Well, I've decided to go on a mission! And no, it's not because the new age limits talked about in General Conference today, although that's still amazing and it's helping me to go even earlier! I had actually decided earlier this week. I've never really wanted to serve a mission for my church. It's not a requirement for girls, so I've just never really felt compelled to do it. But now I'm 20 1/2 years old (yes, I did just literally celebrate my half birthday 3 days ago with a fun ice cream party), and I've been thinking a lot about it. There's a whole story behind this, but let's just say, I'm excited to go! Story time! Warning: It's kind of long, but it's my whole thoughts and feelings behind this.
6 days ago, I still wasn't even THINKING about going on a mission. 5 nights ago, Monday night, I had a dream. I know, it sounds cliche. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bate_tvVUpk. That song came in my head as I typed that. Sorry for getting distracted. Haha. Anyway, I'm not basing my decision solely off a dream, but it really got me thinking. In my dream, I received a mission call to the New York New York North mission. And I've NEVER even heard of that one. But when I woke up, I Googled it. And yep, sure enough, it's a mission. There's a North and a South mission. I thought that it was really weird that I would dream of that when I've never even heard of it before. So it really got me thinking, because that's too much of a coincidence. Now, I know I probably won't get called to that mission, but I don't care. The important part is the effect the dream had on me. That's literally all I thought about on Tuesday. I had the hardest time concentrating on my classes and my homework! Then I went to Devotional at BYU-Idaho that afternoon, and it made me think even more. The talk was on receiving the Lord's grace, but I got something totally different from it. The speaker said that our sacrifice will be more sacred to the Lord than our increase. So I got thinking, do I ever ignore times that I could sacrifice something, in exchange for a material thing? Then he quoted D&C 6:36, 'Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." It was an amazing devotional! But I still didn't have my answer for sure. The thought of serving a mission still kinda freaked me out.
Serving a mission has been something that I've been thinking of ever since I turned 19, and then more especially when I turned 20. But like I said, I've never really felt compelled to do it. I never really had a moment where the feeling hit me to go. So I wasn't planning on it. Things have been falling into place for my career. I got a new, amazing job, where I could still work after I graduated from college. I could be a Developmental Specialist instead of a Developmental Therapy Technician like I am now. I found a way where I could graduate in the winter of 2014 instead of the spring of 2014. That meant that in just over a year and a half, I could be a college graduate and working. I was perfectly happy where my life was taking me. So, needless to say, serving a mission was a HUGE decision for me.
Tuesday night, I was really praying about it. Then I finally got the courage to tell the Lord all my fears and told Him that if He wanted me to go on a mission, I would be willing to sacrifice. I'd be willing to put off my education for a year and a half. I'd be willing to put my whole life on hold. And then the feeling hit me. This OVERPOWERING feeling of peace filled my heart. I had the feeling of, "Who cares?" Who cares if I don't graduate in a year and a half? I'll still get my degree eventually. Who cares if I put my life on hold for a year and a half? I'm still young! I still have plenty of opportunities! And if nothing else, then at least I will have had this wonderful experience of giving other people the opportunity to be as happy as I am. Then I had a wonderful feeling of love for the Gospel. There's literally nothing I love better. These feelings were all at 2:30 in the morning. And all I wanted to do was run outside and yell at the top of my lungs to tell everyone how happy I was in the Gospel. I wanted to proclaim it to every living soul in the world! I want EVERYONE to see why I'm so happy! I couldn't sleep at all that night! So now I've got my answer. I NEED to go on a mission. I want to give as many people the gift of the Gospel as I can.
I couldn't believe how fast the answer hit me. Sure, it was a slow process getting this answer. I mean, I've been praying for this answer for over a year, and nothing has come to me. I had real, firsthand experience of how the Lord doesn't always answer our questions immediately. But then, BAM! I've got my answer like that! It's amazing how much the Lord's hand is in my life. The answer came to me when I needed it most. The Lord's timing is miraculous!
So I was thinking. I'm 20 1/2. That means I could start my mission papers in 1 month. I could turn them in in December. I could potentially have my mission call before this semester was over. But that still seemed like so long. I just want to get started on it right away! So today, at General Conference, another miracle happened. President Monson announced that girls may now serve missions when they are 19. That means I'm one of the old ones now! But more importantly, that means that I can start my papers any time I want! I'm so indescribably happy right now! I can't wait to give someone else the opportunity to have this amazing gospel in their lives!