Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Decision to Serve - A Mighty Change of Heart

Last year, I had an “Alma the Younger conversion experience”.... I guess you could call it. It wasn’t as extreme as Alma’s... I  wasn't running around with my friends, going against my  parents, preaching blasphemy, only to be struck by  an  angel, but I  did  have a mighty change of heart

Before last summer, I had never really thought about going on a mission. With the mission age change, it seemed that suddenly  every girl and their dog was going on a mission. I was feeling pressured. I interned at a Physical Therapy clinic, and a patient even said something to the effect of, “You’re Mormon, right? Well, with the new age change, there’s no excuse for you NOT to go on a mission now!” I was astonished. This random lady didn't have ANY say on whether I was going on a mission or not. I make my own freaking decisions. Besides this, I was busy with school and life, and putting my life on hold for 18 months just didn't seem that  appealing. Of course, this isn't a bad thing. Girls are not required to serve  missions. I was still living righteously, but I don’t know how much I was looking toward God and putting  my faith in Him. My want for independence may have made me even a little bit prideful. But, as  I said  before, God always  provides a way.

 For me, it started with special needs mutual. I had the opportunity to serve with many  other youth once a  week with kids with special needs. I was assigned a buddy, Hallie,  who I grew to love very much. Just being  with her sweet spirit gave me  opportunities to feel God’s love, and feel God’s love for her. I was also  on the Youth Council in the  stake. It was our job to plan Youth Conference. Through this experience, my heart and mind were again opened up to opportunities where the spirit could reach through to me. I was stubborn. I denied the promptings again. But God always  provides a way.  I was able to attend many farewells the summer after  my senior year, and watch my  friends change for the better as they prepared to serve missions. Suddenly, some of my close girl friends (who had never even really thought about serving missions before) decided to serve and were preparing as well. I saw them change for the better as they prepared to serve. I saw a joy and happiness in them that I wanted to have.  Then, soon after a trip to temple square to see the Mormon Tabernacle  Choir perform which ended up being an awesome and spiritual experience, my friend Kelsey opened her mission call. As  she read her call, the spirit was so strong. My heart had no choice but to open up to the Lord, where the Holy Ghost promptly yelled at me (well, maybe not yell... but if the Spirit could yell he totally did) “YOU NEED TO SERVE A MISSION”. I jumped and looked around, searching for the person who had screamed at me, but no one was yelling. That's when I realized it was the Holy Ghost. I felt such joy and happiness. I realized that, like Alma, I wanted everyone to “taste of the exceeding joy that I did taste” during this wonderful moment of realization. 

Christ atoned for my sins so I could have the opportunity to repent and  live  with Him again. How could  I NOT share this amazing knowledge I have with everyone who doesn’t realize this? I owe everything to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. How could I not volunteer to be a tool for the Spirit to  bring the brothers and sisters of Mexico home to my loving Father in Heaven and Savior? Although it took a lot of prompting, I had a mighty  change  of heart so I can  now look forward  in faith, and share this message with the people of Tuxtla Gutierrez Mexico. On July, 20th, 2013, I made a decision to serve a full time mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Through the  amazing examples and  support of  my friends and family, and the power of the atonement and repentance, I have stuck with my decision,  and leave for the  Missionary Training Center in Provo  on August  6th