To understand my choice to serve a full time LDS mission, you have to understand a little bit about my past. I have an incredible family. I honestly consider myself best friends with each member of my family. I did not grow up actively involved in the LDS faith. My parents taught us to have open minds and left the decision of religion up to us. I have always been especially grateful that I had a choice, and still made the decision to be baptized as a Latter Day Saint of Jesus Christ.
I faded in and out of activity in the church. It took me a long time to cultivate my own testimony and faith. There is a parable in the Book of Mormon that relates faith to a mustard seed. I abused my poor mustard seed. I would plant it in dry soil by putting myself in less than nurturing circumstances. I would overwater it or leave it in the dark completely by believing the messages of the world that I was worthless. My seed of faith finally took root when two things happened: I was sealed to my family for eternity in the temple and I found a group of amazing friends.
One friend in particular comes to mind. We met in grade school, but didn’t become close friends until freshman year. Mitch and I are best friends to this day. It was his example and happy demeanor that made me really question my own direction. I made the decision to find a testimony of my very own. I wanted to be as sure of myself as Mitch was.
In our Sunday school class one day there was a scripture mentioned from the Pearl of Great Price in Joseph Smith- History. Joseph Smith is explaining what prompted him to pray in the grove. He speaks of the Epistle of James in the first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
I made a resolve to pray like Joseph Smith did. I knelt in my room after church that day and asked Heavenly Father, “What should I do?” I didn’t see an angel or hear a voice. Something deep within me stirred and I knew my answer: “Come unto Christ.”
I have been striving everyday since then to show my love for Christ, and my gratitude for all he did for me. When I was seventeen I received my Patriarchal Blessing. This was a pivotal moment in my life. It gave me a direction and a drive that I had longed for all my life. This was the day that I learned I was to serve a mission.
I questioned this at first. I was only seventeen and at the time sister missionaries didn’t serve until the age of 21. But, the revelation was so impressive I couldn’t shake it. I began preparing to serve a mission that day. And the rest is history.