Wednesday, March 6, 2013

At the Starting Line....

Once upon a time, when I was cool and ran Cross-Country, the only part that I truly dreaded about the race was the long, terrifying minutes that you spend before the race even started. You stand there on that white spray-painted line, watching everyone warm up and stretch, and your stomach is squirming like none other, and your heart rate is peaking so high that you might as well be running already!

Right now, I feel like I'm standing on that starting line, waiting for the actual race to start. I'm not saying that the race is easy at all. But the anticipation is the worst part. :) I'm just sitting here, trying to be as ready as I possibly can, doing warm ups and studying, stretching and praying, and trying more than anything to calm my freakin heart down! I don't want it to explode while I'm standing at the beginning...

ONE WEEK from today, I get to enter the MTC, and I am SOOOO excited! And terrified... and....yeah that's pretty much it. But I have had the greatest time in preparing for this point... I've been able to attend the temple at least once a week, with my parents, friends, future companions... I've had the opportunity to study in a way that's made me take a step back, and rediscover my own testimony of the simplest parts of the gospel. I've grown to love and appreciate the Preach My Gospel, even though it's really difficult for me.

I've researched my mission, talked to anyone who's lived or been there within my home ward. I found out a few really cool things about the area of my mission; basically, my mission covers enough area that I could serve one of three types of missions:

1) I could end up teaching in an area that covers Native American Reservations! That would be so awesome!
2) A lot of the mission is within college towns. So I could be teaching my own age group! That's both good and bad for me... Bad because I've always struggled the most speaking and connecting with people my own age, which is weird... BUT thankfully, I'm going to be talking about my very favorite subject, so I guess I'll be okay. Plus, hopefully I won't really be the one teaching. I love the testimony that I have that as long as I am prepared and do my very best, the words I say won't be what make the difference. It will be the Spirit that will be there. And I am so grateful for that!
3) The Washington Spokane mission also covers a lot of wide open country, some of the most beautiful areas of the country. It includes Coeur d'Alene Idaho, where my sisters in-laws live. That would be pretty cool.

So I could be teaching in wide country areas, city towns, Indian Reservations, or college towns! Diverse!!:)

At this point, I'm basically just grateful that I can say, without a doubt, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true and complete church on this earth. It has brought me so much joy, and I can't wait to go into the world to give other people the chance to feel of that joy and peace that I have experienced my whole life, as I have gained a testimony of it for myself.

I am so excited!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ready, Get Set....CALLED!!

Well, where to begin... Life's been moving at a million miles-per-hour for the past few months! But, it's been fun. :)

Since last time, I swam my last meet for BYU, enjoyed Christmas and family, moved home, started running again, mastered the art of reading my sister's mind, lost some of me (hehe), and..... ummmm....

I guess most importantly, I'VE BEEN CALLED ON A MISSION!!! :) I turned in my papers in as soon as Christmas break was over, and I got my call a week later. Washington Spokane Mission! I report to the MTC on March 13, which is really quick. I know several people who received their calls in November or something and aren't leaving until April... It always depends on the mission where you're called, but I'm feeling really grateful that I get to go quicker. I'm really REALLY excited! I've been trying to prepare like crazy, but I'm realizing more and more the truth of Einstein's statement, "As the circle of light increases, so does the circumference of darkness around it." That meaning that the more I study and the more I learn, the more it seems that there is to learn! In all honesty, I don't think I'll ever be completely prepared for this. I mean, there's no way to prepare for everything. And time is passing by so quickly!

My biggest struggle is speaking. For those who know me, I don't have a problem with's just the whole being actually coherent thing that I struggle with. :) When I get nervous, I tend to ramble, stutter, and wave my hands because my brain and my mouth just won't connect. It's quite the sight...not uncommon if you've ever spent longer than ten minutes in my rather enjoyable presence. But, I'm just grateful that I know that if I give it my best effort, and continue to practice and work on my struggles, I've got the greatest support system on my side.

Something pretty awesome is that my next-door-neighbor actually served in my mission! The Spanish speaking one, but still! That's pretty crazy cool! Even though I don't think we've ever actually spoken, because he kind of scared me when I was little (not because of anything he did or anything, but because when we moved here I was 6 years old and he was a teenager, so naturally I was a little nervous...) but I think it would be cool to talk to someone who served exactly where I will be for 18 months!

Basically, I'm just so excited to serve a mission. I know that it will be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. But I know it's exactly what I'm supposed to do. As terrified as I am because it's everything that I'm NOT good at (i.e. interacting with strangers, teaching, talking, etc.), I'm excited to learn how to teach, to gain a greater testimony of the atonement as I witness it in those I get to teach, and I'm excited to feel that Spirit so strongly. I can't wait to be able to give myself entirely to the Lord for 18 months. I just want to be able to give the wonderful people of Washington (and Idaho, and Montana, and Canada) a chance to have the truth that I have been blessed with.

I may only be nineteen years old, I am not an eloquent speaker, I might not have the greatest social skills, and I might be scared. But I'm willing. And I'm ready to do what I have been called to do! :)