Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Call to Serve

December 28- I walked out of the interview that began the adventures for the next 2 years of my life. I had just finished with my Stake President who would submit my papers to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I could hardly contain my excitement! I couldn't wait for the call to come two weeks from then.

I also couldn't wait, because two weeks from that interview would also be when my older brother would come home from his mission. The timing of everything was perfect: one missionary would complete his service, while the next would just be beginning. I had my call sent to my house and because I was living in Provo, attending BYU, my parents were the first to see it. They texted me on the morning of Jan 14. telling me that it was there! Just a couple more days and I would be able to open it and find out where the Lord needed me to serve.

Those next couple days gave me some time to think: why am I serving a mission? I have always been blessed with the ability to know what I should do with my life, and up to this point, everything has turned out the way I've thought it would. I knew early on, where I wanted to go to school and what I wanted to major in, and the Lord had also blessed me with experiences to know whether a mission was for me or not. When I received my Patriarchal Blessing, it mentioned something that I immediately knew was referring to a mission. Then, after I had given a talk at a stake youth meeting, I was approached by an elderly man who filed mission papers at the church headquarters. He told me that he hoped to see my papers in his stack in the future because as I was speaking he could clearly picture me as a missionary. Lastly, as my family and I dropped my older brother off at the MTC for his mission, I received a firm witness that that's what I would be doing in the future. With those three experiences, how could I not plan on serving a mission? But even then, I wondered if that was enough. I thought that if I did go, I should go because I really want to, but not because I've been told to go.

I was so wrong. Thankfully, I quickly realized that I had these experiences because that's what the Lord wanted me to do. I was being selfish in wanting to wait and see if I really did want to serve a mission. It didn't matter whether I wanted to or not, the Lord wanted me to and that was enough. Ever since that realization, I've been blessed with the desire to go. Not only is it the Lord's will now, it's my will too. I want others to feel the same peace, comfort, and joy that I have felt through this gospel. I want them to know Christ. I want to share what I know to be true. That's why I want to serve a mission.

With my firm desire to serve in place, Jan. 16th finally came. The plan was to pick my brother up at 8:30 that night and then we would open my call as soon as we got home. We headed to the airport, only to find out that my brother had missed his connecting flight and wouldn't be getting in until 11. I knew that would be way too late, so I decided to wait until the next morning to open my call. But it was such a neat experience to see my brother complete his mission and go with him the next morning to be released. My decision to serve a mission was once again confirmed through the Spirit.

Then 10am came and it was time to open my call. I finally saw it for the first time and immediately I felt the tears coming and they didn't stop as I opened it and pulled out its contents. I sat there for quite some time just staring at the paper trying to contain my emotions. Finally, I began: "Dear Sister Allan, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary....." and I lost it again. It was a beautiful moment, knowing that I was being called to be a missionary. I had been dreaming of being a missionary for so long now and it was finally happening! I honestly would have been happy stopping there. All I wanted was to be called to serve the Lord. But of course, I needed to know where: "....You are assigned to labor in the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission. You should report to the Dominican Republic MTC on May 20. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language."

I was in shock and it wasn't because I was going to Puerto Rico. When I had that experience of dropping my brother off at the MTC, I had said, "this is where I'll be." And every time after that, as I walked from my apartment to the Provo temple, I would pass the MTC and say the same thing. But I wasn't going there. I would be going straight out of the country to the Dominican Republic. After the initial shock, a feeling of comfort washed over me - this was exactly where I was supposed to go. I knew that my call had come from the Lord and that someone in Puerto Rico needed me or I needed them. Everything felt so right.

And everything still does feel right. I know that this is where I'm supposed to spend a year and a half of my life. I cannot wait to go and serve my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I cannot wait to give others the same happiness and hope that I have felt. I cannot wait to show my love and my gratitude for my Savior and all He has done for me. I cannot wait!