Thursday, May 23, 2013

Deciding to Serve and the BIG Announcement

Hello hello everyone :)
In a very short amount of time, (A little over two months! How did this happen?? Time flies. Seriously.) I'll be entering the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC), spend about 14 days there, then fly away...

A ridiculously excited me holding the best piece of mail I've ever received :)
Guys, I am SO excited. I couldn't be more thrilled, to be honest. Not only does the Lord love me so much and know me so well to send me to the perfect place for me (mountains... yes), but He is also allowing me to go at the perfect time in my life! Revelation is wonderful :)
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 8 months or so, you know that in the Saturday morning session of the October 2012 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, made an incredible, life-changing announcement.

"I am pleased to announce that effective immediately, all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. . . .

As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21."

Never before in my life has a simple set of two sentences changed more about my future!

I'm not going to lie to you, the next 48 hours or so after "the announcement" was made were filled with a lot of uncertainty, excitement, and a little bit of fear. Not to mention prayer. SO much prayer. I feel like every second of those two days I was thinking in some way about this possibility. This opportunity. This gift. And oh, brothers and sisters, what a gift the opportunity to serve a mission is!

But really. I had thought about a mission before, sure, but not terribly seriously. I was 18, a mission was at least 3 years away... Ha. On October 6th, I spent a lot of time crying. A LOT. The Spirit I was constantly feeling was overwhelming. Looking back... It was definitely immediate revelation that this change was for me. But oh, stubborn Sarah... I had a plan, goshdarnit, and a mission wasn't necessarily a part of it yet. However, over the next two days, my heart was softened by the continual answer I was receiving to my prayer: "You need to prepare."

Oh no. If anything, the realization that this answer meant "You're going." brought more fear than comfort. Where in the world was I going to end up? WHEN was I supposed to go? How would I pay for it? How would I tell my family? (I knew they'd support me 100%, but this kind of life-changing, unplanned sort of thing is still kind of hard to talk about. At least for me.)

I did it, though. Broke the news to my family and friends. Actually, the first person I really told was my friend Trevor, at ward prayer that Sunday night. He asked me what my thoughts about the announcement were, I told him the impression I'd been receiving, and his face lit up. "So you're going?" he asked excitedly. "Yeah, I think I am." I answered, almost without meaning to. Pretty sure the Spirit took control of my vocal cords and made me say it, just so I would finally accept it for myself.

I decided that I would finish up my freshman year at school before setting my availability date. The final, planned day was August 1st, 2013. However, when I went to my interview with my BYU stake president (On Easter Sunday, no less. Could there be a more perfect Sunday to submit your mission papers?), he had me move it back three days to July 29th, so that he could submit them that day, within the 120 day limit.

Me and quite a few of the people who were there for the opening. I'm kind of obsessed with this picture. I love it and everyone in it a lot. Like, a ridiculous amount. I love it so much it's currently hanging in my room. You guys are the BEST! :)
It was a loooooooong wait of 17 days before the Cannon Center called me on the morning of April 17th. After listening to the voice mail they'd left (I was asleep when they called. Naturally. What else could you expect? Also, it was a reading day, which basically means a sleeping in day.), I dressed with lightning speed and booked it to the Cannon to pick up that big white envelope. I came back, and that day was agonizingly long. I set the envelope on my bed, and often turned around to stare longingly at it. My roommate Courtney kept reminding me I had to wait til 7, so that I could open it with my friends around me and my family on Skype back home. I am far from patient. It took a lot of self control to not tear into that envelope at some point during the long afternoon.

But I did it! I made it to seven o'clock. I was surrounded by my incredible, supporting friends. My wonderful, loving family was on Skype.

There isn't a moment of more pure, sweet, and blessed revelation that you can ever receive in your life than that moment. This I am sure of :)
Denver, you better watch out! I'm coming for ya :)

P.S. Why do I scream at and hug that girl? Well, she is my lovely friend Katie, and at that moment we thought she lived in the Denver South mission. And seriously, about 30 seconds before I started opening my call she said "Denver South! Denver South!" as her guess. Too bad the boundaries had JUST changed because of the new Fort Collins mission. Oh well. Still one of the best moments of my life. Guaranteed.


  1. I'm sorry that my mission messed it up ;)It was so cool to watch you open your call again :) and I didn't know that about your availability date! This is a great post Sarah :)

    1. Haha, all is forgiven ;) I watch that video a lot... hahaha. Yeah I think it's pretty cool! Made sure I go at the right time :) Thanks :)