Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Call

Friday July 11, 2008 I received my mission call.

I was chillin' in the library with my friend Dan when I got a phone call. It was Natalie. Natalie never calls during the day. If she needs to tell me something she'll text.
I knew it was here.
I answered the phone and she confirmed my thoughts. Lindsey and Janiece were in the background laughing... I loved it.
I immediately hugged Dan and ran into the stairwell to call my family.

The rest of the day went by super fast. I barely had enough time to finish all my stuff before I opened my call at the set time (5:30). Everyone came.
The Camden Six living room was full of the coolest people on the planet (my friends).
I got everyone on the phone: Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, Friends in Kansas, Friend in Florida.... everyone was waiting.

I picked up the envelope and tore it open. My entire body immediately started shaking; I couldn't hold myself still. (I heard people around me talking about it, but I couldn't look up to see who it was, all my focus was on the packet of paper in my hands).
I managed to cover up the letter with the packet they gave so I could see only one line at a time. I managed to read the first line (my hands shaking all over the place), then I moved the packet down revealing the next. My eyes went straight to the call:

Chile Santiago North Mission

I screamed. My legs crumbled as I fell to the floor. I looked up and saw Megan Allen. I yelled where I was going but only she understood. She screamed. We grabbed each other and I almost came to tears. (I didn't, though, which really surprised me). We released each other and Megan sat down. I didn't know what to do so I jumped on her again, curling up in her lap. I shot back up and stood there for a second. Everyone was staring at me. Zach said, "where are you going!?"
I answered. Everyone was excited.
I came back to where the phones were and tried, as calmly as I could, to tell them all where I was going. It took forever for my mom to hear. I think she was just in shock, though, so she didn't want to hear it (she was really hoping for Temple Square). Everyone eventually heard and they're all excited. I'm going to take a Spanish class before I head out (since I haven't had any instruction concerning that, or any other foreign language).

I'm so excited to serve. It's going to be a long 3 1/2 months till I report to the MTC (I go in November 5th), but its ok, I need all the time I can get to prepare.

I can already feel the difference of having my call. I taught yesterday in Relief Society and I was more able to speak from my heart, my tongue is loosening up. And while that is the case, I am also feeling more pressure from a lot of things. My friend Michelle said, "now that you have you're call you have that added protection, but Satan is also working harder on you."

I feel the power of both sides already and I know I need to be on my guard more than ever. I can't just slack off and go into the MTC unprepared. If Satan can do nothing except keep me exactly where I am, then he has succeeded. If he can just stop me from progressing than he has won. I can't let that happen. I won't.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ask and ye shall recieve

The interview was Tuesday; I went to the temple on Thursday.
I’d prayed for weeks but hadn’t received a definite answer. Today I would not only seek an answer, but I had every intention to find one.

Around 2, after all my classes, I went to the temple with Natalie and Janiece. I love the Rexburg Temple. It’s always full; people sitting in the chapel slowly moving up in line for the chance to be Saviors on Mount Zion. I love sitting and having that time in the temple to ponder; the peace I receive there is far beyond what I could feel in any other setting.
Usually while I sit in the chapel I pull out my scriptures and begin to read. Today was no exception. I started out with a prayer and asked, yet again, to know if serving a formal mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the mission my Heavenly Father wished me to serve. I opened my scriptures to where I’d left off the day before and began to read. Not a minute passed and I’d received the answer to my prayers.

Mosiah 3:4, “For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto they people, that they may also be filled with joy.”

Never before had I received such a straight forward answer through the scriptures. Every word of that scripture applied directly to me.

I know the scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, are the word of God. I know that through them my Father spoke, and continues to speak, to answer my prayers, to calm, comfort, lead and direct me. The Savior lives and He stands at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leading and directing His people today. He answered my prayers and I will go forward and do what I know to be His will. I can think of no greater happiness than that which comes through spreading the great Word of God. I can think of no greater joy than helping His children know of His gospel and seeing their lives become abundant with happiness; more happiness than they have ever known.

I'd found my answer: This gospel is true, it is real. I know it is, and I will spend the rest of my life declaring it.

I went back to the bishop the next week and let him know what I'd decided. He had everything ready for me to begin working on my papers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Since I was 12...

...I wanted to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (I say 12, but I don't really know the exact age, I just always use that number, and I never remember not wanting to go).

The rule is, you can turn in your mission papers 90 days prior to turning 21 (19 for guys). A couple weeks before that point I decided I'd better find out if that's really what I needed to do.

I talked to my parents. They weren't too excited about it, both thought I should wait till I finished school. That's not what I wanted to do, though. My dad told me to find out what I needed to do and he would back me up. I love my dad.

I talked to my Bishop. He was gung-ho from the second I mentioned it. He pretty much decided at that point that I was going on a mission. I told him what my parents thought of the whole situation and he said, "well, I could call your parents and tell them what a great missionary you would be, but I don't think that's necessary. I think you've already decided what you're going to do."

And I had. But I still had to make sure it was what the Lord wanted. I told the bishop I would pray and fast and attend the temple that week to find out. We made a follow-up appointment for the next week so I could tell him the verdict.