Thursday, March 28, 2013

So You're Serving A Mission: WHY?

So, why are you serving a Mission?

Have you ever been asked, "So WHY a mission?" Or, have you ever thought that about someone else? I know I have! So, I asked some fellow Sisters who've recieved their call just that, "Why?"

Here are their responses:

"I have been a member my entire life, but it wasn't until after high school that I really understood what that meant. I am blessed with parents who are so sure of their faith that it was easy for me to just rely on their testimonies. But, when I went away to college, I learned pretty fast that I needed to find my own testimony, or I would never really know who I was. I started praying for guidance and revelation to know that this was the true Gospel. I'll never forget the peace that I felt and I knew at that moment, that I was part of something amazing; the true church of Jesus Christ. It was soon after that I decided that I wanted to serve a full time mission when I was 21, which was 3 years away.
     At first, I was so sure, that nothing anyone said could make me think a mission wasn't for me. After about a year, I started dating and was told by many that marriage could be the mission that I was meant for. Feeling uneasy, I realized I had never really prayed to know whether serving a mission was part of God's plan for me or not. This being that partly, I was stubborn in thinking that I knew what was best for me and the other part being that I was afraid that God would tell me I wasn't supposed to serve a mission. That night, I knelt by my bed and told the Lord that I was ready to do whatever He wanted. All I needed was a push in the right direction.
     The next day was October 2012 Conference. I was in bed sick, so my roommate and best friend was taking notes for me. All of a sudden I heard her scream. She raced into my room with tears streaming down her face. I thought someone had died, so a little worried, I asked her what was wrong. She said that the age had been changed to 19. She didn't need to explain, because I knew. I felt this jolt shoot through my body that overwhelmed me and I knew that this was the answer I had been waiting for; I was going to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will be serving the people of South Houston Texas, Spanish speaking, where I am blessed to share the that which has been the best gift in my life, the Gospel and my testimony of its truth."
 Hermana Arielle Scott
"I am the oldest of 5 in my family.  
My mom grew up in the church, but her parents were coverts.
My dad has been a convert for about 11 years.  
I have had only 1 cousin serve a mission, and he had to come home early due to a knee injury.  
My mom's family now only has her and two other siblings and her mother that are still active in the church, and none of my dad's family has converted.  

Last September I started my first semester of college at BYU-I, which I love so much.  In the first couple of weeks my roommate and I went to the temple, and there I sought revelation from Heavenly Father to know what to "work on" during the semester to improve myself and to progress more.  As I pondered and prayed in the temple I heard/felt, that I need to go prepare to serve a mission.  I immediately thought "That's three years away" since I am only 18 and sisters couldn't serve until age 21.  But I said to myself, 'Alright, Heavenly Father, I will start preparing to serve a mission.'  I began to study my scriptures differently, reading Preach My Gospel, and studying about the temple.  

In the October General Conference following, President Monson announced the age change, allowing elders to serve at 18 and sisters at 19.  That three years I had, quickly became 9 months. There were many mixed emotions at that point.  I was scared, yet very excited. 

Since the announcement, I know that Heavenly Father wants me to serve my mission.  I have my papers turned in and I should have my call on Thursday. I am serving my mission, because Heavenly Father has asked me to, but also because I want to.  I know that the gospel is true and it has brought me so much happiness and I want to share that happiness with others.  I also want to be an example to my family.  I will probably be the first full time missionary for my family, so it is quite the responsibility, but I know that the Lord will bless me and give me the ability to be a good missionary."
-Sister Rylee Nelson
"In my patriarchal blessing, it tells me that I have the gift of love, and that I should seek to find out more about that gift.  One day while I was pondering whether or not I should serve a mission, I was reading in the Book of Mormon about Jesus Christ.  I realized that Christ has tremendous love for all of Heavenly Father's children, and that's why he spent his whole mortal live serving them (and still serves us even now).  I realized that if I had any part of that love, this gift of love, that I needed to serve His children too.  When I thought that, that's when the Sprit entered incredibly powerfully into my heart.  That was the first moment I knew, without doubt, that I needed to serve a mission.  I was still afraid and I thought, "Father, I don't want to do this.  I can't do this."  Immediately, I was filled of my Heavenly Father's love for me so strongly, it was the most wonderful feeling I have ever experienced in my life.  I was also filled with incredible joy, gratitude, and peace.  I knew I couldn't do it alone, but my fear left me because I knew I wouldn't do it alone, He would be with me, strengthening me the whole time.  

Over time, my acknowledgment of my revelation has grown more and more into my own personal desire to serve.  At first, it was, "I'll go where you want me to go because I trust you."  Now, I am incredibly excited.  I am really looking forward to serving my mission.  The day that I'm writing this is exactly three months before I enter the MTC.  I know with all my heart that this church is true, and I want to share the joy I feel in this gospel with other people."

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