the summer before I turned 18
In my Blessing, God told me something along the lines of how I would want to serving others as a missionary and that I would be someone who could find others wanting to learn about our church - but I feel like that could be interpreted in many ways. I prayed the hardest, most sincere prayer of my life to know whether I should serve and I distinctly remember feeling like someone sucker-punched me in the gut and my heart was burning and I literally couldn't breath. That was when I knew I would most likely, probably, was maybe supposed to go on a mission ;D. Obviously, the Spirit knew and was telling my spirit; it just took a little longer for me to get the message.
Ever since that prayer I knew deep down that I would go and that Heavenly Father wanted me to go and yet I still hemmed and hawed about it (if you've ever read the book Who Stole My Cheese? you'll understand that reference) for years. I've always loved the spirit of missionaries and their smiles and the way their hearts touch the people they speak with. All my life I've just wanted to be around them all the time! It wasn't until last November, 2 years after receiving my Patriarchal Blessing, that I really opened my heart to what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. I was in a New Testament class and our individual projects were to pick something we wanted to study about from The Gospels and work on it all semester. My FOL husband from that previous summer had just gotten home from his mission and allwwayysss talked about the Atonement. I decided that I wanted to learn more about it so my project for myself was to write in my journal every night and reflect on how I had seen the blessings of the Atonement in my day. Doing this helped me to see so many blessings and meet so many good people; it helped me to love others more, appreciate my leaders more, respect myself more, sincerely adore my roommates more and be grateful to my family more.
There were definitely times when I felt down and had no desire to think about the good stuff that happened during the day but I'm so happy I did. Not only did my grade depend on it but being focussed on Christ's eternal mission helped me realize that I needed to go on a mission. It's all I thought about, all I talked about, all I heard about, all I saw from class discussion, etc. IT WAS EVERYWHERE. If you're someone I spoke with about going on a mission last Fall then you are a huge help to getting me out into the field! So thanks =].
Phil best friend & Dougie fresh
Carr cousins Chad and Scott
BYUSA girls Mary, Bekah, Brittanie & Sarah
Matt - went through every stage of pre-mish and now we'll both be getting home at the same time!
Chelsea - my best friend for eternity
Jennie Rae. So much love comes from this one.Ok, back to my story. One day, during class a week or so before Thanksgiving, my New Testament teacher asked us what we were most grateful for. A lot of kids said "my moms cooking!" or "BYU football! yeaaa" or "my wife/husband", the generic answers of course. I kind of tuned out until the spirit prompted to zone back in and listen. Just when I did this a boy from the back of the room, with his humble answer, said "I'm grateful for the chance to serve a mission" and my whole world was flipped. I had that same feeling again, the one where I couldn't really move and my lungs felt stuck. While there are tons of other factors that go into my final decision this was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. I knew, right then and there that God was doing everything in His power to knock some sense into me and tell me to go on a mission.
Hot Buns, Quaker Cakes & Hot Momma
I promised soon after this experience to not let Satan or his doubt get to me and that no matter what I would go on this mission. I'm so excited to go and can't wait to share with others a piece of my life I love so much. I talk to a lot of people at work about my mission. Most of our clients are retired and wonder why it's nearly October and I'm not at school. I reassure them that I'm not a bum, college drop out but that I'm serving a mission for my church and 99% of the time they're impressed. One of the guys I spoke with today was telling me about his job working in San Francisco and Oakland helping people with their work skills so they can get jobs and earn money to move away from the slums. I thought that was pretty cool and incredibly selfless of him to leave retirement to do this type of work. I told him how his job is similar to that of my mission in how we're both trying to help people become better and know there is more to the world than all the bad things that happen.
During family scripture study (we read Helaman ch 8 tonight) I found an old quote I've had in my scriptures since forever. It went along so perfectly with my conversation with the old man today that I just had to post it. It's all about why I'm going on a mission.
"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." (Conference Report, Oct 1985)
While I think it's way good for missionaries and non-missionaries a-like to have a numerical goal of helping people change, it's important to remember that WE aren't the ones who do the changing - the Spirit does that; Christ changes them. They come to Him and He leads them home. That's what we're all about, isn't it? Jogging our way through the Finish Line of life and into our Father's arms, at last making our way Home.
October 2010 Conference with the most important people in my life