I recieved news today that my mission papers for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have been processed and that my "call" has been sent out. In just a few days, I will have that big white envelope that tells me when and where I will be going to serve and teach.
A mission was never something I planned on, and actually for many years I was vehemently opposed to going. Sometimes people at church would ask about it during a sunday school lesson or my friends would bring it up in conversation, but my answer, even from a relatively young age, was always a stern No.
It wasn't until about a year and a half ago that the thought of a mission entered my mind in a positive light. It just popped in, clearly inspired. It shocked me. It excited me. It was a small thought that said, "in a year from now I could be worthy to go on a mission". It was simple, but it stired something inside of me.
I started to get my life in order, not really giving any attention to a mission. The thought never really returned. Several months passed and new activities and friends and experiences filled my life.
Then, one day, another thought popped into my head, again shocking and probably inspired. I was sitting on a bus in Nicaragua on my way to who knows where when I glanced out my window and saw an older man struggling to walk in a straight line along side the road. He was clearly drunk and even stumbled a couple of times into a shallow ditch. I remember looking at him, seeing him struggle and just thinking, "wouldn't his life be easier if he were Mormon? He needs the gospel". This simple, seemingly fleeting thought astounded me. That small thought came to me over and over again several times while in studying in Nicaragua. (read about one other time here)
By Spring semester of 2013, I was pretty sure I was going on a mission. My life had been crazy. If life where a series of frequency waves, I was difinitely in the trough trying to climb my way out. However, that thought of serving a mission came back, and I grew more and more asure that I wanted to serve. I debated when I would go since some days thoughts of graduation and study abroad programs seemed more appealing. Nevertheless, I eventually decided to continue with the Tennessee exchange program and then put in my papers.
In September, I was finally able to start the process. It was pretty simple really: a few doctor appointments, an online application, and two interviews. The process was all complete and submitted a week ago on Novemeber 11th to church headquarters in Salt Lake City. All I had to do was wait.
Today, as I recieved the great news that my call had been assigned and sent, another small thought entered my mind, "I AM going to serve a mission!!" It's a thought that even as a preteen would have been unthinkable. It's a thought that in my late teenage years was not possible. But today its a thought of excitement, possibility, and pride. How grateful I am for those series of small thoughts that lead me to this moment.