Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Story: How I Chose to Serve a Mission

When President Monson announced that the age female missionaries could serve was lowered from 21 to 19, I was traveling all day with BYU's study abroad program in Spain. Being eight hours ahead of the broadcast made us switch around our plans a bit. After seeing the "rain in Spain fall mainly on the plain" (10 points if you can quote that movie), my roommate Kensie and I headed back to our tiny room in our tiny apartment and logged onto the Facebook. My news feed was bombarded with statuses like, "8 hours, 15 minutes--already have all of my papers done!" and "This is an answer to my prayers!" and "I'm going on a missiiiooonnnn!!!". What? What is going on? Kensie looked up from her screen with a puzzled look on her face, "Are you getting all of this mission overload, too?"I puzzled back, nodded, and a few moments later, Kensie gasped at her laptop screen and read aloud the announcement published in the Church News. You can guess what happened next:

Lots of jumping and squealing and giggling.
Then I dropped onto my bed and thought.
Wait, I'm 19.
I could serve a mission as soon as I wanted to. 
I could go right now.

I hadn't even thought about a mission since I assumed I had another year and a half until I was of the age to serve, but hey, sometimes God throws you a curve ball with a smile on his face. 
For the next seven months, I debated serving a mission. Searching for some sort of inkling either way, I pondered, pray and pulled my hair out over this decision. In April, I realized that God was not going to tell me what to do. He wanted me to make my own decision. So I did.
Four weeks later, I ran--while squealing-- to the mailbox to find a big, white envelope with my name on it. 

I carefully opened that big, white envelope to read that I would serve in the
Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission 



Now that I'm eight days away from my mission, I look back and see how everything fell into place. If I chose to stay home and go to school, God would be just as happy with me. But He let me make my own decision, and He worked His magnificent ways to transform that decision into an adventure that I will begin in eight days time.