So my mom asked me to write down my thoughts on how I decided to serve a mission. I guess I'll be grateful that I wrote it down later, but I've never really said it out loud. It all started my sophomore year of high school. I never thought about serving a mission. I mean I couldn't even go until I was 21 (this was before the age change). I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants section 39 for seminary, and I read a passage that said "Thou shalt preach the fullness of my gospel." After reading that I felt the power of the spirit burning within my heart, and I knew that I would serve a mission… as long as I wasn't married by then. And I assumed that I would be. I mean that is three years out of high school. I never thought about it after that.
Then senior year, God went and changed the age. I could now go at 19. And that kind of scared me. I never thought I would go. I assumed I would be married by then and so I was determined to get married/engaged before I turned 19. It didn't work so well because my Heavenly Father had a different plan in store for me. When they first changed the age people would ask me if I was going and I would just say yes out of principle, but the truth is (and I have never told anyone this) I DIDN'T WANT TO GO!
Looking back on my last 18 months, a lot of things happened that I didn't plan on. I went to the University of Utah, I didn't have a roommate, I struggled to make friends, I interned at the State Capital, I did a bunch of odd jobs, I moved back home when I wanted to live on my own, I got an amazing job at Famous Footwear, I discover how much I love interacting with new people (never met a stranger), I learned to rely on the temple and Jesus Christ, and all those things lead to my decision to put my life on hold and devote 18 months of it to the Lord. IN SOUTH KOREA! I prayed to my Heavenly Father that I would go anywhere he wanted me as long as I was able to learn a language and it looks like I got my wish. So even though I never wanted to serve a mission, I know that this is all part of my Heavenly Father's plan for me.
We all make mistakes and being human is hard, but God knows what is best for us and if we trust in him he will direct us. I know that these past 18 months I have been blessed by God, and the next 18 months I will be blessed even more. I have faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I know that without him I would not be the person I am today. A mission is a decision between you and God, no matter what you decide he still loves you. Sometimes it felt like everyone expected me to go on a mission. That if I didn't go I was a sinner, but I have learned that it doesn't matter what others think of you. The opinions of God, Jesus Christ, and you are the only opinions that truly matter because we are human and we make mistakes but God and Christ love us no matter what. I know that the gospel is true and I look forward to sharing it with the people of South Korea in just 16 days.