“It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” ―Rose Kennedy
Well, friends. This is it. I got my mission call a couple of weeks ago. I'm going to Minneapolis!!! I'm tickled to be going to Minnesota.
As you can see, my mission is BIG. It spans a big chunk of Minnesota as well as parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and even Canada. And if you didn't know this before, my mom grew up in Minnesota! Right in my mission. A few of my friends live in this mission as well, so I'm thrilled! It'll be really neat.
For those of you who aren't familiar with mission protocol, here are the details:
I leave August 7 for the Missionary Training Center in Provo. I'll probably only be there for 2 weeks, since I'm teaching in English. After that, I'll report to a district somewhere in my mission. Then the next 17.5 months of my life will be spent in the service of the Lord, teaching His gospel.
Sounds incredible, no? I'm so excited!!!
I would just like to add here that I love getting letters from missionaries. Nothing makes me happier than getting letters from people who have immersed themselves in the work of the Lord. The light of the gospel shines through their letters. Also, as much as I love emails, I much prefer hand-written letters. Much more personal, much more fun. Remember that. ;)
One of my favorite albums is called Set Apart. It's by the BYU Men's Chorus. It's a missionary album, and I just adore it! (Side note: I have good memories with this album. I got to go to the performance where they were recording some of the songs, and I have a few friends in the choir. It's pretty cool.) In reality, the music isn't just for missionaries. It's for anyone who is striving to do the Lord's work in the best way that they know how. For me, that's a mission. Here's how I decided to serve a mission:
When I heard the age change announcement, I was thrilled! So excited. I knew that I wanted to serve, but was I supposed to serve? I agonized over it for weeks. I fasted and prayed and counseled with friends and family. I thought things through and looked at what I wanted for my future. But several weeks later, I still had no idea what the Lord would have me do.
I was so confused. I felt lonely and unnoticed. I didn't understand why the Lord wouldn't give me an answer. After all, I had waited. I had been patient. I had studied and prayed and asked Him for guidance, but I just wasn't receiving it. I hated the indecision.
And then, after many weeks of patience (which is not one of my strengths), I started receiving an answer. But it wasn't in a quick, easy, here's-what-you-have-to-do kind of way. I heard talks and advice telling me to be patient. Of course, I didn't love that answer, because I'd been patient for so long. But as I kept listening, I kept hearing. I heard the prophets' counsel to do things on the Lord's timetable and to learn slowly, bit by tiny bit. I heard speakers at devotionals telling me that knowledge comes gradually. I heard the advice of a wise older brother, reminding me that the Lord doesn't necessarily have just one path for me.
I heard the words of angels.
My darling friends, I have heard so much over the past 6 months. The Lord has taught me that I need to be confident in myself and my decisions. He has taught me that although He has a plan for me, I have a say in my life. Most importantly, He has taught me that His love is perfect and pure. It reaches to every person, every land, every nation. It does not waver. It is there day and night, wherever we are, whatever we've done.
The path that I've chosen is not easy. However, as Psalm 18:2 says, "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength in whom I will trust." No matter your path, your Father's love is there. He will never leave you alone. Trust Him. Trust yourself. Slowly but surely, you will come to know the light of Christ. And once you have it, you will never want to let go.