All right, here is the backstory to my deciding to go on a mission, for those of you who are interested.
First off, here’s a quick summary of my life as of late—After graduating high school, I attended two semesters at BYU. At the end of my second semester, I was accepted into the BA art program with an emphasis on illustration. Receiving that news was one of the most exciting times of my life. I was, and still am, amazed that I was accepted and so grateful that I’m provided this opportunity to attend school and learn about what I love! That summer, I enrolled at massage therapy school. (More about that indescribably amazing experience in my next post.) After graduating in December and receiving my massage therapy license, I was blessed to get a job as a massage therapist at Modifi Salon & Spa (check them out here-Tricia, the owner of the business, is an amazing lady. She was such a support as I started up my business. It has been such a blessing to work with her and the other ladies working there). I also returned to BYU and attended Winter and Spring semesters. I was fully intending to continue taking classes until I graduated. I love what I’m studying. I love my profession and my job. I loved where I was living. I found friends that love me. I met so many amazing people. My ward was amazing. I was having a great time learning and loving. The Lord truly is in every aspect of my life. He blesses me with so much. Life was good.
And then it got better.
I was visiting home from college for a weekend. May 18th (my brother’s senior piano recital). Serving a mission was the farthest thing from my mind. It wasn’t actually even in my mind at all. I attended my home stake conference where the theme was hastening the work and furthering the Lord’s kingdom. After the Saturday night session, I thought to myself, ‘Okay. Why have I not considered going on a mission?’ I remember when the announcement was made that sisters could serve at age 19 in the April 2013 General Conference, and I didn’t even consider it. I heard the announcement and it just flitted right through my thoughts. So now, I decided to actually face the question. And I realized that I was letting small fears and insecurities hold me back. This is a constant lesson I’m learning, but I realize how inhibiting fears can be. How much energy do we waste on being scared? On worrying and fretting, about whatever it may be? That energy can much better be used towards more uplifting directions in our lives. And then I realized that by putting my faith in the Savior, those fears do not matter! Yes, I believe there is a place for awareness and the right amount of stress is a very good thing. But faith in the gospel and an understanding of the Atonement of Christ puts everything into perspective and allows for those fears to be absorbed into his great and everlasting love. Once that idea was firmly stationed in my head, I decided to actually face the question of whether I should serve a mission. And the second I considered it, I knew that it was the perfectly right thing for me to do.
How important it is to learn how the spirit speaks to you! Just with my decisions to study illustration and attend BYU and massage therapy school, and I’m sure other major decision I will make in the future, a calm, peaceful, steady feeling came over me, letting me know that this is right! Nothing could ever, ever shake me once I have felt that feeling. ‘Oh, remember, remember’…I’m learning the meaning of that phrase more and more. When those insecurities and fears start to creep in, I just remember the affirmation I received when making my decision. Remember how it feels when you have the spirit testify to you! Remember and foster that feeling and many of the distractions of the adversary will be deflected. Remember that our Father in Heaven and our elder brother, Jesus Christ, loves us and wants us to be happy! Remember that the Lord has a plan for us! His timing is always the right timing. Remember that being open to the Lord’s influence in our lives allows us to have a happy and fulfilling mortal experience. I am just so grateful for the Lord’s influence in my life and am so grateful for this experience to serve a mission.