A year ago, if you would have told me I'd be getting ready to serve an LDS mission in 2015, I would have called you crazy. Yet here I am, my papers went in last week, and I'm getting ready for a mission! And it's pretty crazy!
Because a year ago I was wearing shorts that barely covered my butt. My motto when getting dressed was "the less you wear the better!". My job at starbucks made drinking coffee extremely easy and I did it everyday without shame. I was dating a guy and it was not the healthiest relationship. And I certainly was not doing the basic things every diligent LDS member does: read the scriptures, pray, and go to church. My life was a confusing mess of sneaking out, dancing around, being as naked as socially acceptable, and ending up alone wondering why I wasn't happy. I felt like I should be happy because of all the fun I was having, but the happiness was fleeting and didn't stick around.
I knew I wanted to change, but I didn't know how. Or rather, I ignored how.
I've always believed in angels, and I believe people come into our lives for a reason. And I believe that the summer of 2014 God sent me an angel. . . In the form of the most beautiful boy ever.
His name was Stephen. We met at church, in the beginning I didn't think he was very attractive or anything. I first noticed him when he was giving a talk in sacrement meeting and I don't remember a single thing he said, but I remember sitting there and thinking "Wow. His parents must be so proud of him". We became friends, I could tell he liked me and I liked the attention and making the guy I was dating jealous ("not the healthiest relationship") and eventually I started to actually like Stephen. He was fun, good, and he accepted me exactly the way I was, even with all of my flaws. The more time I spent with him the more I liked him, and that grew into love. He never once told me I should change, but he sure made me want to change! I knew that if I ever wanted to deserve someone as wonderful as Stephen, change was necessary. And so, I changed.
I broke up with the guy I was dating, I stopped drinking coffee, I started to take church seriously, I started to pray, and I started the repentance process. Changing was actually pretty easy, all I had to do was decide to change. And I was happy! Insanely happy.
In January I started reading the book of mormon, and Nephi is always saying how he will go and do whatever the Lord commands. As I was reading I kept feeling like I should go on a mission, but I ignored it. Until one night it was too much to ignore. I snapped my scriptures shut and looked at the picture of Jesus on my desk and said out loud "can you stop?!" (don't worry I was the only one home) and then I started crying and begging to do anything but go on a mission, I'd even get married! Then I had a thought that just came to my mind, it was "you don't have to be perfect, you just have to try". And it was clear to me what I needed to do, so I changed my prayer and I asked to be able to have a desire to go on a mission. And miraculously, it happened!
I want to go on a mission so bad now! It's the thing that makes the most sense to me and for once in my life I feel like I'm doing what I need to do without question. But I'm also scared beyond reason. Sometimes I feel like it was all some sort of mistake, because I feel like I am the most unqualified person to be teaching others the gospel. For most of my life I've been this weird half mormon, I didn't do personal progress, I didn't go to seminary, I didn't really pay attention in church, and I just finished the book of mormon all the way through for the first time a week ago! But I suppose if I've learned anything, it's that it's never too late to change.
A year ago, the idea of going on a mission seemed impossible. Now my personal mission is to make it possible.