Friday, July 30, 2010

My Past / Mission Prep

Warning Really long. I just wanted to write what I felt and record this somewhere...
I was thinking today how blessed I am.
When I decided to start coming back to church, after my phase of inactivity, my life has been truly blessed. I NEVER stopped believing the gospel and everything the LDS church teaches. I was just curious and lazy. I didn't have to get up in the morning and go to church so I didn't, I slept in. I didn't stray from the path as much as most, but I got a good taste of what party life was like. But when I ended up standing in front of a judge, somewhere I never thought I would be, and paying a bunch of fines and going to court ordered classes I started thinking about my life. My best friend/roommate started going to church in the morning. Every week when she left I felt guilty. She started reading her scriptures and I couldn't bare to be in the same room because the guilt would eat me up inside.
One Sunday I woke up and wanted to hike to the wind caves. I ask Carolyn to go with me but she was going to church. I asked a couple other people and they where all going to church. So I went by myself. The mountains and nature have always been a spiritual place to me. I thought it was fitting to go on a Sunday.
I hiked to the top and after exploring I sat down and pulled out my little military size Book Of Mormon and started to read. I paused after awhile and looked at the gorgeous earth that God has given us. I watched a hawk soaring in the sky and some storm clouds start to roll in. Then it hit me, "The Gospel is True! You know it is True! You need to be living it!" ... came into my head. It is hard to describe but it felt like someone was saying it to me. Not in an audible voice, but in my head. Then I found myself saying to myself because I knew that it was true. It was the strongest feeling I had ever had up to that point in my life. And I couldn't get the thought out of my head. I thought about those words all the way down the mountain and home. And it stayed with me.
I knew that the thoughts in my mind where right and that I needed to do something about them. I needed to be living the gospel. It didn't happen over night, it took me awhile. I finally decided a few weeks later that I need to start going to church. We had a friend returning from his mission so I thought I would start by going to his homecoming. I firmly made the decision that after the homecoming I was going to continue to go to church every week.
The morning of the homecoming I got up and got ready and a few minutes before we left a horribly painful migraine hit me, out of nowhere. I wanted to stay home take a bunch of medicine, roll up in a ball in my bed, and just bawl....but I didn't. I know some people might not agree with me but I believe that Satan, Lucifer, or the Devil, whatever you want to call him, was the reason I had that headache. He knew I had set my mind to finally acting on and sticking to the prompting I had a few weeks earlier. I knew if I had an excuse, even if it was a really good one, to not go to church that day I would find an excuse not to go the next week and the next and so on. I HAD to go and I did! I was fighting back tears of pain but I went. I spent most of the meeting in the bathroom hurling my guts up in the toilet.(I hate throwing up! Anyone that knows me knows that if I am throwing up I am seriously really sick) I swiftly returned home to my bed after the meeting, but I went. I was determined not to let Satan win.
I have been blessed ever since. (Not that I wasn't blessed before) I started going to a singles ward with some friends and it was amazing. We went to all the activities that we could and got to know as many people as possible. We made so many new friends, some of which we are still friends with today. I re-learned that you don't have to go to a "party" to have a party and have fun. I have SO many good memories of that short time period in my life...
It was short because not long after I started going back to church my two roommates & I where talking about missions one night and entertained the idea of each of us going. We all signed up for a night institute class. The idea didn't go much farther then that with the other two. I however could not get the idea out of my head and it seemed like it was all around me. I discussed it with my dad and bishop. I hadn't prayed to know if that is what I should do because I was SO extremely scared of what the answer would be, because I felt I already knew what the answer would be. I was petrified to go on a mission. I HATE speaking in public, or saying prayers, or even reading a scripture in front of other people. I kid you not, in high school if I had to do an oral presentation I would skip that day and just hand it in later and take the grade cut. In middle school I won first place in the science fair and I was supposed to go to state. But I was "sick" that day because 1- I didn't want to wear a dress 2- I didn't want to stand by my project and tell people about it all day, I was too scared. (I still regret to this day not going to state). I didn't want to wear a dress for a year and a half. It was also a lot of change and responsibility that I didn't want to face.
I did finally pray about it and no surprise I felt like going on a mission is what I was suppose to do. So I started preparing.
My Dad had back surgery about that time and it didn't go well, in fact it made him worse. He couldn't work for a long time. It was over 6 months. My Mom had started selling their kitchen table and leather couches so they could pay the bills. There was no way they could pay for my mission and I didn't have any money. Singles wards don't send out missionaries and my home ward couldn't afford it. So I was faced with the reality that I probably wouldn't be able to go.
I was visiting my friends family with her and some other friends and her parents asked how my preparations on my mission where going. I told them my predicament.
Soon after they pulled me aside and offered to pay for my mission until my parents got back on their feet or the ward could find the funds. I was speechless, thinking what amazing people they where but there was no way I could take their money. Missions are really expensive! When I voiced my concern I was sweetly chastised. They told me "Don't deny us the blessing" I will never forget that. They taught me a great lesson that day. If I didn't let them help I would be denying them of blessings. My heart will always have a place for that whole family. They are the sweetest people I know.
But as fate would have it as I got ready to send in my papers my ward said they would be able to pay for my mission. I don't know why or how but I was just so grateful that I got to go.
Knowing that others where sacrificing to pay for my mission made me a very diligent and dedicated missionary. I did not want to waste those peoples money and I wanted God to know that I was grateful to them. It kept me strong on my mission. I hope to one day be able to help at least one missionary go on their mission so I can repay the love and sacrifice that was shone for me.