October 19: A day I will never forget! My sisters Shawni, Saydi and I were walking around beautiful, drizzly Wellesley with nieces/nephew Elle, Lucy, Hazel and Charlie. The leaves had just begun to burst into brilliant color and my heart was bursting too... with anticipation and with excitement. We went to check my mail around three p.m., and after several days of an empty mailbox, finally my mission call was there! We all got pretty excited, and all the other Wellesley girls in the student center were wondering what all the fuss and picture taking and tears were about. Leaving Saydi and Shawni to reunite with me after I opened the call, I picked up my journal, ipod, scriptures and patriarchal blessing from my dorm room and headed down to the lake. Here's what the setting looked like (notice how freaked out I look):
After some writing, reading, and intense praying, I looked out over the beautiful scene and sobbed a little with music in my ears. I had been waiting for this very moment my whole life. I felt like my dreams were coming to fruition. I felt like I was teetering on the edge of a very significant and beautiful life-changing moment. The thought that kept coming to me was, "Be still, and know that I am God." I knew that Heavenly Father was in charge and that I would be called to the place He needs and wants me to be. I tore open the big white envelope.
Carefully I turned the letter over with the envelope covering all but the top line. "You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," it said. I was totally shaking and crying and the tips of my fingers started to tingle. I stayed on that line for a little bit. I couldn't get myself to move the enveloped down! But I did after a moment, and there it was. "You are assigned to labor in the England London South Mission."
I was really, really, really, really surprised. I kept whispering "Oh wow, oh wow." I kept wondering if I had the wrong paper, or if it really said that. Instantly I thought of Mom and Dad and of Josh and Jonah. Everything happened so fast, it seems blurry in my memory now. But mostly I was just shocked. So many thoughts were running through my head, the most prominent being "Oh wow, oh wow."
I tearfully looked through the packet, but the world was aglow and spinning around me. I was just excited to tell my family. So I called Saydi and Shawni to come down by the lake. They were kind of bewildered by my reaction; I was shaking and smiling and telling them they wouldn't believe it. It was such a fun secret to have for a minute there. We got everyone on the phone (finally, while we waited for the whole family to get on the conference call we sang "Called to Serve" and chatted among chaos of so many people on one call). I did a roll call to make sure everyone was there, and then I read the letter. I could hardly make it through the first sentence because I was so overcome with emotion. I was eager to hear everyone's reactions. I read it and everyone was surprised and happy. What a fun call and great moment. It started to rain so we headed back to the dorm. It obviously hadn't hit me, but I felt really good. I kept thinking, "Be still and know that I am God."
Some friends came over to my room (about 15) and I read the letter again. It was fun to share with friends, members and non-members. Everyone was excited. I felt bewildered and tired. I ate dinner in the dining hall with Saydi and Shawni and then I made a lot of calls. Every time I said "England London South," it felt so unreal! It was so fun to talk to people, and by the end, my face really hurt from smiling. Elle slept over with me that night, which was so so fun, but I didn't get even a moment to let my mission call soak in. It's still soaking.
I am so excited and thrilled and feel so blessed. The experience of getting a mission call has been incredible for me. I am coming to realize that it really is a test of faith and trust in the Lord. I am learning how to forget my own reasoning or wisdom and really trust in the Lord's with all my soul. I know in my heart of hearts that the England London South Mission is right for me. I know that, as my mission call says, there is more joy and blessings than I have yet experienced awaiting me in England. I am excited to see how it all unfolds, that is, the marvelous goodness and wisdom of God in this calling.
Thanks to everyone for their love and support. I am excited for the adventure ahead of me and am preparing to the best of my ability so as to be the best missionary I can. My heart fills with passion and joy when I think about sharing the beloved truths of the gospel with the people of England. I know I will come to love them, bad teeth and all. I am noticing the Lord's hand in my life more everyday as this destination soaks into my heart: encouraging and loving congratulations have helped and brightened. England London South is the place for me...how cool is it that the world's largest ferris wheel is in my mission??
Onward, ever onward!