Sunday, July 7, 2013

One more month...(July 7 2013)

July 7, 2013
In one month, I'm going to be in Guatemala. The time has FLOWN since I received my call on April 10th.

I was thinking recently about why I decided to go on a mission and came up with a few "reasons" of why I am going on a mission. [NOTE TO ME: this will end up just being a story, you know that, right?]

1. The age change - in the October 2012 Semi-Annual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints, the missionary age was lowered for both the men and the women. For men, it was lowered from nineteen to eighteen and for women, it was lowered from twenty-one to nineteen. When this happened, I had just turned twenty the day before and was shocked at this announcement. It was unprecedented and completely out of the blue (or, at least for me it was). At that time, I did not have any real desire to serve a mission. For a while (about two months), my response to any questions about the age change was, "It's definitely revelation and I know of several of my friends that will take full advantage of this opportunity. I just don't know if it is the right thing for me."

About mid-December, it was the last Sunday as a ward for the semester and all the missionaries from our ward spoke. Several of my friends spoke in that Sacrament meeting and I was extremely touched by what they had to say about missionary work and deciding to go on a mission. That was when I decided I needed to seriously consider and think about going on a mission. So through winter break, I prayed and thought and tried to decide what to do. I ended up just preparing myself for the next semester and kind of put the topic on the back-burner for a while.

Enter Winter Semester and all the shenanigans that came with it. Within the first two weeks of being back, I helped with freshmen orientation, met and began dating my first boyfriend, began my English major classes, and was again thinking about a mission and whether it was the right thing for me to do in my life. My first date with my (now ex) boyfriend ended up being a good conversation about missionary work and how this decision was eating away at me. I wanted to know whether or not I was supposed to go.

About mid-January, I got an answer that felt like, "Prepare to go on a mission - if you go, you'll be prepared. If you don't go, you'll be a better mother" and I thought that was the end of it. But, it wasn't. A few weeks later, I felt like I needed to truly consider the idea of going. I made a pro-con list of the reasons I would or would not go (yes, I actually did this). All the pro list were positive and faith based things whereas the con list were all fear based and had no real standing. While looking at this, I realized that I needed to go on a mission. The feelings were so overwhelming.

At first, I was not happy about it, at all. I had never really wanted to go on a mission and why was I going? Thank you, Satan, for those thoughts the first few weeks. After about a week, I was excited about the idea of going and I talked with my Bishop. The nest few weeks were a flurry of getting dental records and doctors appointments and filling out forms, but it all worked out and my call was in. After two and a half weeks of waiting, I got it.

And now, I am a month away from Guatemala. It seems like yesterday I was a hundred days away from going into the Missionary Training Center, but now it's only thirty-one days. It boggles my mind at the prospect that in a month, I will have to learn Spanish fairly quickly and will be somewhere I have never been and experiencing things I have never before thought of experiencing. It's exciting and I am definitely going forward with faith, because I know that with God, all things are possible.