Monday, August 1, 2016

Called to Serve.

Dear Sister Goold, 
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   You are assigned to labor in the France Lyon Mission.   It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.   You should report to the Provo MTC on August 3, 2016....

Some girls know from the time that they’re little that they want to serve a mission. I was NOT one of those girls. I always thought that, like my mother before me, I would get married when I was twenty and be well on my way to having a family long before I reached the ripe old age of 21 to serve a mission. Then two things happened. 1) I turned 16, entered the world of dating, and quickly realized that I would not be ready to get married any time soon, and 2) they changed the mission age for girls from 21 to 19. For the first time in my life I began to consider the idea that I could serve a mission. I still wasn’t convinced, but the seed was planted. My decision to serve a mission after that point was so gradual I didn’t even realize it was happening. Over the next 2 years I thought about it more and more until one day I heard myself say “I think I’m going to do a year of school and then serve a mission.” As soon as the words left my mouth I thought “What did I just do? Is that real? Am I trapped now?” But I just rolled with it and kept telling people I MIGHT serve a mission and  figured there was always time to change my mind if I wanted.

It wasn’t until this fall at BYU when my mind was made up once and for all. I was sitting in Sunday school in a room filled with people with mission calls, or planning to go on missions. I don’t even remember what the lesson was about, but I remember so clearly what I felt.  Suddenly an overwhelming feeling of peace came over me and the words “you need to go” echoed in my mind. Over and over again the words repeated themselves “You need to go. You need to go.” In that moment my decision was officially made. I was going on a mission. Fast forward 6 months and I submitted my mission papers precisely 120 days before my nineteenth birthday, the absolute earliest that was allowed.

Fifteen days later I was holding a large white envelope in my hands, literally jumping with joy to find out where I would be going for eighteen months. When I read the words “you are hereby called to serve in the France Lyon mission” I felt nothing but pure joy and excitement, but ever since the intensity of that moment died down the strongest emotion I feel when I think about my mission is peace.

Even now, as I feel the very real task of leaving my family, friends, and school for a year and a half, I can’t find it in me to feel too stressed or nervous because feelings of peace always replace them. Logically I know I should be nervous and I know it will be hard, but I know whatever my mission has in store will help me grow as a person and come closer to the Savior.

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