On February 23rd, I opened my mission call and learned that I would be serving in the California Arcadia Mission. Disclaimer: I didn't cry or jump up and down in joy after reading that. You always see those pictures of missionaries with their hands over their mouths in awe; that was not me. I think this was partially because I couldn't really absorb the reality of what I was reading. To be entirely honest, I was kinda bummed that I was going stateside. I've never travelled much, and had been daydreaming for weeks about getting my mission call to some exotic country. After the initial adrenaline, I finally went back up to my room alone. I realized that I had some prayers to say, scriptures to read and choices to make.
Here's what I've come to know:
- My mission call was inspired. The more I research, the more I find details that show that Heavenly Father knew what He was doing. He guided my life so that I would find happiness in California. (Dumb example: I took Floral Design first semester at BYU, and apparently there are amazing botanical gardens in my area. Pasadena is known as the City of Roses. Although taking that class was a joke at the time, my knowledge makes California special to me. Even if nobody else cares that the state flower is a bird of paradise, I think that's fascinating. Those hideous plants are going to remind me of all the tender mercies in my life.)
- My mission call allows me to love like I've never loved before. It also allows me to understand how the Savior felt. He sacrificed everything to bring salvation to His brothers and sisters. His only focus was to obey Heavenly Father's will. I want to follow the ultimate example of love, Jesus Christ. I want to love the people of California so much that I have no time to be afraid, homesick or upset. If it is Heavenly Father's will that I go through some hard days so that others find the gospel, then "not my will, but thine be done".
- Being obedient brings peace. I will always remember my dad coming home from late nights of bishop business at church. He would say that he wished people would apply the words of the primary song Keep the Commandments: "keep the commandments, in this there is safety and peace". I've come to know that that statement goes beyond just keeping the commandments. I've been capable of enduring the past few months of living alone, tough classes, my mom's cancer, and huge decisions because I've trusted in the Lord. He's waaayyyyy smarter than me (although that's not saying much, lots of people are). The moment you realize that Heavenly Father has got your back is such a comfort and confidence boost.
- I CANT WAIT TO SERVE! I am really really really really really excited (the Harmer aunts better have picked up on that if you're actually reading this). All I want to do is practice Spanish. I can't wait to hablar con mi padre?... I don't even know if I conjugated that right. I want to go and walk until there are holes in my shoes, til I lose my voice. (Grandma Scott, you could say "I just want to talk about it"). Full speed ahead. My call feels so right. I hope that I can go out there and make my family and my Heavenly Father proud. June 10th couldn't come soon enough.