Sunday, April 20, 2014

Best News Ever

Guess what guys!

I'm going on a mission! I bet you didn't know that, huh?! Well, now you know! 

I'm so excited! This seriously is going to be the greatest, hardest, most growing 18 months of my life. I can hardly wait!! 

Each week, I'll post a new blog and y'all can keep up to date on my mission. I can't guarantee that there will be exciting stuff every week, but I sure would love it if you read and kept up! 

If you so desire, I love mail .... (;

(My mission pic I submitted to the First Presidency)
So, it all started whilst attending Brigham Young University in Hawaii. I transferred to this university in Fall 2013. I was so stoked to be here and I was totally looking forward to this new adventure in my life I was about to start on.

All growing up, I always considered a mission, but it was more of just a thought. "Oh, I will be going on a mission after I graduate, unless I'm in a serious relationship." As much as I believed that, it seemed so far away. Heck, graduation looked like it never was going to happen.

Towards the end of the semester, around November/December, I seriously considered going on a mission and was trying to figure out how that would work with my life. I thought about going before Summer semester, after Summer semester, after Fall semester (of 2014), and again, after I graduated. My thoughts were turning towards going after Fall semester. When talking with my mama about this, tears would come and I would stress even more about what was to be done. I was trying so hard to fit the mission into my life, as opposed to fitting my life for a mission.

I then started to go through the motions while I was home for Christmas break. I started on my papers via through the missionary online recommendation system. I didn't get too far, but I got all my personal information filled out, as well as my dentistry info done. I then kind of put that all on the back burner and didn't bother about getting my physical done. And off I went back to BYU-H.

While back at school, I mostly forgot all about serving a mission. It was implanted in my mind, but never fully there. Different things in my life started popping up and I was becoming stressed and incredibly overwhelmed. So many options were appearing and I had no idea where the Lord wanted me to direct my life. I was completely lost and felt like my life was heading no where.

More options and stressors hit me like a bullet and I didn't know where to turn. I would call my mama, multiple times, daily and just cry. I felt like there was a huge cloud over me and I couldn't get out from under it. It was definitely a hard time. I just wanted to give up. I didn't feel like continuing. I had no drive for schoolwork, zero motivation to hang out with friends, and felt no reason to leave my house. It was a difficult couple of weeks.

Because of the awful state I was in, and having no clue where my life should go, I asked my daddy if I could fly home that coming weekend (it was President's Day weekend) so that I could get a Father's Blessing. I needed that direction from my Father in Heaven to give me the consolation and comfort to free me from the anxiety I felt when I thought about my future.

One of the opportunities that appeared in my life was to do an internship for Psychology at a Deaf School in India. This was something that I knew I would love to pursue. However, with the thought of a mission in the Fall, I had no idea how this internship would fit in. I was hit, yet again, with a huge decision to make. My professor, Dr. Miller (my Applied Social Statistics professor), was a huge help. He was the one that told me about this opportunity. That same day, Tuesday, February 11, I went to Dr. Miller's office to talk with him about India. It definitely turned into something that I was not expecting.

When I showed up, he told me about the options for when we would go: either Summer 2015, or wait for after I serve a mission and go Summer 2016. Because I was unsure of where my life was going, he nor I knew when would work. I had been continuing to pray consistently throughout that day. Even for the past two days, I was fasting. Because of my diligence, Dr. Miller thought I should have received an answer by now. So, naturally, he took it into his hands and we prayed in his office.

We shut the door, knelt down, and he said a prayer to Heavenly Father. His prayer was so heartfelt and so humble that I was hoping that I would feel a sense of comfort once he finished. However, at the end of his prayer, I felt the same; there was no reassurance or support for my choices, probably because I had yet to actually make a solid decision.

It was then my turn. Because I hadn't felt a sense of relief, Dr. Miller figured that now I should pray for guidance, out loud, in his office, with him present. Nerve-wracking, eh?! I certainly thought so! After my prayer, Dr. Miller then asked me how I felt. I responded, "I.... still feel like I need to serve a mission." He agreed and said that he felt that same way. He then told me to go home, get the Father's Blessing, and to come back the next week and tell him when I will serve a mission and when we will be going to India.

I went home Thursday night (February 13) and was home from Thursday till Monday. I was able to get my physical done at the doctor's office. My family, and extended family, had a family fast for me to feel comfort and to receive the guidance that I needed. On Sunday, my daddy gave me a blessing. I was so grateful and so happy to finally feel at ease. I decided then and there, pretty much, that I will be serving a mission this summer and come home once Winter semester ended.

I went back to BYU-H knowing where my life was going. It was so great. I met with my Bishop and eventually met with my Stake President. I met with four others with President Hannemann. He gave us scriptures to review and D&C 4 to memorize. We then came back the following week with our thoughts on the scriptures and to recite this section. On Monday, March 10, I officially submitted my papers. Off they went to the First Presidency.

The next three weeks were the worst ever! I literally checked my mail three times every day waiting for my call to arrive. I was growing impatient. I think that's why it took so long; Heavenly Father was allowing me to learn patience, because patience is a virtue that I have yet to fully achieve.

On April 4, 2014, I finally received my call! It got in around noon. I wasn't able to open it until 5pm that night. I carried my call around with me everywhere I went. I did not let it out of my sight. I was so excited and running around showing it to all my friends.
(I got my mission call!!!)
I then went to the temple with a few friends at 5pm and opened it while in a video call with my family back home. I got called to serve in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission. I was, and am, beyond excited! I report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on July 16, 2014. The anticipation is so high; I can hardly believe it. I am so excited to serve the people of Arkansas (and Tennessee, Missouri, and Mississippi). I cannot wait to share the truth of the gospel with those I come in contact with. It's truly gonna be an amazing experience and I am so looking forward to it!

(On my way back from the temple with my mission call!)
(My mission boundaries)