Monday, December 10, 2012

My Choice to Serve

As many of you already know, I have decided to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! But more importantly, I am serving a mission for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Missionary work has always been a long-standing tradition in the church, patterned after Jesus's command to the apostles to go forth and teach the world His gospel, two by two. Girls aren't required to serve missions, so I hadn't really decided if I was going to or not, especially since I wouldn't be able to until I turned 21. However, this last October, the Church changed the policy and lowered the missionary age for girls to 19 years old! The age for boys was also changed from 19 to 18. (Here is an excellent article and video about the age change.) Because of this change, I felt the strongest feeling that I needed to take advantage of this opportunity; I felt such a sense of urgency to go and serve. It was an easy decision at first, then it became harder and harder. It's funny how when we decide to do something good that Satan starts to push back even harder. But, I made the decision to submit my papers and go through the interviewing process to receive a call from the Prophet and Twelve Apostles as to where the Lord needs me to serve. I received my call on November 15th to serve in the Adriatic North Mission, beginning March 27th, 2013, for a period of 18 months.
Me with my call before opening it! I had to wait 25 hours to open it because I wanted my parents to be with me.
For those who aren't as familiar with the missionary program of the Church, here is an excellent explanation as to why we believe missionary work is important, and here is another article more about the actual service (with a great video too). My purpose as a missionary is to invite people to come unto Christ, whether through service, teaching, church activities, English lessons, anything. I am called to be a representative of our Savior and help people to be truly happy. It is a daunting task, to be sure, but I know that God qualifies whom he calls. I have been called to serve in the Adriatic North Mission, which includes the countries of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Serbia. (Here is a list of all the almost 350 missions around the world.) I will be learning Croatian, but will most likely learn Serbian and possibly Bosnian as well. To being my mission, I will attend the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, for about 9 weeks, where I will begin to learn the language and the way of life I am to lead for the next 18 months. I go to the MTC on March 27th, 2013. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way we can really be happy. It teaches us: compassion, love, acceptance, forgiveness, the importance of family, our divine nature and potential, our immense worth, sacrifice, self-control, and decision-making skills, among others. I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us, and we can pray to Him about anything, at anytime, and He will hear us and answer. I  know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and He lived a perfect life, then died for my sins, so that I can obtain forgiveness for my countless and endless mistakes. I know that the Bible and the Book of Mormon and God's words, and they teach us correct principles. The scriptures are once way that God speaks to us. I know that God has not ceased working miracles on this earth, and He continues to speak to us, even on an individual basis. I know He has called a prophet, Thomas S. Monson, to lead and help us in this difficult world. I am so grateful for these things, and I am so excited to share them with the people of the Adriatic North!

A map of my mission! (It's in the yellow)

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