The Why I Shoulds:
1) Desire. (D&C 4:3)
This, didn't exactly appear out of no where as Elder Brian gave his epic homecoming address..this little desire has been growing in my little heart since primary...since "I hope they call me on a mission," and "We'll bring the world his truth."
I just can't think of a more wonderful work to be a part of, or something that would be a better use of my time or effort. I cant think of a single thing I feel more passionately about than the gospel of Jesus Christ. I would absolutely love to share the gospel, full-time. I would love the chance to learn and the chance to teach. I would love the chance to watch the gospel change lives. Plus, the possibility of a serious change of scenery is nice. Kind of exciting. Also, learning a new language is on the life to do's..whether I go or not. Bonus if that happens.
Bottom line: Being a missionary for Jesus Christ is the greatest job on earth. A chance to be a tool in the master's hand and work with the spirit on a daily basis and focus on others instead of myself for 18 months.. I would be absolutely honored to be a part of it.
Desire. (D&C 4:3) Check.
Its been easy to brush aside thoughts of a mission before because I would just tell myself I could figure it out later...plennnnty of time. But. I feel like the stars are aligned...right, now. I'm finally 21. I'm just ABOUT to start my program but the most convenient time to take a break with school would be right, now. Doug's been out a couple months and if I hustle we would be coming home together. If I could hurry and get a call before summer ends I could come home right as another semester is starting...I'm not dating anyone. (Ha. Dating.) I'm don't have a job tying me down.
I don't have anything tying me down.
Right.at. this. moment. I feel like I could drive down to provo and knock on the front door of the MTC tomorrow. This unique circumstance will never happen again. I take it, now, or miss it, forever.
There is seriously soo much to be gained from serving a mission. Exhibit A: pull any RM off the street and ask, try to catch some of what they say as they break down and start crying trying to tell you how much it meant to them. But seriously. Here's some of what makes me most excited...
- FLOOD of learning. about the gospel. about the scriptures. about people. about myself.
- Love. for companions. leaders. investigators. everyone at home. so. much. LOVE.
- Hard work. I know I would be forced out of my comfort zone and could GROW so much.
- Sense of ACCOMPLISHMENT..the kind of accomplishment that impacts eternity.
- Learn about how to connect with and genuinely love PEOPLE.
- Learn how to be a better TEACHER
- Be more CONFIDENT with the scriptures
- Learn to be more organized and effective with my TIME
- Learn more about the big wide world OUTSIDE of Utah.
- I could go on and on with this list...my head is starting to spin just thinking about all the blessings that could come from missionary service.
The Why I Shouldn'ts:
1) Things I'll Miss
- Graduating Class of 2012 (big whoop...probably wasn't gonna make it on time anyway..)
- Potentially..I could miss a lot of friends' weddings. I would be sad to miss those..
- A really great waitressing job. Ha.
- Going to classes....Ha.
- Hanging out with my friends. Watching a lot of animal planet with my roommates..
- Dating. (Part joke..but part serious. I might go crazy not going on a single date for a year and a half)
- .......but overall, are these sounding completely lame to anyone else?
Lets be real here...a mission is no walk in the park. Part of me is scared that I really have no idea what I would be getting into. I'm famous for being a ''bad orderer" my expectations and reality hardly align. ever. at all. I'm scared to be let down with what missionary work is really like. But then...who has ever sacrificed anything for the Lord and then regretted it? No one. That's who.
3) Not in my "box"
A couple of semesters ago, one of my favorite Institute teachers at Utah State, Bro. Harding, gave a lesson about personal revelation. We were reading from the famous DC 9:8..."study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." Brother Harding helped me see this scripture in a totally new way that day. We talked about how the question "ask me if it be right" doesnt translate to, "should I or shouldn't I?" The question is whether its right or wrong. Bro. Harding drew a box on the board and said all good things would fall inside of Heavenly Father's 'box' and would therefore be 'right' and things that were wrong are not in His 'box.' Are the things you are asking for good/'right'? Is it in harmony with what he's revealed through the prophets and in the scriptures? Is it in the box?
If it is, the only question left to ask, is whether or not its in YOUR box of what is 'right' for you, individually. A mission is definitely a good/'right' thing, but is it in my box? I choose whats 'in' my box. (As long as my box is in His box) Heavenly Father who sees all, and knows exactly where I'm going and what I need, can help me to know what is right for my box as well. So I asked him. I told him how I felt about a mission. I prayed and I cried and I 'studied it out in my mind' and he helped me feel what was right for me.
And its not a mission.
*sigh* But, I whole-heartedly believe you don't have to be a full-time missionary to be a tool in our Heavenly Father's hands, or to have the spirit with you on a daily basis. Or to forget yourself and serve others. There is a great work to do wherever we're at. As Elder Uchtdorf put it, we all just need to 'lift where we stand' and I'm sure Heavenly Father will bless us as we serve in our own very unique, personal, and important capacities. So, to all the ladies out there who are maybe going through something similar...I hope this kind of helps. Its not important how or where you serve, if you are a full-time missionary or a good friend, sister, or mom...Its just important that you do your part. Never underestimate your ability to build the kingdom of God on a daily basis, in whatever capacity you're at. That's all He asks.
(If you got through this entire post you are a champ.)