I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. I know that God loves all of his children, and he as provided us a way to become like him, so we can live with him in heaven after death. I know that as we focus our lives on Christ and the teachings of the gospel, we find true happiness. We find the answers to the deepest questions of our hearts. We receive comfort through the Holy Ghost, who is our constant companion. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, who received instruction from God to restore His church and to translate the Book of Mormon so that we have another witness of Christ, and clear direction on how to become more like our Father in Heaven. I am serving a mission because like the word’s of Elder Holland, “I may not be my brother’s keeper, but I am my brother’s brother, and because I have been given much, I too must give.” I have this wonderful thing that makes me so happy, that guides me in every hard thing, and I want to share it with others. I want all of God’s children to know God, to know their Savior, and to become close to them through covenants we make through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I didn’t always want to serve a mission. In fact, after the age change, I sort of resented it. I didn’t understand how this could be an “answer” to so many girls’ prayers, because they were three to four years too young before this announcement. I never felt explicit pressure that I should go, unlike some of my poor sisters who still hear comments on their so-called “unfaithfulness”, “selfishness” and “unworthiness”. I was grateful that those close to me understood that I was not required to serve, but it was still a bandwagon that I did not want to get on.
Fast forward one year to my freshman year of BYU. It was October 3, 2013, to be exact. I didn’t have much going on, so my roommate Samantha invited me to go to our ward mission prep. After a prayer and introductions, we started talking about the doctrine of Christ. We started reading 2 Nephi 31. I read versus 12 and 13: “And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do this things which ye have seen me do. 13. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism- yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.”
For some reason, I had this overwhelming feeling of the Spirit come over me. I just about lost it. (If you know me, you know that I am a crier. It took all that I had to hold it together.) The words were talking about baptism and repentance, but the Spirit was telling me that I needed to go on a mission. I don’t know why this prompting came the way it did, because I was not searching for it. I was not asking the Lord if I needed to go. It was no answer to any prayer that I had, as the focus in my life at that time was on my romantic relationships, my education, and what job I wanted after graduation. I would have been confused if I wasn’t so convinced in my heart that it was so right.
Somehow I made it through the rest of the class (straight up miracle- let me tell you). I made it up to my room, turned to my roommate and said, “Sam, I’m going on a mission.” The tears just flowed as we hugged. I did not stop crying the whole night, through my friend Aimee’s mission call opening (yay), and even for the next couple of days afterwards. The biggest surprise to me was my change of heart. Instead of resenting going on a mission, it was all I wanted to do. It was my heart’s only desire. Everything since that experience was purely temporary, as the only thing that mattered was my mission. Even when I was leaving for London, I was more excited for my mission, and wished I was leaving for the MTC instead. Since then I have prayed about my decision since that overwhelming of the spirit, to make sure that it was the right choice for me, and have received nothing but more confirmation that this is what I need to do. I can’t believe the day is finally here, and my excitement has only increased since that day, more than a year ago. Here’s to the next 18 months!
Me and Sam