I never wanted to go on a mission. It was never something that sounded fun to me or worth my time. Friends and roommates would tell me they wanted to go and I thought it was great! But, never for me.
Flash back to May, 2012. My family had moved to Virginia, leaving me with no friends whatsoever. So, my social life consisted of splits with the sister missionaries in the ward. Can you say, "Party Animal?" It's not that I didn't like going to lessons with them, I mean I won't lie when I say I actually quite enjoyed it. Which was really strange for me, because I was never really a good "missionary". I never really had missionary experiences growing up or got the opportunity to share my testimony, and when I did I didn't do a very good job. So, this was a new experience for me.
The sister's were great! They, being the missionaries that they are, were always encouraging me to serve a mission when the time came that I turned 21, which wasn't too far off. I always kind of laughed and brushed it off.
So 5 months past, summer ended, and back to school I went for another great fall semester at BYU-Idaho. But, the thought that I should serve a mission kept popping back into my mind. It was weird because I didn't turn 21 for another 7 months but nevertheless, again and again the thought would pop into my head.
Flash forward again, to October 2012. It was conference weekend and some friends invited my to go to Utah with them to the Saturday Morning Session of Conference. I said yes and we had an awesome weekend. The weekend before, my bishop in the student ward that I was in, encouraged us to go into conference with a specific question that we wanted answered. So, I did just that and went into conference with the question of whether or not I should serve a mission.
Well, let's just say I didn't expect such a direct answer to my prayer. I can still remember the way I felt when President Monson announced the age change for young men from 19 to 18, then for young women from 21 to 19. My jaw hung open for about half of Elder Nelson's "Ask the Missionaries" talk. (which was very strategically placed I thought!) No Joke.
Still, It was a very hard decision I had to make. I had a lot of options to weigh and there was still that little part of me that didn't really want to even go. My life was good! I had awesome friends, I was doing well in school, my friends that were already on missions would be getting home soon. I was too comfortable with life to really ask sincerely if it was something I should do.
Then, it was as if The Lord knew that I needed help to make this decision, because my life as I knew it started to fall apart. Friendships that I had began to disintegrate, I felt like I was becoming more and more alienated from anything social, rooming assignments that I had been previously counting on fell through, and it was like Heavenly Father was opening up my schedule for me.
I remember one Sunday I was feeling especially conflicted, so I asked one of my good friends for a priesthood blessing. It was like the fog in my head lifted and everything was crystal clear! Church was awesome and I felt like every single talk was directed to me! I knew that I was supposed to serve a mission. All of a sudden the things that were holding my back before didn't matter and I knew that this was something that I needed to do.
After that, there were so many other things that just fell into place. The timing was perfect and my decision was confirmed over and over again. A mission no longer felt like something that would be a burden, but it felt like something that would be an honor and a blessing.
Still everyday, I get new confirmation that I am supposed to serve a mission. And even though I know it is going to be hard and there are things that I am going to miss out on, it's worth it because this is what I am supposed to be doing!
I think a lot about the primary song "I Will Follow God's Plan for Me" because I often have to remind myself of this.
My life is a gift; my life has a plan.
My life has a purpose; in heav'n it began.
My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth
And seek for God's light to direct me from birth.
I will follow God's plan for me,
Holding fast to his word and his love.
I will work, and I will pray;
I will always walk in his way.
Then I will be happy on earth
And in my home above.