Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Go or Stay??

I started this blog to share my journey with others from the point of thinking about going on a Mission, yes that's right I said MISSION to eventually leaving on my mission. 

In my life I have made so many decisions that were wrong (pretty much all through High School)! :( In the last five years I have totally changed my life around and am now happy to say that I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!  I have been fully converted not just in my actions but also in my heart. I have progressed so much that last year on February 2, 2012, I was able to attend the temple for myself.  That was such an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. I am so thankful that my parents constantly prayed that I would some day return to the church. 

In March 2012, my father passed away from a short battle with cancer. 2012 was the fastest year of my life. Everything moved at such a fast pace that I felt like I was on "a ride that I couldn't get off".  Things were happening at such a rapid rate, within a month my niece Maiya was born, and by the end of the year Kimberly and Lucas were both added to our family. I felt lost and confused on what I should do next with my life. I had planned on attending graduate school in late 2011 or early 2012 but I chose to spend time with my father and family instead. With the start of 2013, my goal was to continue my educational pursuits in some way by learning a new skill and also increase my understanding of the Gospel.  I would have never imagined, that I would consider going on a MISSION to be the way that I increased my knowledge of the Gospel.

I want to share a my journal entries over the last month: 

January 21, 2013
Yesterday Bishop Knighton asked me to consider going on a mission. I would love to go on a mission but I am letting all of these fears get in my way! I am letting the desires and worries about worldly possessions get in my way. The decision will be the one of the greatest tests of faith. I have never prayed for an answer or at least not for something that would change my life so drastically. I have been so happy becoming an active member of the Church again. I have spent so much time in my life again on my "career" and the desires of the natural man. My test of faith is that I owe money for school and debt that amounts to more than what I would need to save for a mission. This is my obstacle. I have always thought a mission was not for me. I deprived myself and have almost felt punished at times for the decisions I made in my early 20's (which I know is just Satan making me feel guilty for things I have already repented for). If I chose not to go on a mission what blessings will not be granted to me in a sense or my future generations? What soul will not hear the gospel? Then I remembered a quote I had read earlier in the week from the Strength of Youth, "Remember that the decisions you make now will change the course your mortal life and your life throughout the eternities."

At this point, if you can't tell, I was still debating the question "Should I go on a Mission" even though my family was already in full support. My sister Jessica, was already telling me "duh" I can't believe you didn't think of this sooner. The next morning as I wrote in my journal my heart was full with joy and I could feel my love for others growing already. 

January 22, 2013
This morning as I wrote, I had tears in my eyes. My care and love for those I might meet and teach on my mission were on my mind already and I haven't even started my mission papers. I have always heard this saying from new members who say, "that was my missionary." My father had that same saying when he was baptized. He said if it had not been for the two missionaries who knocked on his door, and how they quickly made a personal connection, he may have never taken the second lesson and later be baptized. His decision to become a member has affected my life so much, and I know my decision will effect my future children. I feel in my heart that this is the right decision for me. I feel like I could be the missionary for an investigator. I still have doubts though: am I ready? Have I overcome my fears? Can I share the Gospel with others so openly? Will I be the shy one? All I know is that I have to keep praying and see if I can get my answer.

January 25, 2013
I am really leaning towards going on my mission. I still feel like I need confirmation from the Holy Ghost. Have I already received my answer and I am just too hard headed to hear it? Last night I asked Brother Nelson (our home teacher and great family friend) to come over and give me a blessing. We talked about going on a mission and for the first time I was smiling from ear to ear. I am coming to terms with the idea of going on a mission. I still have concerns but he told me that I should still prepare, to live my life like a missionary would, become a Preach my Gospel guru, and the read my scriptures. He then said to remember the decisions we make today will change the course of my life and that it not only affects my life here on Earth but also my Eternal life. (I swear that he must have been in my class on Sunday when I shared the same message with girls I was teaching.) I will receive so many blessings by going on a mission that they will be uncountable. So today I spent a majority of my day looking at the LDS Mission Prep site, which goes over standards of dress, appearance, and has a lot of other information. I started working out today too, my legs are currently killing me but I am so EXCITED. 

January 27, 2013
I feel like I have prayed and prayed and prayed so more and I still have not received my answer. I have not received that clear voice that says GO! I am still preparing though, I have continued to work out and study and I started working out my budget to see when the earliest I can go is.

January 29, 2013
Last night I prayed and I'm pretty sure I have been getting so many hints that I should go on a mission. I prayed last night and said/asked the Lord to guide me in all that I do as I prepare for my mission. I prayed that he would help me make the necessary sacrifices to pay off my debt and prepare spiritually. I thanks him for the overwhelming sense of PEACE and JOY as I prayed. My only regret is not making the decision sooner. I wish I could hug my father because I could almost feel his presence around me. I am at peace with my decision to go on a mission so now it's all about becoming prepared! I am no longer afraid or worried as I know this is what I want to do! -Future Missionary!

February 5, 2013 
I made an appointment to meet with the Bishop and share my news! 

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