my mission call. He said he wanted to be there when I opened the mailbox, just in case the call was there. So I got the key and opened the mailbox. There was the large white envelope. I screamed in excitement, and jumped and ran around the breezeway saying, "It's here! It's here! It's here!" I have no idea how many times I said those words in the first half hour. I kept jumping up and down and freaking out.

I ran to my FHE brothers' apartment and knocked and ran in (without waiting for someone to formally open the door) hugging my call and repeating, "It's here!" still jumping up and down in excitement. My brothers congratulated me and were extremely excited for me, too. They understood - they were all returned missionaries. I finally settled down enough to think about when I was going to actually open the envelope. My initial plan had been to wait till 9:30 when my boyfriend would be home from work.  I could open it then with my him and my friends. But, 9:30 was an eternity away, and for those who have received a mission call, it's EXTREMELY HARD to wait.

I called my sister,who lives in Saratoga Springs, and coordinated going to her house and having her Skype with our family in California and Virginia (USA), so that all my siblings and my parents could be a part of opening my mission call, too. After calling her, I started going around to my friends' apartments, trying to figure out who was home and who could potentially give me a ride to my sister's house (which was a half-hour drive away). My friend, Tal, was able to give me a ride, along with two of my other friends, Evan and Josh. We drove to my sister's house and promptly opened my call around 6:10.

*Mission call opening!

Those words - "Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission". I couldn't even say where I was/am going correctly because I was so excited. I was stunned. Guatemala? Me? Spanish speaking? ME? I thought of my Spanish experience in high school and realized that I don't remember a lot of Spanish - at all. And my mom, dad, and I had a conversation saying as much. I didn't say a lot during the next few hours because I was still thinking about where I was/am going.

I didn't tell anyone in my ward where I was going and told my siblings not to post anything on Facebook until I did (I did tell my roommates, though, where I got called to). I "opened" my call with friends form my ward at 9:30 and everyone was excited about it. I'm grateful that my friends supported me through turning in my mission application, waiting, and when I got my call.

So that's the story of when I got my call. Lots of excitement, a few tears of joy, and a spirit of love and service.

I know that Guatemala is where I am supposed to go. I am overcoming my fears as I prepare with faith. I know that I will receive help through the Spirit in learning Spanish and what I am to teach people. I know that it will be hard - it is definitely work and not a picnic or vacation - but I'm ready to go to work and to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary. I'm excited to serve the people of Guatemala and to help them in getting to the Temple to be sealed to their families. There's a quote going around that says something like, "Missionaries leave their families for a few years to help other families be together for eternity". That is definitely worth going out. I cannot even imagine not being sealed to my family and want other people to be sealed to theirs. The Plan of Salvation is real and works. The Atonement works and allows us to be together with our families for time and all eternity. I love the Gospel and know that it is true and I'm excited to teach - through the Spirit - the people in Guatemala about the Gospel.

*(I don't know if everyone will be able to see the video - I couldn't download it and it's only on Facebook with all the privacy settings. If you can't see it, I'll try to get it up here in another form.)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

45 Days Left!

So I have forty-five days until I enter the Guatemala Missionary Training Center! I thought that it was about time to start my mission blog that my parents and other relatives can update throughout my mission.

I won't go into why I decided to go on a mission right now (that will be a later blog post), but I know that it is what I need to be doing in my life right now. I have prayed about it and have done a lot to get to where I can go on a mission and be prepared to go. I love the Lord and the Gospel and the peace that I get from it. I love being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints. I know that this is the true church on the earth today. I know that our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, receives revelation for those on the earth today. I know that the Book of Mormon is indeed another testament of Jesus Christ and that there is a power in that book that can be felt when read. I know that the Atonement is a real thing that we can take part of to feel peace and clean from our sins, trials, and ailments. I know that I can be with my family for time and all eternity. I love the knowledge that I gain from the Gospel.

I will try to post as much as I can before I go. Hopefully I can help people through what I write. For those who are reading this, you can do hard things. You can turn to the Lord for His help, for without Him, we cannot do anything. But through Him, we can do all things. Go forth and be strong, to whoever is reading this. So, until next time, God be with you.