"I feel very impressed to tell you about how I got to this point in my life, meaning being on a mission . When I was 14 I got my Patriarchal Blessing and it talked specifically about serving 'full-time or just in everything [I] do.' I was determined I was going to go to college, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after. A mission didn't fit in anywhere and I felt the Lord had given me a loop hole with the 'just in...' and I was NOT going to serve a mission until I was old. The Lord knew better than me. I went to college, my 21st birthday came and went, I was not going to go on a mission. The next year I met April and we clicked, we were kindred spirits, friends in the life before we came here, BFF's, etc. Meeting her changed my life forever because it was her example and encouragement that I started to think maybe I could serve, and here I am.
One weekend we went up to see one of her former companions who had just gotten home and on the way back we stopped at my home to eat with my parents. well dad is very good at bring up the 'marriage' conversation which after a while led to a 'you could serve a mission' Followed by this dialog:
'I couldn't serve a mission, I'd get too homesick and even if not you couldn't afford to send me and I don't have any money...'
'Karmin if you wanted to serve a mission money would not be an issue, That is an excuse!"
I wish I could better describe how he said it, he was very normal and chill until he said the last four words than he looked me in the eye and basically called me out, on what really was an excuse. I've never had anything hit me so hard. He had taken my only real reason for not serving and threw it out the window. he may not even know it but those four words were straight from my Heavenly Father thought my earthy father.
Well we finished dinner and April and I headed home, after about 20 mins of talking about her mission and what I could expect if I went I started thinking I could do it and the thought felt right. I turned to her, in the car, and said 'April, I'm going on a mission' and as soon as the words left my mouth I received a felling of peace I've never felt before and I KNEW that, that was what God wanted me to do. I had no room for doubt, I knew 100% and I knew he had been prompting me for years. So even though I never had a desire to serve, and struggle even now sometimes, I wanted to please my Father in Heaven and this is what He wanted me to do.
It took me 2 days to fill my paperwork out, all but my blood-work, which took a week to get back, then 3 weeks to get my call, 2 hours to wait for my parents to drive down, and 2 mins to read it. All resulting in me knowing I was suppose to serve 18 months in the Arizona Mesa Mission and in the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center. There was no jumping up and down, no crying, just knowing that I was going where God wanted me to.
The next 3 months were a roller-coaster of emotions not just for me but for those around me too, mostly my mother. Right before our first mission shopping trip I just broke down, cried myself to sleep and woke up crying. I didn't want to leave home and I really didn't want to leave my family, they are my world, my best friends. My mom came into my room and hugged me for a minute, shared with me some times she felt alone when starting something but and told me about right before I was born. She had gone into labor but it ended up being a false alarm and then 12 hours later she did again and soon after I was born. She then told me something I won't ever forget 'Being your mother and knowing you the way I do, I think you had a hard time leaving home then too' She assured me Heavenly Father knew I could do it then and He knew I could do it now and that my family would still be there when I got back. So I went.
I've already learned so much and I know that I will always be grateful that I came. One day I was reading Moroni 7:2 and it hit me. The Lord didn't need me to move His work forward, but I needed a mission to move forward. I know that the Lord blessed my life by sending me on a mission, that I can be a better friend/daughter/mother/wife/teacher/co-worker/human being, because of all the Lord is teaching me now and I couldn't have learned it on my own.
I know that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father and that Christ came from me and all of God's children. I know there is nothing the Atonement can't fix as long as we live the doctrine of Christ and exercise our faith in Him, repent daily of things that don't a line with God, take the Sacrament each week, and let the Holy Ghost guide us to do it all again the next week. I know this is Christ's church fully restored with the Priesthood power, through a modern prophet Joseph Smith and that we have a current prophet President Thomas S. Monson. I know the Book of Mormon had power in reading it and that it strengthens my testimony every time I read it. I know that temples are the house of the Lord, in which we can be sealed to those we love forever, and all of this is because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us perfectly. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
I wrote that in May of 2012 and since then I've learned even more and seen many more reasons I was to serve, some didn't turn out the way I had planned or liked but I know it's the Lords will. And even though life after the mission is hard I still thank Heavenly Father for the privilege it was to serve. Often I just get this overwhelming feeling of gratitude and a lack of being able to express it, many times it's bring me to tears. My mission taught me many things one of which was even if I don't know why and even if the task is hard, if it's the Lord's will it will turn out alright and in the end I will be glad it happened. That right there is a blessing to believe in.
"What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a a thousand sleepless night are what it takes to know You're near? What if trials of this life are You mercies in disguise?"