Knoxville TN

Monday, February 25, 2013

Advice For the Undecided Missionary

   On October 6, 2012 church members all around the world gathered to listen to the words of our beloved prophet and his apostles. Whether present at the conference center or listening to conference by other means, the words were received the same. At the 182nd semiannual session, In a move to expand the opportunities for young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve full-time missions, President Thomas S. Monson announced that, effective immediately, men may now begin serving at age 18 and women at age 19. You can imagine the initial shock of this change. Plans that youth had for themselves had drastically been altered.
   While this was happening, I was 5 miles away from home working at the local mall. I received the news from a text message from my mother saying boys could now serve at 18, and thought it amazing. But when the next text came into my inbox saying girls could serve at 19, I admit I was stunned. Did I immediately think I was meant to serve? No I did not. And that's okay. A service and commitment like this is not for everyone. However, as time went on, my daily activities became meaningless. The thought of attending another semester of college did not seem satisfying. I had been praying for an answer as to whether a mission was the path I needed to embark on. It was not until in a simple conversation with a friend at the university that I got my answer. When asked what classes I had chosen for spring semester, I simply stated, "I am not going to attend those classes anymore..." and when asked why, "I am going on a mission." Those 6 words were so simple, but the urge of confidence that was sent through my body at that moment was unmistakable. The spirit was with me in that moment.
   I went home, and too excited to wait for their return home I sent a text to my parents with my decision. I then ran down the street to talk to a close neighbor who served and now had four kids of her own, what I was thinking. She claimed she already saw a change in my attitude that day. I talked with my parents more that night, and the answer had not left me. I proceeded to tell the guy I am currently dating and although I was fearful of his response, nothing would have shaken me at that moment. The only words that left his mouth were all supportive, and I felt relieved. I feel so lucky to have such supportive family, friends and leaders. This is not always the case, but it was another moment that I knew I was loved and blessed.
   The decision to serve is different for everyone. It is a moment of conversion within ourselves. Whether you are a young man who knew of the duty at hand since you sang the popular primary song I Hope They Call Me On A Mission, a senior couple who sought opportunity near the end of life, or a spur of the moment individual like me it does not matter. It is all the same in Heavenly Father's eyes. It simply had to be the right decision for you. It is not something the world, peers, or your parents can decide for you. The verdict is between you and God. So if you are currently questioning if a mission is for you, do so on your knees. And if the decison is already made and done, I'll see you in the field!

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