"I'm thinking about serving a mission."
"I have a really good feeling about it, but I'm not sure yet."
"I'd really love to serve a mission but I'm keeping my options open."
If you are a possible future missionary and you have said one of these phrases above, then we need to have a talk. (I hope you pictured me cracking my knuckles with my game face on while you read that, because that was the intended effect.)
I mean, I can't be too hard on you though because I, myself am guilty of saying those things. Even after a wondeful experience of personal revelation telling me "GO ON A MISSION!!!!" I still did not commit to the idea. Now don't get me wrong, I really wanted to serve. I felt more right about serving a mission than any other decision I'd ever considered in all my 18 years of life. Try that one on for size.
But still, I was reluctant to share this with anyone (lol jk I told my parents, Chelsea, Naomi, and Sister Wiser within like 24 hours of my prompting. But that was about as far as it got for another 3-4 months) and I wasn't 100% sure that this is what I was going to do. I know, how annoying that even though I felt so good about it, I wouldn't just decide already? Classic Kirsten.
I spent all summer praying and fasting OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Each time I felt great about it! But still, I did not commit. I read missionary blogs, I studied the scriptures more, I thought about how much I wanted to serve a mission, but I had this notion that I was supposed to allow life to get in the way if that was meant to be.
Now you might be thinking something like this: "Wait. What?! You got personal revelation that you were supposed to go on a mission but yet you still were going to keep your options open just in case? Just in case WHAT?!"
I couldn't agree with you more anonymous reader.
I think because I am a Sister, and serving a mission is not a commandment for me, I felt like I was supposed to do this. I was supposed to allow other things to change my course if necessary. If there are any other possible-future-Sister missionaries out there who have felt or do feel the same way, please pay close attention.
There came a point towards the end of the summer, when I no longer felt a constant string of answers to my prayers and fasting, feelings of peace, and inspiration regarding serving a mission. I kinda felt a little deflated. I eventually stopped praying and fasting because I wasn't getting the same "YES!" anymore. (D&C: 6:23) This went on for a couple of weeks. When Youth Conference was quick approaching, I decided to say one more prayer about a mission. That Sunday, before we left for YC, I kneeled down and told Heavenly Father, "This is the last time I'm going to ask. Please help me know for sure that this is what I'm supposed to do."
Youth Conference was AMAZING. I felt the spirit, I had tons of fun, I danced like there was no tomorrow, but nothing was said of missionary work and I didn't feel a really strong answer.
Then the dreaded last day came. It's a wonderful happy/sad day. Testimony meeting is always incredible, but of course everyone hates goodbyes.
At the start of testimony meeting, those who already had there mission calls were invited to come up first and bear testimony. Wow. There were only 8 maybe 9 of them out of the 800 of us, but let me tell you, their testimonies were filled with power. The Spirit burned within me. They declared God and His son Jesus Christ live, and they expressed their excitement about getting to serve and share this among the various places they'd been called to go. I knew then, I was serving a mission. Nothing could really stop me either. I had the Lord on my side and a strong desire.
A couple days later, a good friend of our family, Bill Grubbs came to visit us. My dad had mentioned to him that I was thinking about a mission. He was very excited about this, and I'll never forget him looking at me and saying "Kirsten, it's good that you're thinking about it but you really need to make the decision."
Then it occured to me how silly it was to be saying "I'm thinking about it.", or "If everything works out, I'd love to go." It just sounded so ridiculous to me. For the past months I knew that I was gonna go, I wanted nothing more than to do it. I was just scared to make it official. And you know what? It is scary. Leaving my family and friends and home for 18 months, not knowing where I'd be going was really dang scary. But the Lord called me, and I wanted to serve so badly. I didn't need to think about it, I knew. In my heart, the decision had already been made.
Possible-future Sisters (and Elders too!), please don't let life get in the way, please don't waste time just thinking about it, don't go because you're not dating anyone, and if you've recieved revelation you don't NEED to keep your options open. Make a desicion. If you have a sincere desire to serve and you feel like you are doing the Lord's will, then make the desicion TODAY. Stop wasting time debating and start spending time working on becoming a better instrument. I promise you, when you make a decision and you commit to that, you will be so richly blessed. Is there going to be adversity? Heck yeah. Are you going to be blessed with everything you need and grow as a person and feel God's hand helping you everday? Heck yeah. He takes care of His missionaries. So please, do not delay. Take only the time that is needed for you to get an answer. Then commit and work as hard as you can to become a missionary.
I was amazed at how many doors were opened to me once I made a decison (exihibit A. I'm currently sitting on the Grubbs couch typing this in Utah, they were kind enough to let me stay out here with them rent-free. I get to go to a temple once a week and take a missionary prep class and I have a great job that has allowed me to earn money I desperately needed to help pay for my mission.)
I needed to stop thinking about myself. A mission isn't about me. It's not about the clothes I'll wear, or where I'll go, or how many people I'll guide to the baptismal font. It's about being willing to do what the Lord asks. It's about showing people the kind of love the Savior would show them.
It's super fun to feel like a rockstar when you open your mission call and to feel the love and support and even pride that others have for you. But it's really, really, really not about you at all. When you get on a mission, you won't be a rockstar anymore. You are there to work as hard as you can everyday, you are there to push yourself mentally and physically until you've done all that's been asked of you and then some, you are there to comfort those who mourn, find those who are lost, serve those who stand in need, plead and cry for those who reject the true message of the Gospel.
Trust in the Lord and seek to understand His will for you. Take yourself out of the equation, selfish concerns are completely natural and completely unnecessary. And just make a desicion already. The field is white, my friends.
(*DROPS THE MIC*)
"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God you are called to the work" - D&C 4:3