Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Deciding to go on a mission-

I remember the day the news came out that the age for girls to go on missions had changed from 21 to 19. I wasn't able to watch that first session of conference when it was announced, so my mom called me afterwards and I didn't believe her at first! I was so surprised. Well as conference weekend continued I was overwhelmed with feelings that I needed to serve a mission. When I told my parents they told me that I should give it some time to make sure it was the right thing for me. So I put the idea away for a while but it was always there in the back of my mind. There would be days where I felt like a mission was what I needed to do and then days where even the thought of it scared me TO DEATH! Since the age change many people had asked me if I planned on serving a mission and for the first couple months my reply was, "I don't know, it doesn't feel right to me right now" and then eventually it was "No, it's not what I'm supposed to do." But, it still was always there in the back of my mind. Sometimes I would even drive by the MTC and get so jealous of those missionaries there. I longed to be there but still didn't know if it was right for me. Last January I auditioned for the Media Music major program in the Commercial music program at BYU. A couple days before my audition I was really struggling with the whole mission thing so I went to the temple and had a chat with Heavenly Father. I basically ended up telling him that if I didn't get into this program that I was going to go on a mission if that's what he wanted me to do. I know kinda silly but...long story short, I didn't end up getting into the program. I was DEVASTATED. And then I thought well now I have to go on a mission, my reasoning was all wrong people and I soon realized that. After another long talk with my parents I decided that I needed to just let things be for awhile and that a mission wasn't right yet. I was honestly very confused and those next couple months following were very hard for me. It seemed like everything I had planned was falling through...I was really lost. After winter semester I went back home for the summer to save up on money, it was a very different summer for me. I had decided that I was going to continue in school and try and figure out another major. Well the week before I went back to school I was able to attend a friends missionary homecoming and while there I met an awesome girl who had just recently returned from a mission as well. We got talking and I was asking her about her mission and then she asked me if I had any plans of serving a mission and I told her I had though about it a lot but I felt it wasn't right for me right now. She then continued to tell me that if I ever had the thought of serving a mission that I should go start my papers with my bishop just to get a better answer. I told her that I thought about it all the time but it just didn't feel right for some reason. We had the best conversation ever and she gave me a lot of confidence in serving a mission. I have no doubt that I was supposed to meet her and have that talk with her that day. She challenged me at the end of our conversation to meet with my bishop and start my papers. So.. I got all moved back to Provo and the second Sunday I was back I met with my bishop of my new ward and asked if I could start my papers. He gave me great council and told me I would make a great missionary. As I went home from our meeting it still didn't feel right to me so I didn't even touch my papers. That semester of school was so hard for me, I honestly hated school but I got a job working at the MTC and that was probably the highlight of my semester. I was a security guard, I know you're probably asking yourself how I could be a security guard! I thought the same thing but let me tell you, that was probably one of my most favorite student jobs I've had and I wouldn't mind going back! I think the reason I loved it was because I got to be around all those missionaries, it made me so happy to see them and know I was helping in some way of building the kingdom and protecting the Lords servants. I did not enjoy school one bit and I was having a really hard time finding a major so I decided I was going to take this semester off to work and figure things out. At this time I decided that my mission was going to be music and I was going to try to spread the gospel as much as I could through my music. In November I was offered a job at the Montage in Deer Valley singing in their lounge twice a week. I was ecstatic to say the least! I was also offered some other music related things and decided I was going to take this semester and focus on my music career. I had it all planned out! The following Sunday was fast and testimony meeting...I had been asking The Lord for opportunities to help share the gospel through music. So this fast and testimony meeting I had decided I wasn't going to go up because I had the Sunday before. But man the spirit would not leave me alone and it even went as far to tell me that I was supposed to go up and sing "Be Still My Soul" for my testimony! I couldn't decide if I was just having crazy thoughts or if the spirit was really telling me to do this. The thought would not leave me alone though so I went up there and sang my testimony. Before I did I let my ward know that this was not something I usually did but I felt like someone needed to hear that song. Immediately after a girl in the ward ,who is one of my dear friends now, got up and continued to thank me for my song and say that I was a direct answer to her prayers. And I was overwhelmed with this spirit, I knew that the spirit had told me to do that. That was my first experience where I truly felt I was led by the spirit to help someone else. Keep that in mind as I tell you this next part.. Two weeks later after I had received this new job I was talking with my mom on the phone. It had been a rough day for various reasons and I had told her that I knew I wasn't supposed to go on a mission, little did I know...that night as I was getting ready to go to bed I was studying general conference talks from the conference in October. Most of the talks were about hastening the Lord's work or mentioned missionary work in them. After I studied a few talks I had the impression that I needed to serve a mission again. But I put it away and started saying my prayers. As I began to pray this voice came very strong in my head saying, "You need to serve a mission!" And it kept repeating over and over again! I couldn't get anything out in my prayers. I knew it was the spirit because of that experience I had in church 2 weeks before. It was the same voice! And then as the realization hit me that this was my answer, this was REAL! I began to bawl and I'm crying again just thinking of it. I had so many emotions, I was scared and nervous for the most part. My roommate, heard me crying and asked me if I was okay and I told her, "I think I'm supposed to serve a mission." And she starred bawling too...I'm really grateful for her. She offered to say a prayer and we continued to cry as she prayed. When it was over I thanked her and she went to bed while I stayed up thinking. I had many thoughts that were very comforting and I began to be excited! I thought of how I would be able to use my music to serve others on mission and I also realized that this job I was given was to help pay for my mission! I was feeled with the spirit and I finally fell asleep but when I woke up I decided to read my patriarchal blessing and there was a paragraph in there that took on a whole new meaning for me, I won't share it because it is sacred to me but it reaffirmed to me that now was the time to serve a mission! I prayed that morning and told Heavenly Father that I would do his will if this is what he wanted me to do and that morning I decided I AM GOING ON A MISSION!! :) I tell this to you because I do know that the Lords answers prayers and I also know that he answers them in his own timing! I know that he has a plan for us. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on this earth. I know that it truly is the gospel of Christ and it is centered on Christ. Christ was a perfect example of following Heavenly Father's will. As I go on my mission I know that this is Heavenly Father's will for me and I'm trying to follow Jesus' example as I go on this mission. I know that there are people out there in New Hampshire who I am meant to find and help them find joy in their lives and I'M SO EXCITED!! :) A quote I have kept close since I have made this decision is one by President Hinckley that says, "Forget yourself and go to work!" As I prepare for my mission I worry about leaving everything I have right now and all the opportunities but this brings me back to focus! I know The Lord will greatly bless me for choosing to sacrifice 18 months of my life to serve him. I know that it will all work our for the best because I am following his will! Did I mention I'm so excited?! :)

-Sister Innes

1 comment: