As seen here:
In addition to attending BYU, my mother also served a full-time mission in Ecuador.
And for as long as I can remember, I've wanted two things:
1. To go to BYU just like my mom and
2. To serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
As for a mission, I still had plenty of time to prepare until I turned 21, the age of eligibility for young women to serve full-time missions in the Church.
Until one Saturday morning in October 2012, when President Thomas S. Monson, a modern-day prophet, announced to the world that young women could now serve a full-time mission at the age of 19.
I was floored. Suddenly my life had completely changed. I remember sitting through the rest of the General Conference meeting normally with my family and watching the reactions of other young men and young women on the screen. It wasn't until after the session, when I went to go meet some friends at Goodwill, that I sat alone in my car outside the store and just cried. It wasn't sad, or scared, or even excited; I just couldn't believe how quickly my life plans were being redrawn right when I thought I had everything figured out. I knew in my core I would go and serve, I just couldn't believe how soon it was that I would be leaving.
It was then that I knew I had to begin preparing, (really, truly preparing) for my mission. I had to know with all of my being that these things were true, so that I could best serve the people of wherever I ended up going.
And so over the next year, as I studied the scriptures, as I read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, as I studied these things out in my mind, and prayed to my Father in Heaven, I felt the truth.
It washed over me with such a power, that was so pure and so clean, that I knew. I knew that it was true, and I knew I wanted to go and serve. Because I felt God's love for me, and more than anything else I wanted to share that truth, and that happiness.
And it was sad seeing him go, but it's been crazy seeing him grow, as well.
After Ian left, I had to head out to school!
So, I left everyone I knew out in Virginia...
And I felt that prompting. Go as soon as you can. Go as soon as you can. Again and again and again, it came to me. And I would love to say that I was thrilled and hopped on the chance but I was just like: NOOO. How am I going to afford this without an entire summer to work? How am I going to give my best friends back home the one last summer I wanted? I can't leave in June. I can't get my papers done all by myself in Utah. How can I do this?
And so I cut a deal. If I could manage to sell both my parents on the idea of setting my availability in June instead of August without even being fully sold on it myself, I would do it.
And to my shock, THEY DID. They agreed! What.the.heck.
And my reaction was something along the lines of:
"WHAT. I could be leaving in seven months. I could be leaving in SEVEN MONTHS."
(Lots of breathing in and out paper bags ensued as well)
Despite my panic attack, though, I managed to finish my papers in the end of February.
And there was a moment in my final interview with the stake president where he asked me to bear my testimony, and I felt the sweetness wash over my entire body just as it had about a year earlier when I finally felt prepared to leave,
I just turned to him and said, "I know my Savior lives. I know he loves me, and I know he atoned for my sins, and I want to share the truth with all who will hear it."
And so I got my call.
And it was exciting, and crazy, and one of the absolute coolest moments in my entire life. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Because it was the best.
And I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from there, but it wasn't.
It got hard and I began to feel things working against me. And I was beginning to get discouraged, and to doubt myself and to doubt the choices I had made.
But then, I found this quote from Elder Holland:
I remember how fortunate I am to have this tremendous opportunity, and to be able-bodied enough to go serve the people of Hungary. I remember how much this Gospel has blessed my life and the how the concept of eternal families is beautiful as is the peace I find each time I get on my knees.
And so, I remember to take heart.
For so it has been with the best people who have ever lived.