Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Times be Changing


The last few weeks have been such a whirlwind!  I've definitely had a lot on my mind.  More than the usual college stuff.

So guess what?


But before I get ahead of myself, let's rewind shall we?

A few months ago my home ward bishop pulled me in and talked to me about serving a mission.  At the time, the possibility of a mission was more than a year away, so I wasn't stressing too much about it.  But after that interview, I really began thinking about a mission seriously.  I knew that next fall I would either be preparing for a mission, or going to study abroad in London (maybe be married you say? Uh.. hahaha...).  The application for Study Abroad was due in the beginning of November, so I had been feeling serious pressure to make the decision this fall as to whether I'd be on a mission, or in London.

Fast forward a few weeks.  As General Conference was coming up, I was still very much undecided as to what to do in regards to my future.  I decided to keep praying about it and hoped that during General Conference, I would have some sort of direction and idea of what I was to do.

Well, I definitely got my answer.  When President Monson announced that girls could now go on missions at 19, the entire time I just kept getting the impression that, "This is for you Marissa, this is your answer."

My first impression? Yikes!  I mean, my whole life just changed.  That sounds so dramatic, and it kind of is, but it's also true. Plus the idea of leaving my family and friends and putting my life on hold for 18 months is quite scary.

Needless to say, I didn't get a whole lot out of General Conference after that first announcement. My mind kept racing 3 billion miles a minute.  Ya.  

I was 90% certain I would serve by the end of general conference weekend, but I still felt that deciding to go on a mission was something I needed to sift around in my mind and mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare myself for.  I met with my home ward Bishop a few days later, just to get an idea of the time that mission papers would take and what all would be required.  Coming out of that interview, I felt really good about going, but I still wasn't 100%.

As the next couple of days went by, I could not get the idea of going on a mission out of my head.  Why wouldn't I serve?  What was holding me back?  I kept getting the impression that I had been so blessed in my life, who better than I to go serve the Lord and help him further the work?

 I know that a mission is going to be hard. SO HARD.  I've had enough family serve, I've read their letters, I've heard the stories. And yet, it feels so right. I know there are going to be some very dark days, but there will also be priceless experiences that I will treasure forever.

Once I knew that the mission was no longer an "if" but a "when," I had a really hard time deciding on the "when."  Do I stay and leave after Winter semester, so the end of April? Do I go right after Fall, so in a few short months?

There were too many pro's and con's to both options, so I decided to leave it up to the Lord. My availability date is January 2nd, so I could go then, or 4 months later in May.  Ya, the ambiguity is killing me too....

So now you're up to date.   I've submitted my papers and am expecting to get my call on Halloween (let's hope!)

Sometimes it feels so surreal that I'm actually going to serve a mission! Trust me.  I was that girl growing up that was like, "Oh no way! The whole mission thing just isn't for me. No thank you."  Sometimes I feel like that 10 year old girl inside me is still freaking out at me, but too many times have I felt the spirit witness to me that this is what I'm supposed to do.

I'm excited to serve the Lord.  I don't care where I get called to serve, I honestly don' t  I'm just excited for this big opportunity.  I probably don't have a clue what I'm getting myself into, but it's going to be great because the Lord is on my side.

I know that this gospel is true.  I know that the Lord knows us so well.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is the Lords' mouthpiece today.

 I know it, I live it, I love it.

- Marissa out.

Ps: I love BYU campus in the Fall.  
Happy Autumn!