I know once I make it publicly known that I'm going on a mission a lot of people will want to know what changed my mind from "Hey RM's come to Mama!" to "I am so ready to serve a full time mission!" because I know I seemed very set in my ways. But what better way to tell everyone without having to tell them all a million times? Exactly.
In October of 2012 (this past year) President Thomas S. Monson made an announcement in the LDS General Conference saying that the mission age for women had been moved from 21 to 19 and the
young men from 19 to 18. I heard this news and I was shocked! Let's face it, my 19th birthday was coming up in the next few months and suddenly I had to start thinking if a mission was for me? Man, I had NEVER wanted to serve a mission. All throughout my life in church or with family people would ask "Are you going on a mission someday?" and all the boys would always respond "YES!" and even some of the girls, but for me I really could care less. I never thought that it would be anything I would be interested in. But when they made that announcement I had a gut feeling, the Spirit prompting me that I should go. Like I said, it was never in my plan to serve a mission, and I'm a stubborn girl, so I just suppressed my feelings. I always knew deep down that I should go so when people would say "So you putting your papers in?" or "So Maddie, you going on a mission?" I would always respond really sassy and say something like "Just because the age requirement changed doesn't mean that my desire to go on a mission has" or "Girls aren't required to go on a mission, it's a personal choice" because I didn't want anyone to influence me or my decision to go.
I was so annoyed with people pressuring me that I posted a status on facebook basically telling people to stop bugging me about going, "I am so proud of all of my friends going on missions, girls and boys, but I am not a horrible person because I personally choose not to serve. It's a choice not a requirement, I'm still a worthy young woman who makes good choices in life. Plus, who are all the RM's gonna date if all the ladies are gone? That's right boys, come to mama!" I wanted people to stop pressuring me. I mean I did the math, all the girls my age, the year older than me and the ones already preparing for missions would be gone. Most of the worthy girls anyways, so my chances of finding a top notch, hottie status RM were pretty good. And if I at least found someone to date I could use "Well I'm dating this guy and it's getting pretty serious.." as an excuse to not serve a mission. Don't mess with the Lord. He knows what he wants.
Meanwhile I was still getting prompted, in the back of my mind "Go on a mission" just kept coming to me. And I did something that I regret. I wanted to stop getting the prompting, so I stopped praying, reading my scriptures, paying my tithing, and just paying attention to God's hand in my life. And it worked. I lost the Holy Ghost for a little while. Things got hard. I found myself having no motivation, I realized I hated my major. I did not want to take drawing classes for the rest of my college career because I hate drawing and refuse to do it in my spare time, even if it means getting better. I signed up for Graphic Design for crap's sake, let me touch a computer! My friends were all finding promising things for their future and they were keeping busy. I hated my job, I've worked there for almost 3 years and I feel like nothing has come of it. Things were getting hard at home as well. I felt like anything I said would break all ice and make tension all around. My dating plan was failing. I went on lots of dates and I had guys like me. But I didn't want to date the guys that wanted to date me and the ones I wanted to date made it abundantly clear they did not want anything to do with me. So here I am. Stuck in the crossroads wondering what I should do with my life. Staying in the same place, not really anywhere to go from here. And this went on for a few months, I was almost depressed, but being the stubborn person I am I refused to ask for any help.
One day while I came to the parking lot after school to find that someone had written "SLUT" on my car, this made me very upset, considering the fact that I hadn't even kissed a guy while in my college experience, let alone do anything to be considered a slut. That day I didn't feel like I was nothing, I was nothing. After holding in my tears at work all day, I went home and just cried. I basically had a pity party for myself.
Then I started thinking about who I am and what I represented. Who I am and who people thought I were were two different things. So I just broke down in prayer, pouring my heart out and asking the Lord for help because I was so lost in the world. In that moment I got a strong prompting to read my Patriarchal Blessing and I stumbled upon a few phrases I had never noticed before " Go forth and be one who shall speak out unto other of those truths which have come unto you...", "Yea, to be a missionary force. And you as an individual, shall join in that force with strength." Man, I thought I couldn't be producing more tears, but after reading that I cried probably more than I have in my whole life. It was then that I knew that I had to serve a mission, without a doubt, how could I turn down such divine revelation? I fasted and prayed about it and was told, yes, this is indeed what I need to do. So I told my parents, and I've slowly made my way through family and friends since then. And tonight, I have an interview with the bishop to start the process, I don't think I've ever been more excited and nervous at the same time.
I know that Heavenly Father would do anything to get all of his children back to him someday. I am just glad that not only can I be a member missionary but soon I will be a full time missionary, bringing lost sheep unto the fold. I could not be more grateful for the age change in missionaries, I like to think that the Lord was thinking with me in mind when he sent that revelation to the prophet. I am so glad to be humbled through my trials so I can learn to better myself for the future. I'm thankful for you, person reading this, because you have probably made an impact on me one way or another in my life.
And for the sake of saving posts I'll just leave my mission call opening right here. :)