It finally came… I don’t know why I say finally because I received my call ten days after putting in my mission papers, so it’s not like I had to wait a really long time, but it has been a long road. I officially decided a mission was in my future in early December of 2008. I was attending Utah State University at the time and felt rather directionless as far as my life went. I knew that staying at Utah State wasn’t the right thing after spending two years attending school there. So began my journey in exploring other options for future plans and future schools.
In the middle of my third semester at college (Fall 2008) I came across ILP, an international program that places young adults in different parts of the world to teach children English. I received multiple emails about it and talked to a few friends who had been in the program. After doing some extensive research I decided to apply for the program in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was so excited to have some direction and a plan that I called my mother to inform her of my new road map. In a few minutes time I could tell my mother did not like my plan, when I asked her why she explained she just didn’t think it was right. Taking her advice to heart, as I pondered and prayed about my plan, I began to be hesitant as well. So I let go of my dreams with ILP in Russia and looked for a new plan.
Later that semester I was introduced to a study abroad program through a USU study abroad fair. I jumped on it right away. I met with a study abroad representative (Winter 2008) and asked him what locations were easiest to get into, what the cost was, and which international school would best cater to my major. Once again I called my mom later that day to tell her my excitement, this time for applying to the study abroad program for the Netherlands. After spending a half an hour telling her my plan I could hear silence on the other end of the phone. She again told me that she didn’t really feel it was the right thing for me, but that she would support me in my decision. I hung up the phone frustrated with her telling me she “didn’t feel it was right”. However later that night as I knelt in prayer I felt it wasn’t right either and so my search for a plan continued.
I considered staying in Logan, but I almost instantly felt that wasn’t right either. It was then I realized that the possibility of a mission was only a year away. As I pondered that option and prayed about it, I realized a mission was something I really wanted. I’d wanted to serve a mission for a long time, but now was the time where I could make it a reality. I again went to my mother with more apprehension than with any other plan. I was more excited for this plan than any other and I wanted her support. As I told of my mom about my decision to serve a mission I was relieved to hear her words of encouragement.Finally I had found my map, I just didn’t know quite how to get there. I knew I still had to go to school and I knew I had some debt from living on my own, so I did the only thing I could do to be able to put in my papers by the winter of 09. I moved home, transferred to SLCC and worked at getting an associate’s degree before I left. I planned to spend the summer in Provo with my sister at some part time job, but another dream was laid before me then too. I was able to be an EFY counselor over the summer while living in Provo. And I can honestly say that the training I received then has been invaluable preparation for my mission.
While working as an EFY counselor I came back to my Salt Lake ward to get my mission papers out. The process to actually get them started was almost more difficult than filling them out and getting ready to turn them in. Even still, I moved back to Salt Lake this winter and was able to put my mission papers in last month. I have now received my call to the Washington Tacoma Mission and will report to the Provo MTC on January 13, 2010. I can’t begin to express how excited I am to serve, but even more than that I feel incredible gratitude for the opportunity that I have to serve. There have been countless tender mercies along this year long path that have allowed me to be able, worthy, and ready to serve.
I’m so excited to serve and hope that I can continue to grow as I prepare to leave.