Sunday, July 14, 2013

so much in so little

The stress count down has officially begun. 

My mom called me yesterday all panicked because she realized that we will have 1 week to get everything together for my mission before I enter the Provo MTC. Oops! 

I then decided to make matters worse by reminding her that today marks my 1 month mark before leaving. I swear she was about to break down in a fit of tears at the thought of me leaving so soon. I felt bad and wanted to take back what I had said but that wasn't possible. So now I am faced with the real fact that the next 30 days are going to be an elevator to the penthouse of the stress level building.

Oh well!

I couldn't be more excited to go serve, August 14th, here I come.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

done with waiting

Going to school when you have your call is tough. You wish you didn't have to do homework or go to class and have to worry about grades, deadlines and graduating. I know it's a good plan to graduate with an associates degree before leaving on my mission. Just to insure that if I have the feeling I need to transfer to a different school, that I have all my generals done with. It makes it easier, I know, but it's frustrating knowing that it seems so trivial compared to serving the Lord.

I just want to be out in the field already! Yet, I have to wait.

I have essays to write, tests to take and projects to present, classes to attend, mettings to make, and blah, blah, blah... etc. I can't even wait for it all to be over.

The worst part of all of this is that I have the spring semester at BYU-Idaho, which means school goes until July 23rd...... no summer break to help me get ready. I get twenty-one days between graduation and entering the MTC. Seriously, can I just skip over school and leave on my mission yet?

Sorry for the rant, I just needed to get it off my chest, mainly because my siblings are all out for summer and I want summer before I leave, to get everything ready so I'm not rushing in August, but I want August 14th to be here. Like now.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

joy is the reward

In mission prep this morning, Professor Clark shared something that I feel will be a theme for me in serving the Lord's mission in West Virginia:

Joy is the Reward

Obedience is the price.
Faith is the power.
Love is the motive.
The Spirit is the key.
Christ is the reason.
We can return to our Father.
The Gospel is true, it's for me and for you.

Also, I don't know how many of you read this blog who have mission calls but I have been hearing a lot of people talking about how they are really struggling and battling with the devil. I am here to say that you are not alone in feeling that way. I too have been dragging my feet a little because of the trials that the devil has placed before me. You might assume that once you have decided that you are going on a mission that your weakness hide away. They DO NOT. You might assume that once your mission papers were in that the problems would just leave. They DO NOT. You might assume that once you have your mission call that the trials vanish. They DO NOT. 

Now I'm not writing this to scare you. I am doing it to encourage you to be ready when they trouble sticks around and gets worse. Remember that although it might feel terrible, there is a reason to the madness. 

You are doing the greatest thing the Lord has ever asked of us, that's why.

The devil hates that we are acting on the Lord's errand and he will try to stop us at any cost. I know I'm feeling it just like you. Everyday is a struggle but we can all get through it together. I have been studying my scriptures, praying, writing things that impress me down in journals, fasting and most recently I asked my dad to give me another father's blessing. 

I am in school right now while I wait to go on my mission and the devil has been using that as a weapon against me but ever since the blessing on Sunday, I have been filled with increased spiritual fortification. Be diligent in finding peace and comfort through Christ, He wants you to come unto Him. We aren't going to be able to find comfort and solace through our families while we are out, we NEED to learn to lean on our Heavenly Parents more fully in able to succeed on our missions and in the future. I know this to be true!


Monday, May 6, 2013

missionary work is...

"I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are the church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our great eternal head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never ever easy for Him?"
--A quote that was posted on Facebook by a fellow sister, that I really liked.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

for the eternal purpose

April 25, 2013
Draper, Utah

I had started my last semester at Byu- Idaho just five days earlier, and I was back again. Back home. Back with family. It felt so nice to be in a familiar and warm place. It was a big day. My mom kept chanting, "It's your day, all you!" I smiled softly, knowing that it was her way of saying I'm so proud of you

It was crazy getting to Draper and there was so much to prepare and get all ready and in the car before we could go. I was to be there an hour and a half before the session started, we were right on time. Barely.

It was beautiful. The experience of going through the temple was absolutely, undeniably stunning. With no real idea of what was about to take place, the temple workers were so kind and they really know how to take care of us newbies! I even had a really bad cough that drove everyone crazy, but they didn't show it. They brought me in a paper cup of water and tissues. They really do try to make you feel as comfortable and calm as possible.

I was really sick to my stomach as well and had a pounding headache but somehow, I got through everything just fine, I can only thank Heavenly Father for helping me through. I felt so protected and helped in the temple and now I have the blessing and protection that comes with endowments. I couldn't be happier, I am doing something very special to the Lord and I feel so blessed for it.


I still laugh at the fact that if you had told me a year ago that I would be wearing garments and getting ready to leave on a mission that I would probably giggle and deny it, or just stare at you like, you have finally lost your sanity, that's not possible. But you know what? All things through Christ are and will always be possible if we only have faith! 

The church is true and the Temple is a beautiful blessing to us where we can find help and guidance in all things. I love this Gospel and really am way too excited to serve! 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

take the challenge

This morning as I walked into Missionary Prep, a girl that had been in the 7:45 am class, said, "Keep an open mind, Celine." Then she walked out. Celine was the girl sitting next to me, we had found that we were in a few classes together but she had this huge look of confusion on her face. We laughed it off because we had no idea what she was talking about.

Class was great! We sang, prayed, had a few VERY powerful testimonies shared, sang some more and then delved right into PMG and D&C 4. It was so powerful, reading and talking about the purpose and power we have as missionaries. The spirit was so strong and we lost track of time. Ten minutes before class was to end my Professor, Brother Clark, gave us a challenge.

The Challenge: Read one whole book in the Book of Mormon in.... a day.... for fourteen days.

That's right folks, read the whole Book of Mormon in fourteen days. Wish me luck because I am a pretty slow reader but I am going to attempt it and I know that there will be many blessings if I can accomplish this.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

one more semester

When I decided to serve a mission, I had to agree to a couple minor "terms and conditions" with my parents. They are always watching out for me. I dearly love them for it. But, it was frustrating at first because they had told me I needed to finish out the school year and earn my Associate's before I could serve.

I just wanted to leave. To go out and serve and I couldn't take waiting almost eleven months before I could leave. All because of schooool...? My initial reaction was NO WAY, but it quickly changed to okay, I can do that.

I'm really glad I have stuck it out this far. I started my last spring semester yesterday and since then I have had all five of my classes once and I love them. All of them. A little too much. I am blessed, truly blessed. I say that because every class I have somehow tied to my mission and helping me become better as a student, a sister missionary, as a human mortal being and I couldn't be more excited. Plus, school is a way to build study habits that will be very useful in the mission field. Keeping it fresh and ingrained people!

I'm warming up to the idea that I will be okay waiting until August to serve. My time here in Rexburg looks hopefully in becoming very beneficial and it will make time fly, I'm sure of that. But it will also be extremely challenging and demanding. A perfect opportunity to hone in on some stress relieving skills. I want to be able to take charge of my anxiety and stress so that I can be the most effective while out on my mission and quite honestly, the rest of my life.

Basically, I am trying to say that this semester was divinely handed to me to become a better person, but ultimately a better missionary and disciple of Christ. I couldn't be more blessed with the heaven sent chance of spiritual and intellectual growth before serving. I am learning to look for the good in every situation, and I am quite satisfied!

PS for anyone who was wondering, I am taking these classes at Brigham Young University - Idaho:
FDENG201 Advanced Writing/ Critical Thinking
FDREL130 Mission Preparation
COMM102 Public Speaking
FDREL200 Family Foundations
ENG356 Young Adult Literature 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

the long story

For a very long time now, I have had many requests to share my experience on how I decided serving a mission was right for me. I would like to relate to my journal for most of this post because I wrote A LOT about it there but I won't share everything, but most of it.

 To start off, I would like to remind everyone that I am nineteen and my disposition on missions before the age change was evolving but my thoughts were mostly, if I'm not married then maybe I would serve, but it wasn't a definite thing. When the announcement was made in October last year, my heart and my future was, well, changed. Drastically. Here is my full account:

"Somewhere between August 2010 and May 2011...

Rewind, to my senior year of High School. I remember a conversation between my mom and I. I was having a really hard time and I had been praying for answers to so many questions concerning my situation and finally getting an answer. I told her  I wanted to start preparing to serve a mission even if it was about four years away. I had a feeling and my mom didn't quite understand. She advised that I worry about college and dating first, it was too far away to think about. I agreed and went about my life as usual. But I was being prepared long before any of us knew it."

Funny how the Lord always knows, sometimes it takes more faith to follow things like that. But the story isn't over yet, we're just getting started.

"September 2012...

In the fall, I moved back up to school for my third semester [at BYU - Idaho]. I was blessed with five beautiful new roommates. They were all so kind and accepting and I truly felt like they were sent to me by Heavenly Father to help me figure out my life. But still I felt so much discouragement and confusion that I didn't know what to do. I felt like I no longer wanted to be a writer. I felt disheartened about English and thought I would do really well as a dietitian. I scheduled appointments with counselors and advisors. I emailed a lot of professors, asking questions, researching so many avenues of study and finally narrowed it to nutrition -- but that posed a problem, a major problem. I would have to transfer schools if I wanted to major in nutrition.

Talking to an academic advisor one day, we noticed that I only needed twelve more credits before I reached my Associates Degree. I could take a basic nutrition class the following semester. I f I liked it enough then I could transfer schools easier, somewhere else. But, being a smart mother, my mom advised me to pray long and hard about the decision and make sure it's what I really should be doing.

One night I knelt down on my knees and prayed, asking Heavenly Father if it was really what I was to do next in life. I prayed for three nights in a row, pleading with Him to let me know. Nothing. No answer whatsoever. I went to church on the fourth day and [had an amazingly spiritual three hour experience], I was overwhelmed with the spirit. I told my roommates that I was going to walk home instead of ride back home with them. With tears in my eyes, I walked up the hill, not towards my apartment, but to the temple. The weather was fairly nice and it felt good to get some fresh air. I sat on a bench in the courtyard on the backside of the temple, looking up towards the great beauty of the Rexburg Temple. A whole new flood of tears started to pour down my cheeks as I thought about everything that had been spoken in church that morning. All I could say was, "I know. I'm sorry," over and over again, for forty minutes. After that I walked back home.

It that still wasn't the answer to my prayers. I kept trying though. For days afterwards I prayed, still never feeling like I was being answered. If anything I felt even more confused, but I kept trying. In total it took about two very long confusing and stressful weeks. Two weeks. Then, I believe it was a Saturday, I woke up -- completely at peace. I also had the extremely quiet thought, Stick with English, you don't need to worry about it though. You aren't going to have to decide for a long while, I have something in store for you."

What could He be talking about? But at least I finally had an answer to all my questions.

"Fast forward a week. October 6, 2012...

All ready for Conference. To be exact the One-hundred and eighty-second semi-annual LDS General Conference. As we all sat there, Thomas S. Monson walks up to the pulpit and starts to give some exciting news. Temples dedicated, being built, about to start construction, etc. It was all very exciting but I don't think there was much to prepare everyone for the news that followed.

An age change for young men. We cheered and sat slightly dumbfounded at the same time. But me? In a split moment, my stomach dropped and my felt a whisper that, oh so gently but firmly said, here it is. That very same moment the prophet started talking about sister missionaries. My heart was beating so intense and I had the thought, Please, please, let me leave -- even if I have to wait until I'm twenty. Please let me serve...
The bombshell dropped.

'Effective immediately, young women may be eligible to serve a mission at... nineteen.' The prophet stood proud, taking in the gasps of awe and shock. Meanwhile, I wept. From the time the words left his lips, I knew without a shadow of a doubt -- that was what I NEEDED to do. For so long my life had ben falling apart, only to have the Lord put it back together more beautifully than before. I was so happy and finally the raging storm inside me had become as still as a body of standing water. Like a mirror so pure and pristine that I could see my reflection again and the Lord was standing next to me, smiling. I knew. I just knew. Like daylight, nothing was clearer than in that moment when my true prayers had been answered completely."


After six months, I am still as excited to go as when I first heard the announcement and I still can't stop thinking about it. I don't care where I go, the Lord will send me where I am most needed. He trusts me with going on a mission, so I trust Him that He will send me where I personally need to go."

At the end of my entry I wrote: I just thought I would remind you, so when you get discouraged and down, you will remember. 

Welp, kids! That's the end! I hope you enjoyed my loooooong journey to knowing I should serve. It's different for everyone, but all you have to make sure is that the Lord and you are on the same page. 

Now I can fully prepare myself to serve in Charleston, West Virginia. Have a beautiful Sunday... or whatever day it is when you read this.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

dear sister wood: the call (finally!)

Well my call has finally arrived! I would just like to first, thank everyone that showed up to my opening, we had a great turn out and I loved having each and every one of you there. I am grateful to your support for me to go on a mission. It is truly inspiring and I love you all for that!

Now on to the long anticipated call, that couldn't come faster! Are you ready for this? I know I was not prepared to hear it but I could not be happier in my entire life! Nothing will beat the feeling I had when I read these words aloud:

Dear Sister Wood:

You are hereby called as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You have been called to serve in the West Virginia Charleston Mission. It is expected that you will serve for a period of 18 months. You will enter the Provo Missionary Training Center on August 14, 2013. You will be speaking the English Language.

Seriously, a surprise, just like I asked for! I have to tell you, I am on cloud nine right now with the biggest grin on my face! As I read those words aloud to my family and friends that surrounded me, I felt such a peace and love in the room. I knew in that moment that all that worrying where I would be going, what I would speaking, or when I would be leaving was for nothing. The Lord knew exactly where I needed to go, what I needed to speak, and when I needed to leave. I am ready to go but I will be patient and wait my turn.

This church is TRUE and the Lord loves each and everyone of us. There is a plan for each of our lives and we are to be tested, tried, and rewarded for making it through, if we only have faith that we will. The Lord wants us to come unto Him and I am so grateful to be called to serve the people of West Virginia. Let the countdown to the MTC begin!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

mission call prediction

So I can no longer sleep at night, or any other time of day for that matter because my call comes tomorrow. Wait... what? Yup, you heard right...

I. Can't. Wait! Seriously, I can't.

My head won't stop talking to itself about how excited it is that it is coming. And it keeps pointing out to me that the next chapter of my life is soon going to be dealt out to me. I honestly just want to go where the Lord wants me to go but my mind has a hard time wrapping itself around the idea that the whole thing is a surprise. Basically it is frustrated it doesn't already know what is inside. Making it clear that the hardest thing about waiting until tomorrow... is not knowing.

BUT! In other news, I finally got a world map that my Dad and I have hung on the wall in our kitchen nook where I can stare at it all pensive and stuff while I eat breakfast each morning until my call will be opened. We will have everyone put down a little post-it strip, with their name on it, on a state-side guess and a out-of-state (foriegn) guess.

Out of the seven family members, 3 out of the seven, are betting on Canada for foriegn  (mostly Vancouver and Edmonton). I have another guess for Fiji and I my self guessed Perth, Australia (my baby sister and Mom still haven't put their guesses down yet, if you were doing the math).

As far as state-side goes I have mostly West Coast (Washington, Oregon) and East Coast (Georgia). Again, for myself I am guessing Dallas, Texas. And most are still trying to decide. The rest of you who are coming will get your chance as well. It's so interesting to see where everyone can see me going and to compare with everyone. I might want to frame the map with all the stickies when I am done. What do you think?

1 day, 9 hours, and 3 minutes until I will know!
Not that I am counting...

PS. Although my family does *NOT bet, my sisters (Shaelie and Camille) are "betting" between what kind of climate I will be called to. Camille says the more tropical or hot (humid). Shaelie on the other hand disagrees and says I am going somewhere cold, her examples were, "something like Russia or Canada." haha silly girls!

*If betting were real in my family, it would be with cookies ;)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

where in the world?

I receive my mission call this Wednesday (if any of you are in UT, you are welcome to come to my house at 8 pm to see me open it)! I can't tell you how long and anxious the wait has been for this moment. It's finally here. Honestly I never knew how hard it would be to wait six months before I would receive my call. I am so happy it's finally arriving this week!

I have butterflies. I truly have no idea where I could be sent. Plus, the other day I was reading a fellow sister missionary's blog , where she talked about the morning that her call came, she had an "inkling" if you will, that California would be a nice place to serve. She then opened her call to see that she would be going to Carlsbad, California. She wasn't surprised, she just knew. I always like those stories, but I wanted mine to be different. I'm never really surprised of anything so I decided to ask my Heavenly Father if it would be alright if I could NOT have any "inklings," that I want to be completely and utterly surprised. So far, I haven't had any preference come popping into my head, so we will have to see on Wednesday! Three days to go before it will be in my hands and when I get it, it won't be leaving my hands until I open it, that I can guarantee! 

I love this church. I love my Heavenly Father and my brother Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that he restored the true and everlasting church of Jesus Christ back to the earth. I am so grateful for the priesthood that was restored with the church. I am so very grateful to the keys and covenants that we have on the earth to help us come back to our Heavenly Father. I know that we will be able to live with our families again after death and that we will be resurrected to live with our families and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ once again. I am honored to serve a mission of the Lord Jesus Christ for a year and a half of my life. There is nothing better I would rather do than serve! I want people to feel the warmth and happiness I feel as I do the right things and live in the Light of Christ. I am so grateful to have the family and friends that I do. Each of you have made my life better than before and I can't thank you enough! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen! 

**I posted a post onto my personal blog, that is slightly different, as well. You can check it out by clicking the tab at the top that says "Dreaming."

Saturday, March 23, 2013

serve with your heart, not your head.

"I am confident that the time will never come when we shall not need vigorous men and women of faith to go into the world as missionaries for this cause. We have never found, and I think we never shall find, an adequate substitute for the situation in which two wholesome young men [and women] meet with a family, reason with them, teach them, testify to them, and pray with them. We shall always need missionaries." - Gordon B. Hinckley

I have been observing hundreds of mission calls since the missionary age change was announced abck in October 2012. It is a spectacular event that everyone has seemed to have noticed. Most of my conversations with people nowadays revolve around missions and missionary work. I feel that through this change, my life has been elevated to a more spiritual state of being. All that ever goes through my mind these days is about a mission. Many wonderful people including some of my very best of friends have already left. I appreciate the examples that they are to me and I wish they truly knew how much of an influence they have on me. I'm grateful to the people the Lord sent me throughout my journey in mortality. They have shaped and molded my being of what I am today.


There is one thing I have been meaning to talk about for a while, but wanted to wait until it was closer to when I would be getting my call. I thought it would be more appropriate. I feel the timing is better now.

Through my observations in the last 6 months (it's really been that long already??) I have watched time and time again young men and young women open their calls to see where the destiny of the next 1.5-2 years is going to take them. They cry, they cheer, they jump around and they are overly ecstatic and enthusiastic which I absolutely adore. But every once in a while I have witnessed one who does not react this way. It's very subtle most of the time, but you catch disappointment in their eyes, no matter how hard they try to hide it. I feel genuinely sad for them because you realize that their sights were set on destination rather than on the sacrifice they are giving to help and save people in the areas they are called.

Now I am saying this now because in 2 weeks or so I will receive my own call to serve the Lord's precious children and I want to make it clear, where I stand on where I will be called and I want to help raise those people who may feel slightly disappointed to have a bit more excitement concerning their place of call.

Your call is a gift. I feel that you should have your testimony strengthened if you think about it. What testimony, you may ask? Your testimony solely in Christ our Savior and Redemeer. The Man who Atoned for your sins and your's alone. It is a testimony in Christ that not only does He know you better than you, but that He knows your plan and where you are most needed for others.

A mission is not a vacation, let me make that clear. It is just the opposite. It is crazy, energy-draining work that will leave you so exhausted at the end of each day that as soon as your body touched your bed, you are out. But, through the Lord Jesus Christ, you will keep going. You will keep doing what you are doing in the service of your Lord because you are serving with the love and tenderness of Christ. You are there (where ever you [and I] are called) to serve the PEOPLE not the place. That is what a mission is.

I hope this doesn't sound too critical or scary but I feel that you, and I ,  are not going to be able to serve to the best of your abilities if you don't realize this before you leave. Even so, I myself need reminding every once in a while-- we are all flawed mortal human beings, if you haven't noticed. We are less than perfect but we can be perfected in Christ. Serve with your heart, not your head. This I know.

PS. If you don't know already, I have been asked on about 100+ occasions where I would like to serve or not like to serve and my answer is always the same: I am going to serve the people of the world, I absolutely do not care where I go because I know that where ever I am sent, that is where the Lord wants me, so that is where I want to go.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

when times are tough

Since I have started my mission papers (22 days left until I can put them in, YAY!!) I have definitely felt like the devil has been on my heels trying to get me to doubt myself and it's been difficult and it's made me weary but I keep going as best I can.

One thing that I have realized has helped keep me going is prayer. Literally there are some nights that I get so tired of being hassled by the devil with feelings of inadequacy, doubt, confusion, and sadness that I have to sit down and when I try to stand up again I can't. So I turn to prayer, I'm already down, so I might as well.

I kneel and offer a very simple prayer, pleading the Lord to give me just enough strength to get through the rest of the day, and although the devil makes me feel insignificant, the Lord thinks I am special enough to listen to my prayer and gives me the strength I ask for. This may mean nothing to you, but prayer to me is so important and I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for taking the time to listen to me.

I also started Mission Prep last week and Temple Prep this week. I can't tell you how excited I feel. I am not one that would be considered "outgoing" so I am slightly nervous about talking to tons of people but my happiness and excited levels always outweigh those thoughts of nervousness and that is when I really feel this is the right thing. I am following the Lord's Plan for me, not my own.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

mission papers

I'm pleased to announce that I officially started my mission papers last Sunday. I'm a little more than half way through them and I seriously have butterflies in my stomach. I am so excited. This is probably THE best decision I have ever made. It takes a lot of fasting, prayer, and it's a huge decision to make if the Lord tells you that it's right.

I have my dentist evaluation on Tuesday and my doctor physical on Wednesday. I am hoping to finish up my papers by Thursday night! I can't contain the happiness I feel right now, knowing I'm so close. But, I will have to wait a month because I won't have my Stake president interview until March 26th.

The good news is that we actually moved my availability up to July 25th which is the day after my spring semester up at BYU-Idaho ends (I will be graduating with my Associates). But we are hoping I won't be called until August or early September. But that way I will be able to put my papers in sooner and I will receive my call just before I go back to school. That way I can be with my friends and family when I open it in the comfort of my home instead of by myself in front of a computer screen up in Idaho.

Can March 27th come any faster??

Thursday, February 7, 2013

the power a father possesses

You never know just how hard Satan works until you decide to go on a mission. I decided to go long before my parents really accepted the fact that their baby girl was serious about going and that they were going to have to let go of their daughter for eighteen months.

Satan knew the same time I did and he has been working way too hard, no days off and no breaks. Somehow life just gradually gets harder and you can't seem to figure out why. But, about a week or so ago, I broke down sobbing. I had no idea why. Life just felt like it had become to hard to bare and I felt so confused. I sat on my floor for about half an hour before I felt like I needed to email my Dad, who was on a business trip in Europe at the time.

Tearfully, I typed up a short message about how I didn't know what was going on other than I felt like I needed a Father's Blessing. I couldn't, and still can't, really explain why I needed it other than I felt like I needed some guidance, or comfort, or just possibly a shoulder to lean on and a pinch of clarity.

I can't tell you how relieved I was when I woke the next morning to an email response from him telling me that as soon as he was back, he would love to give me a blessing. Getting to the day when I could have the blessing was tough though. The Devil tried with all his might and it terrified me just how badly he wanted me to fail. But I couldn't let him win. Not now. Not ever.

Finally my dad was free to give me a blessing and like I said, I had no idea how to explain why I needed the blessing but I tried to explain as best I could.

I'm thankful for my father. He is the most caring, patient, understanding, and humble man that I have ever come to know in my entire life. He listening to me and although I could see the confusion in his eyes of what he needed to bless me with exactly, he walked up to me, put his hands on my head and started to pray.

I only remember tidbits about the blessing but I do know that the Holy Spirit was there, manifesting it's power to me-- I wasn't alone, I never had been. Of course, this made me cry, but I knew, I know, that the Lord is here to protect me. I feel stronger, more at peace, I am happy again. I now have realized that even if I still have hard days, that my happy place is when I rely on my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thank you so much Dad for being worthy to give me a blessing when I needed it. I always know I can count on both you, as my earthly father, and my Heavenly Father through the rough times that will come my way.

I know for a surety that I am supposed to be going on a mission. There are people out there that are waiting to hear the Gospel that only I can reach. Man, I wish I could go now! But the Lord will take care of everything, I know that to be true!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

start your spiritual engines...

Today I finally met with the bishop for my first interview! I've officially been recommended to serve a mission!! I can't believe it! I'm going to be a missionary.

There is so much to do and still so much to prepare for but it's actually happening. I couldn't be happier!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

the start of a spiritual journey

"I am pleased to announce that effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will—or should—serve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available.

As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21." --Thomas S. Monson

It took me all about 5 seconds after hearing the age change announcement to decide in my heart that I was going on a mission but I knew I wasn't quite ready and my parents weren't going to be ready to let me go either.

That was in October 2012.

It's February 2013.

My parents have finally accepted that they can let me go.

I have started the process of putting my Mission Papers in but I won't put them in until April 1st. That's no joke. I know bad timing, but that way I can put my availability as August 1st!! Yay!

I'm too excited but I thought that I could tell you all about my preparation, my mission letters home, and being back as a returned missionary all through this blog. Hopefully you get as much out of this journey/adventure as I do!

Here is to spreading the Gospel!!