If you were to ask me 5 years ago what I had planned for my future, a mission would not have been in that list. Not because I didn’t want to, but because it had never even crossed my mind as a possibility. But in October of 2012 President Thomas S. Monson, the current prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made an announcement that changed everything.
“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.
We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.”
After this exciting announcement, I started to consider serving a mission. However, it wasn’t until I was inspired by my older sister, Savannah, who was serving a mission in Santa Maria, Brasil that I really contemplated this idea of serving. I really wanted to go, but I wanted to receive confirmation from Heavenly Father that serving a mission was what I needed to do. Her weekly emails were plum full of miracles from the Lord that she was witnessing because of her divine call as a missionary and literal representative of the Savior Jesus Christ. I saw the happiness in her eyes and the love she had for serving and I wanted to experience that.
After about a year of praying and asking the Lord whether it was right for me to serve a mission or not, I finally received an answer. It was simple. I was reading about the Savior, Jesus Christ, in the scriptures, preparing a lesson and all of a sudden this thought struck me “If the Savior can serve His entire life for you, and suffer and die for you, why can’t you give up 18 months of your life for Him?” I immediately knew that I needed to serve a mission and I have been preparing ever since I received that confirmation.
As the preparation has continued, I have found that my desire has grown even more. The more joy I receive from this gospel, the more I want to share it with the world. I cannot imagine my life without the gospel of Jesus Christ and I cannot stand to know that there are millions and millions of people out there that have absolutely no idea what they are missing. They are going through life blind, some are struggling, some are suffering, some are going through extremely difficult situations, some are just going through the motions waiting to “find happiness” , some even think they have found “happiness” when in reality, they have no idea just how much real happiness and joy they are missing out on. And that is why I want to serve Him, because of them. Jesus suffered and walked alone so that we would never have to. Christ will walk with us and carry us in the hard times. He will never leave us.