Friday, November 8, 2013

The Decision to Serve.

I'm pretty sure everybody knows but for those who don't-- this girl has made the decision to serve a mission. Yup.. So, for those who maybe need some inspiration, those who wonder how the girl I was-changed into a future missionary, or those just curious how I made my decision; I've decided to share my story of how I decided to serve a mission, very openly.

When the announcement came out Saturday morning of October 2012 conference, I was just like every other girl. We were excited! I let it cross my mind for a moment and then told the kid I was dating at the time that I wanted to serve a mission. He laughed and we both shrugged it off and I kept living the way I was living, which was not righteously. I didn't let it cross my mind for a while after that. I was so annoyed with all these girls who were putting in their papers so soon. "Didn't you even pray?" "Whoa, didn't see that coming." "Yeah, she's just doing it cause it's the in thing to do."(Sorry girls) Those were my thoughts until the middle of November. I kept living the way I was before because I was having "fun" and doing what I wanted. Also this month Amanda announced to us that she had decided to go which let it bounce in and right back out of mind.

At the end of November an old fire was sparked again. Parker Bagley and I started our fling again. Knowing that he was going to be leaving soon, we tried not to allow it to become more than friends but, soon realized our feelings for one another were stronger than what we had thought. A few nights after Park had received his endowment we were talking about the temple. I told him I was jealous he was able to go inside and be able to do sessions and that I couldn't wait for that opportunity. His response, "Well go on a mission and you won't be waiting for me to come back to do so." I kinda thought for a moment and then just said "nah, I'll let you do that." When I went home for Christmas Break my family was asking if I was going to serve and it was like that at work and school as well. I always responded "No, it's not for me" when I hadn't even prayed about it. I kept my mind closed off to the actual possibility. It kept coming back to me and when I finally couldn't handle it anymore, I knelt down to pray about it. I felt nothing. I assumed that this meant I wasn't supposed to go(as I had learned from the scriptures about a stupor of thought.) Parker left and the one thing he had asked me to do before he got home was to have a temple recommend. This motivated me more than he might ever know! I had set a goal to go and clear things up with my bishop right before the break. I ended up going home a few days earlier than I had planned and was unable to speak with him before I left. New Years Eve came and that was when I knew I HAD to change or my life would be a mess and go in a direction I dreaded .I set up an appointment with bishop and cleared things up.

During the process, I began to open my mind to a mission more than I had allowed myself to do so before. One day I was driving home from work and all the sudden felt like I needed to go down to the temple instead of taking the Belt Route. I drove to the temple and got out of my car. I walked up to the temple and just looked at it. I was anxiously waiting for the next few weeks to come so I would be able to enter inside that holy house of the Lord. I walked to the south side(by the Visitor's Center) and was walking out to leave. As I became near to the gate I suddenly felt restrained. I kept trying to walk forward but it was like I couldn't. I felt like I needed to say a prayer. "How awkward! Who says a prayer at Temple Square!? There are millions of people here." I did it anyways. I knelt down, looked around, and prayed. I didn't know what I was praying for but the words seemed to flow out of my mouth. I asked my father in heaven if I was supposed to serve a mission. I closed my prayer and still felt nothing. I got up and walked towards the gate. As I exited, two sister missionaries walked past me. They started talking to me and we talked about their missions. They told me that their decisions never came easy but once they knew, they knew and it was NEVER in their plans. I got to my car and cried for almost an hour before I could drive up the hill to my room. I was almost mad at the Lord for giving me that sign because it meant the pressure was on. 

Within the next two weeks I constantly would have random promptings such as , music about missionary work coming on my iPod every single day on the way to and from work, people asking me constantly, lessons in church, and all the missionary letters I would receive mentioned it. I received my temple recommend as well as my recommend to receive my patriarchal blessing. The first night inside the temple was so spiritual and peaceful. I can't even explain how overwhelmed with joy I was. The next week I drove down to Panguitch and was anxious. I was going to let what words were stated be my absolute deciding factor. I had prepared myself for Patriarch to not say them, but also to say them. I promised myself I wasn't going to focus on that one part but hear all of the words. My entire family went with me to this moment of my life. I told my mom before how nervous I was because of what he might have to say about it. When I heard certain words, I knew. I couldn't hold back my emotions and I opened my eyes to see my entire family crying because they knew what I had to do and what my final decision was. 

Since I have made the decision, everything has fallen in place. I can't say that it's been easy to be patient as to when I can even start my papers but it has been a worth while wait. On July 1st I am able to submit! I am so excited to be able to have the opportunity to serve the Lord in the best way possible and to have this time to prepare for the people of wherever the Lord is going to send me. Nothing brings me more joy than this gospel and I can't wait to be an aid in the this phenomenal gospel spread.

So I found this quote from President Hinckley in 2004. How crazy is it that he was speaking about our generation eight years ago.
“Today many sisters are being called to serve. Many more are preparing to serve. Not because they aren't married or don't have anything else to do, but they have the desire to serve. One reason that the Lord wants more sisters to serve is because within the next generation He will send His priesthood army to the earth. He wants to send choice spirit children to mothers who have been prepared, properly trained, and taught in the gospel. What better schooling can a mother have than the experience and growth she gains through serving a mission.”

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