Anyone who knows me well knows that at any given time I have the next ten years of my life thoroughly planned out. No where in that plan was serving a mission included. Not that serving a mission wasn't a great goal to have, I just didn't think it was for me. I knew exactly what I wanted to major in during college, i'd find a stellar job, and soon enough i'd have a white picket fence house with lots of dogs and puppies. Easy, simple, five step plan, right? Boy was I wrong. My first year of college should have been amazing, and in a lot of aspects it was. I was going to a great school with my best friends, had a great apartment, I was on a scholarship, and loved my classes. So why did I feel like something wasn't missing? After all, things were going perfectly according to my plan. I just couldn't shake that saddening feeling that something was missing. How could I have missed something when planning my life?
After a lot of prayer the answer finally came to me. I missed planning for God's plan! I had forgotten the step where I ask Him if my plans line up with his. No where had I stopped to consider that, although I have great things planned for myself, Heavenly Father might have something even better for me. The feeling that I had that serving a mission was the right answer for me was terrifying! Where do I even start? How do I go about preparing? So again, characteristically, I put a plan in motion. I met with my Bishop to talk to him about serving a mission, asked my parents advice, and put my papers in!
Little did I know I wasn't done learning my lesson. I'm a Deaf Education Major and naturally American Sign Language is a huge part of my life. I thought it made perfect sense that I would be called to a mission using ASL! I'd be a step ahead, it would help keep me up to date on it for when I came home, and I could really use the extra gift of tongues (or hands) in my classes. I didn't even mind where I went as long as I was called to use ASL, because my plan had to be right this time.... didn't it?
I remember when my call finally came. Family and friends came over to my house to watch me open my call. My mom had hidden the envelope from my because she knows my track record of snooping and dealing with surprises. I remember being so nervous and excited to open it! Once I finally got the envelope open I remember reading those words...
Family started cheering and clapping, and all I remember doing is smiling and thinking, "English? I'm speaking English? Not ASL?" People started whisking me away for photos and to congratulate me. My boyfriend (who had already received his call to the Philippines) gave me a huge hug to congratulate me. "Washington? Speaking English?" I said. He smiled and told me it was a perfect fit and exactly where I needed to be. "But I have a part of Idaho in my mission. IDAHO. No missionary wants to go to Idaho!" He just laughed and told me that I would be a great missionary wherever I served, even if that was in Idaho. In my mind I still thought surely there was some mistake!
As it's gotten closer to my departure date I've realized that there really was a mistake, and it was with the way I was viewing my mission call. Heavenly Father was trying to (again) teach me an important lesson, that his plan is perfect and he doesn't make mistakes. Ever. Each day that goes by i'm even more excited and thankful that i've been called to serve in the best mission in the world, and i'm even thankful that i'm speaking English! I would be even more nervous that I already am if I had to stay in the MTC an extra two months and learn a new language. Not only that, but my reasons for wanting to speak another language were only focused on me, not the amazing people in Washington who need to hear the Gospel. The Washington Spokane mission is exactly where I need to be, and Heavenly Father was trying to tell me that all along! I've learned that while making plans and goals for myself is important, it's even more important to be open and ask of God's plan. I can't wait to finally be a missionary and teach His gospel to those people in beautiful Washington! I know He's preparing the hearts of those who need to hear it. It might be a hard eighteen months, but I know without a doubt it's where my Heavenly Father needs me right now. Serving a mission has already brought me so many unseen blessings and happiness, and I haven't even left yet!:)
So here's to a great eighteen months of living God's plan for me!
|Washington Spokane Here I come!|
|Waiting at the mailbox paid off!|
|Brittin and I with my call:)|
|Family and Friend's Guesses:)|