Friday, November 21, 2014

November 20th, 2014

Oh man, this day was filled with more excitement than I can begin to describe. This process of receiving my mission call was one of the most testing, trying, and teachable experiences of my life.

First, you have to know that I have always wanted to serve a mission. "Mission" was probably one of my first words, and I was always positive it was something I wanted to do. Yet when it came time for me to finally make it happen, I had so many doubts.

In September (the time when I would be able to submit my mission application), I realized that I had never had a true confirmation or feeling from God that serving a mission was the right thing to do. I had always just assumed it was, but I had never asked. The weeks went on and I never got that "fuzzy warm" feeling that made it clear that this was something I should do. However, I decided to continue with my mission papers and wait for Heavenly Father to answer me on His own time.

The weeks went on and life got more confusing. I was presented with several different paths, all of which were very great paths to take. Some of my options included a great job, continuing my education, being able to apply to my program for August 2015, and continuing to be a full part of the lives of my friends and family. Weeks went by and as I prayed, I still didn't receive an answer. I finally made the decision to stay. I registered for classes, I maintained, and was offered, two very great jobs. I even was able to find a way to keep my contract so I could live with my close friends.

On Thursday, November 20th, 2014, I went to the Provo, Utah temple with one of roommates. There, I prayed that I would have direction. I pointed out to Heavenly Father that I had done everything I could do with the knowledge that I had. But I left without an answer. Again.

That morning, the mail lady (bless her soul), called me on my cell phone to let me know she would be delivering my mission call that day. When I got home, it was there, much to my surprise. I was so nervous that when I opened it, the answer would be no.

When I was finally able to open my mission call, I could not believe the amount of peace and joy I felt as I read the words, "You are assigned to labor in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission." But what really got me was the line, "You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language."

I have fallen in love with the Spanish language throughout my life, and I have put years and years of dedication and study into learning as much as I could about how to speak, read, write the words and years of dedication into learning cultures and customs.

Sometimes in the LDS church, we tend to have this grand expectation that a mission call to Switzerland, South Africa, or Russia and such are the only worthwhile calls. Most, if not all, RM's will tell you that no matter where you go, it is 100% worthwhile. Yet until you are reading that call and until you receive that wonderful confirmation from Heavenly Father, it's hard to fully understand.

Yet as I read that call over and over again later that night, I began to see how perfectly my Heavenly Father knows and loves me. Just this semester I decided to take a Spanish class that was only offered at night. I wanted to brush up on my knowledge since I had lost a lot of it since being out of high school. I had to give up clubs that I was passionate about, a social life, "free time", and so on. Yet once I realized that I would be preaching the gospel that I treasure so dearly in a language that I treasure so dearly, I realized there was no way this was a coincidence. Let's not forget that I have always dreamed of moving to Georgia. I love the humidity (call me crazy), I love the south, I love the people, and I love the food.

This experience taught me patience, it taught me faith, it taught me trust, it taught me that God knows and loves me. He provided me with countless tender mercies along the way, just so I would know that He was listening.

Giving up 18 months of my life is the scariest thing I have ever done. I will leave behind my family, my friends, my education, my job, my freedom (I will be with another person literally 24/7 for a year and a half), and my comfort. Yet with the fear comes incredible excitement and love. I already love these people because I can already feel the love that God has for them.

I am so thrilled to have the blessed opportunity to preach the gospel to those who have room in their hearts to receive the message of God's love and eternal plan of happiness for them.

In the meantime, I will constantly have Georgia on my mind.

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