Sunday, July 12, 2015

Deciding to serve

While attending BYU this past year almost every single one of my friends decided to serve missions. I went to mission call opening after mission call opening. I was excited and proud for my peers but still decided I wouldn’t serve. 

I didn’t want to seem like I was following the trend. I am very stubborn by nature and so with all my stubbornness I defiantly decided I wouldn’t serve a mission. However, little did I know there was another plan for me. 

I attended one of my good friends farewells in Colorado. I remember as she was giving her talk, the thought came to me, "This will be me one day when I go on my mission.” Again, my stubbornness reared its ugly head and quickly shut down that thought. 

As I went back to school, going on a mission was constantly on my mind. I would be sitting in physical science learning about the life cycle of a star and suddenly think, “when I am out in the mission field this life cycle of star may come in handy.” I always quickly suppressed these thoughts and acted like they never happened. I began to pray for an answer, but instead of asking what Heavenly Father wanted me to do, I instead prayed to know that NOT going on a mission was right for me. 

I didn’t tell anyone I was even thinking about going on a mission because I knew it had to be a decision I made just between the Lord and me. The turning point finally came when one of my roommates during spring semester decided she was going on a mission. 

We had a long conversation about how she decided to go, and she replied that she couldn’t get it off her mind. I knew then that Heavenly Father was trying to gently shove me in the right direction, however I wasn’t ready to accept it yet. I was afraid to leave my family and friends and had a large feeling of inadequacy. 

I went to the temple later that week and came upon a scripture in D&C 31: 3-13; this scripture has now become the scripture for my mission. It states: 

Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.
 You shall declare the things which have been revealed to my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun. You shall begin to preach from this time forth, yea, to reap in the field which is white already to be burned.
 Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live.
 Behold, verily I say unto you, go from them only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them.
 Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand;
 And you shall strengthen them and prepare them against the time when they shall be gathered.
 Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast.
 10 Behold, I say unto you that you shall be a physician unto the church, but not unto the world, for they will not receive you.
 11 Go your way whithersoever I will, and it shall be given you by the Comforter what you shall do and whither you shall go.
 12 Pray always, lest you enter into temptation and lose your reward.
 13 Be faithful unto the end, and lo, I am with you. These words are not of man nor of men, but of me, even Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, by the will of the Father. Amen. 

This scripture alone answered so many questions and fears I had about serving a mission, however I still was not convinced. I finally decided to go my Bishop. I met with him on a Sunday and asked for a blessing of direction in my life. 

He asked how old I was and I replied 19 and of course he really knew what I was asking about. He gave me a blessing and in the blessing every fear and doubt that I had about serving a mission went away. I knew then I could no longer deny the feeling that I was supposed to serve a mission. 

Later that night on June 7, I called my entire family and told them, much to their shock, that I was going to serve a mission. Every task I needed to quickly complete my papers fell into place.  I submitted my papers within a few days.  People were amazing at how easy my papers were to complete, but I knew it was the Lord's tender mercies just working to get me on my way.  

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