On November 14, 2012, all of my wildest dreams came true. I opened my letter from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and was called to serve in the Philippines Tacloban Mission! I was ecstatic. Everyone's favorite question to ask me when they knew my mission papers were in was, "Where would you want to go?" and I always thought that was kinda silly because I can't control where I'm going to serve, so why dwell on it? I accepted a very long time ago that I will go where the Lord wants me to go because he knows way more about my life and my future than I do and I knew that every single person thinks their mission was "the best mission on earth" so I knew I would absolutely love wherever I went. Plus I think I'm a very flexible person who loves adventure and trying new things so the sky was the limit. When I was in my Stake President's interview, he asked me the same thing and I said,
"I will literally go anywhere."
"Even to a remote 3rd world country where you are the only white person who speaks English?"
"Honestly, I would think that was the greatest thing ever."
and looking back, it's awesome to see that I really did get "the greatest thing ever."
For some strange reason, when I got my envelope, I was convinced it was stateside! Up until the moment I read the Philippines, I was absolutely positive I was going to somewhere along the lines of Boise, ID and I could not be more happy to have been wrong. I tried to read it line by line, but as soon as I looked at the paper, the first thing I saw was the Philippines and my jaw dropped! That was the last place I expected! Especially since my mom and 3 of my cousins on the same side of the family served there, all in different missions of course, and the likelihood of that happening was astronomical! Even though it was the last place on earth I expected, I knew the second I read it that it was absolutely perfect for me and it really was inspired by God.
Even though I didn't voice any of these opinions, I learned that I secretly really did want to go to a 3rd world country, learn a new language and not be somewhere cold. Although I like the cold most of the time, I dislike dressing warm in church clothes which would be my entire mission. I'm not much of a tights or scarf person. I have spent every Christmas Break in Utah since I was 8, this is my 3rd winter at BYU and I still have yet to buy boots. The second everyone familiar with the Philippines heard where I was going, they said get ready to learn 3 new languages! So not only did I get my, "learn a new language" wish, but I got three:) Not to mention I had never even heard of Cebuano and Waray-waray before. It will be a challenge and a very humbling experience, but I am so excited. As for the 3rd world country, I thought if anyone can handle a 3rd world country, it's me. I will eat literally anything. I am not afraid of bugs. I love a challenge and an adventure. The more I learn about it, the more I am convinced that it is absolutely PERFECT for me. I'm really excited to have ice cold bucket showers and the prospect of washing my clothes by hand (even though I'm sure I will get sick of it fast enough). Apparently they LOVE basketball and loves anyone who loves basketball. Rice and meat is a major part of their diet and every single day I eat rice, which is basically everyday, my roommates say I am so glad you are going to Asia. I'm so glad too:)
The countdown is on, only 55 days left! I just hope I'm ready to work hard, learn a ton and have the most amazing, adventurous experience of my life. When I'm gone, I'll have one of my sisters post my weekly letters home so you can keep up:) Thank you to all those that have been such amazing examples and supports as went through the process of making this major life decision. I know I would not be the person I am if I didn't have amazing people teach me how to be a better person and a better missionary. I am so excited to share my knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ because I know it brings true happiness. I get to spend 18 months changing people's lives and bringing them the greatest message ever? Sounds like the best 18 months to me.
|These crazy kids got to witness the whole thing.|
|Google Plus hangout with the whole family:)|
|The countdown! Greatest thing ever.|