Thursday, January 31, 2013

Going on a Mission!

Back in October, President Thomas S. Monson announced that all "able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21" (click here to learn more).

To be honest, I have thought about serving a mission off and on for years, but it was never in my definite plans. I talk often with my friend Kavya about the future. She has her life planned: she knows what she wants and how she is going to get there. I am sure she thought I was crazy when I would tell her that after my bachelor's degree I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I'm preparing to go to medical school, but maybe I'll just finish nursing school and go on to become an NP or a PA or something. Maybe I'll be getting married and want to have kids. I might also serve a mission if there's time. We talked about things like this often, and in fact we were talking about it in October.

In October, Kavya and I traveled up to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with the rest of the crew team for our first regatta of the season. It was absolutely freezing and rainy, and we were waiting around all day to race. The regatta went by quickly, we finished the races, and then we were on the way home. Since we had pass right by Fredericksburg to go back to VCU, I decided to stop and spend the rest of the weekend with my family. My Grandma was there, too, so it was more incentive to stop and stay.

When I got home, Mom and Suzanne asked me if I had heard the news. Ummm, no. What news? That afternoon was General Conference, and since I was at the regatta, I hadn't had a chance to watch it yet. So I heard at eleven that night about President Monson's announcement, and no sooner did I hop on Facebook that I was even more informed. All my friends from EFY and church from over the years were talking about what a change it was, and how it might impact their lives. I watched President Monson's talk, and I am really grateful for the changes that were made.

I started thinking about serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints throughout that entire week. I had thought about it before, but now I was really thinking about it. I wanted to serve. However, I knew I couldn't go if I wasn't able to keep my scholarship and place here at VCU. I emailed the Dean just to see what he would say.  Surprisingly, they had no problem with me leaving, and my scholarship will be help until Fall 2015. What a blessing. I went home again that weekend, and told Mom and Dad that I know that I want to serve a mission, and that I want to serve right now at nineteen.

With that, I was ready to start the process. I talked to my Bishop in my home ward, and he was so excited for me. I filled out my paperwork over Christmas Break, and just finished my last interview for the papers on Sunday. On Tuesday, my mission paperwork was submitted to Church HQ in Salt Lake. I cannot wait to hear where I will be serving and living for the next 18 months of my life. I am excited to share the gospel and its truth, which I have come to know for myself. I am so excited to learn even more about the gospel and the church. I know that wherever I go, missionary work will be so hard, but so worth it and will provide so many blessings. I am grateful for the age change, and for the chance I have to be a missionary now and participate in missionary work full-time. I didn't really think my plans would have included a mission, but man am I glad those plans have changed.

The wait is on. I should receive my mission papers in two to three weeks!

 The photo on my missionary application

Me and the Stake President on Sunday--the church publicists are writing an article about the LDS members from our stake serving a mission for one of the local newspapers, and so they snapped a few pictures.

My mom is a little bit excited for me too and so she made this poster to mark our guesses (take a guess where I will be called!). :) She will be an awesome missionary mom.

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