Saturday, August 17, 2013

Just a little bit about me...

Back in October of 2012,  my best friend (and roommate) and I were sitting in our dorm room watching conference on her laptop. We had just woken up five minutes before (typical) and were drowsily watching President Thomas S. Monson address the world in the Saturday morning session. All of the sudden there was a glitch in the live feed, and we were left waiting for it to come back on for about two minutes. About halfway through those two minutes, we heard a series of screams in the hall. Concerned, we peaked outside our door and saw a majority of the girls in our hall jumping and screaming "We're going on missions!!!". Now extremely confused, we hurried back to the computer to see what we had missed. We went back a few minutes and watched. My heart raced in anticipation. Something big was coming, I could feel it. 
President Monson announced the age change from 19 to 18 for boys. Then it came:
"Today, I'm pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21." 
Michelle looked at me, her eyes wide and her mouth agape. My heart had stopped.
Of course you're going. With all of the other thoughts running through my mind, that was the one that stuck. The Holy Ghost basically shouted it at me (in a still, small voice, of course).
Even when the age was 21, I always wanted to serve a mission. For some reason, whenever I thought about it, I just knew it was right, I knew it was what Heavenly Father had in store for me. So when this monumental change was made, I didn't even hesitate. The Spirit immediately confirmed to me that it was what I needed to do. 
I'm not trying to sound cocky or self-righteous. Trust me, it's the exact opposite. I always knew I would serve a mission, not because I thought "Of course I'd be a great missionary" or "Heavenly Father needs me to serve a mission". It's because I thought "I need a mission". I need the people I'm going to meet, I need the experiences I'm going to have, I need the refiner's fire I'm going to enter. Christ could easily find people who are far more qualified than I am to represent him. He doesn't necessarily need me. But I most definitely need him. And because I know I'd be nothing without my Savior, I am obligated to share that knowledge with the world.
In the following months, I took a mission prep class at BYU and started my papers. I was blessed with two amazing best friends, Cecily (she was my roommate for summer term) and Michelle who also decided to serve and we were all in the same class, so that made the preparation even more exciting and fun. We went through our mission prep class and learned, studied, laughed and cried... a lot. Our class was amazing, thanks to Sister Ulrich. She was realistic about missions. She just told it like it was: Missions are hard, but worth it. 
In March, I submitted my papers to Salt Lake City. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. Just kidding, I didn't even have to wait that long (two weeks), but it felt like an eternity. 
But guess what?? It came! And guess what else?? My family happened to be driving down to Provo to visit me for their Spring Break! I had my family and best friends there with me. What more did I need?
A call to serve. That's what I needed. And that's exactly what I got, a call to serve in the Arizona Gilbert Mission, Spanish speaking. I was to report July 10th. 
Now there's another long story that involves an ACL tear, then a re-tear, some surgery, and a 6 week delay on my report date, but that's not what's important now. What's important is that I am headed out to the Mexico MTC this Tuesday (August 21st), and after a little waiting I'm finally ready to start this new adventure! And with cousins in Texas, Chile, Peru, North Carolina, and California, and my two best friends in Idaho and Peru, I am beyond excited to join them out in the mission field. 
I love this Gospel and I know that it is true. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share it and and its joy with the world. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and he saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I know that by revelation, he was able to translate the Book of Mormon, another testament of Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that with the Bible, it holds the Gospel in its fulness. I know that this Church today is led by a prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He is called of God and is able to receive revelation for this Church from God. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He makes up for everything I lack. I know that He atoned for my sins so that I can live forever someday with Him, Heavenly Father and my family. I know that families can be together forever, and I am so grateful that mine has been sealed for time and all eternity. Although leaving my family for 18 months will be the hardest thing I have ever done, I know it will be worth it, because I will be helping others be with their families forever. 
I know for the next year and a half, I will be exactly where God wants me, and I will be doing exactly what He wants me to do. 
This is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Chadillac said...

I love to hear your testimony, Emma. You radiate humility and love for your fellow men. You are so kind and I feel priviledged to know you! Best of everything to you, and may God be with you until we meet again. -Brett

Chadillac said...

Sorry, I have no Google account, so I had to use Chad's. He doesn't mind, I'm sure! ;)

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