What changed? Why do I want to serve a mission? These are some of questions I frequently ask myself.
Last winter semester I sat quietly in sacrament meeting. As I listened to the speakers and the messages being shared I felt heavily impressed that I would be serving a mission. Not that I might be serving a mission, or "Oh what a cool idea, missions are good," but that the decision had already been made. The thought came from no where. The messages shared in sacrament meeting had nothing to do with serving a mission and I had not entertained the idea previously. Think of someone pulling fruit out of a basket and then they pull out a puppy and hand it to you. Where did the puppy come from? No clue. The whole experience was overwhelming and I will admit, I was a little weepy.
I wanted to take time to consider my options but I already knew what I needed to do. After church I called up my parents to share with them the news.
The process of preparing for a mission was no simple feat. I am far from perfect and have definitely made some poor decisions in the past. Often I would look up and beg the question, "Why me?" I learned a lot about the process of repentance and Jesus Christ's atonement as I prepared to serve. The initial steps of preparing to serve a mission were necessary for developing my own testimony. I now have a better understanding and greater appreciation for the blessings of the gospel. I am so thankful for this church and how it has blessed my life.
When I think of my opportunity to share the gospel I get goosebumps! I am so excited for the opportunity to study and to share with others what I have learned. I know that those who I teach will also be the ones teaching me, for I have much to learn. I think of sharing the gospel like eating a cake. In two ways:
1) For as long as I can remember, my church life and my social life I have kept separate. Maybe not as drastic as the Berlin wall, but perhaps at times it may have been as extreme. In high school going to church was not cool, at least that is the way I felt. The way I carried myself was already so different: my standards, the way I dressed, spoke, etc. There was no way I wanted to tell my friends about my beliefs. The goal was to keep my friends and my religion, but to keep them in two separate spheres. Now when I reflect back I wish I had embraced my Mormon culture and let it shine through me. Who honestly cares what people in high school thought? My real friends would have loved me the same and that is all that matters.
I felt like I had this delicious cake, let's make it a coconut cake. I enjoyed this delicious decadent cake all to myself because I was too scared to invite my friends to have a piece. I never wanted to offend anyone and I was scared of the rejection.
2) I do not know every little thing about this Church or the gospel. Much like a (well we already have a delicious decadent coconut cake) raspberry cheesecake I only need to take one bite to know that "this" is a good cake -i don't need to know every single ingredient, or where the ingredients come from. The truth has been restored though the prophet Joseph Smith and the gospel, church, prophets -they are all good.
As I study and learn more about this gospel, Christ's gospel, my hope is that I'll be better able to teach others. However I know that my life has been enriched with both cakes, coconut and raspberry, which is why I feel it is important to share with others.I have much to learn and I know it will not be easy. I know these next 18 months will maybe be the hardest months of my life. However I believe they will also be the most enlightening, empowering, and spiritually strengthening months. I hope to serve the Lord and the Poles the best that I can.
My dear sweet sister will be the one attending my blog while I am away,