Monday, November 12, 2012

How it all unfolded..

All right, all right.
Many of you have probably heard my full story, while others may have not.  It is kinda long, but I think it's worth the read :)

So, like I mentioned in a previous post, I have wanted to serve a mission (off and on) since I was about 15 years of age.  Sometimes I felt it was the thing for me, other times I wasn't so sure.

In May of 2012, I finished my second year at Southern Utah University where I received my Associates of Science degree. I have all of my pre-reqs and generals done for the nursing program, so of course, I readily applied!  I have wanted to pursue my career in nursing for a long time, so by the time the decision letter came in the mail...I was SO anxious! Would I be starting nursing school at SUU the upcoming fall?  Would my nursing dreams slowly start to come true?

I was rejected from the program.
But, surprisingly, I wasn't heart broken.  Even though I was bummed because I really wanted to continue on with my education, I knew that it was gonna be okay because I believe the Lord has a plan for me.  Proverbs 3:5-6 had a new meaning for me, and I clung to that scripture dearly.  I was trusting in my Lord, my God with all of my heart.  I didn't understand why things were happening the way they were, but I acknowledged Him and knew that He would direct me where I needed to be.

What did I do next?  I moved home for the summer and worked 4 part time jobs.  I volunteered at multiple health care places to get hours and build up my application for applying to nursing school, once again.  I thought that maybe I was rejected from SUU's program my first time applying because I needed to attend nursing school elsewhere, perhaps at BYU, and that some guy going to school there was supposed to come along and sweep me off my feet. 

No. This was not the case. I applied to both BYU and SUU but I was actually not rejected, like you may be thinking.  In fact, I was not only accepted to SUU's program but to BYU's as well!  This is a big accomplishment, because not many people get into BYU's nursing program their first time.  I couldn't believe it.  I was (and still am) so proud of myself, but instead of all of it being an exciting time for me, I was feeling a bit torn as well...

Now I need to quickly fill you in on a few important details so you know why I was feeling torn..
       I don't turn 21 until this upcoming April, and in my church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) young women haven't been allowed to serve a full-time mission until they reach that age.  So honestly, a mission hasn't been on my radar for the last little bit....I mean, I had 6 more months to think about it, right?!


On Saturday, October 6, 2012, my life changed for the better.   After getting home in the nick of time from my brother's cross country meet, we turned on general conference.  I was not prepared for what the Prophet had to say.  He stood up at the beginning of the meeting, and made the biggest announcement in church history that I have ever been a part of.  He said, and I quote:

       "Brothers and sisters, I now turn to another matter—namely, missionary service.

       For some time the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have allowed young men from certain countries to serve at the age of 18 when they are worthy, able, have graduated from high school, and have expressed a sincere desire to serve. This has been a country-specific policy and has allowed thousands of young men to serve honorable missions and also fulfill required military obligations and educational opportunities. 
       Our experience with these 18-year-old missionaries has been positive. Their mission presidents report that they are obedient, faithful, mature, and serve just as competently as do the older missionaries who serve in the same missions. Their faithfulness, obedience, and maturity have caused us to desire the same option of earlier missionary service for all young men, regardless of the country from which they come. 
       I am pleased to announce that effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will—or should—serve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available. 
       As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21.
      We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.
       We continue to need many more senior couples. As your circumstances allow, as you are eligible for retirement, and as your health permits, I encourage you to make yourselves available for full-time missionary service. Both husband and wife will have a greater joy as they together serve our Father’s children."

I could not believe what I was hearing!! I could serve a mission NOW if I wanted to instead of having to wait six months.  Oh my heavens.  At first I wasn't sure what to do; I had just finished and turned in my applications for 2 wonderful nursing schools and was patiently awaiting their replies. 

At first I decided I would wait to hear back from BYU and SUU and see if I was accepted into nursing school, and if I wasn't, I would start working on my papers.  But then it hit me:  I WANT to serve a mission. I have wanted to for a long, long, time.  Looking back at my initial reaction to the announcement and how emotional I was, I knew that deep down, I really wanted to serve a mission.  Right then, I knew that I was going to. 

So, with that said, I met with my Bishop and started my papers the next day in between conference sessions. I filled out the paper work and made my appointments for the dentist and was all coming together so fast, but I was anxious and excited.  

The weekend before I got my call, I received the email from BYU and letter from SUU letting me know I had been accepted.  I felt absolutely torn! Course, I was proud of myself and excited, but not as excited as I should have been.  "Am I supposed to stay here and go to school instead of going on a mission?  Was the Lord just wanting me to show Him my willingness to serve, but want me to stay here after all?"  --These are the questions that flooded my mind.

I was a complete mess, to say the least, that Friday and Saturday.  My parents were out Friday night so my dad wasn't home to give me a blessing. I called a few young men from my ward to come and give me a blessing of comfort and counsel because I was home alone and couldn't stay calm.  The blessing was absolutely beautiful!  In it, I was told that the Lord would be happy with whatever decision I made and walk down whatever path I chose alongside me.   But later it also said that I needed to remember the previous counsel the Lord has already given me and that I KNOW my answer....

I am supposed to go on a mission.

On Sunday, October 28, Elder Russell M. Nelson, an Apostle of the Lord, came to my stake conference and spoke.  Wow! What a powerful meeting that was. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of it.  The night before conference, I prepared myself by reading scriptures and prayerfully asking God if He would help me get an answer during conference on whether or not I was supposed to go on a mission.  

Well, guess what.  The whole conference was on missionary work!  :)  After it was over I got the great opportunity to meet Elder Nelson and talk with him for a few long minutes! The whole time we talked he held onto both my hands and looked me straight into the eyes.  I told him I was expecting my mission call the upcoming Wednesday, in which he replied, "Oh! I could have been the one to assign you your call. I was there this weekend..."--something to that effect. (If you weren't aware, Elder Nelson is over the mission calls/office or something). Anyway, I continued on to tell him about the BYU/SUU nursing school situation and how I was feeling torn and unsure, to which he simply said, "They can wait to have you."   

And that was my answer.  It was the last bit of courage I needed to continue on with my decision to serve the Lord and His children on a full-time mission.  I am so grateful for that tender mercy the Lord extended to me and for the testimony builder it was for me. And I even got a hug from an Apostle of the Lord!!

I am pleased to inform you that I have been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been assigned to labor in the Australia Perth Mission and I will report to the Provo, Utah MTC on Wednesday, March 13, 2013!!!  This past month has been an absolute roller coaster; it's been terrifying, exhilarating and magnificent all at the same time! But I believe that I am doing what I am meant to do.  Actually, I know it's what I am meant to do. I have been SO blessed since I made the final decision to still go on a mission; I talked to both BYU and SUU about the fact that I am going, and they recently just changed their policies; they will defer and hold my spot in the program until after I return home from my mission!!  It used to be where I would have to at least attend one semester in the program before they would consider holding my spot.  

I have a testimony that if we all strive to put/acknowledge the Lord first in our lives, that He will pour blessings upon us.  I love this gospel and am so grateful for the marvelous blessing it is in my life. This gospel is meant to be shared with others.  I cannot possibly keep it to myself; it makes me happy and gives me purpose in life...and that is something I want to share! I cannot wait to share it with the people of Australia.  I hope I am able to help them realize the love their Heavenly Father has for them and how they can come unto Him and be together for eternity.

Perth, better be ready cuz I'm a commin :)


  1. Found your video & blog while searching through APM Video's on YouTube; My congratulations to you :) I just recently finished serving in the APM back in August; Western Australia is an amazing place, the people of Australia are friendly for the most of times, and the missionaries currently serving there are truly called of God! President & Sister Lindsay truly have so much love for those that serve there, and Robby, there son, is The Man! :) I wish you all the best, and I may see you there one day; I'm already planning my return visits to Perth and am planning to catch up with Elders & Sisters I know while there! Luke

  2. Oh, and you might enjoy this: APM Orientation Video. Might be a different one when you arrive though, I know they played this one when I arrived, but they did ask Elder Templeton at some point to do up a new one... Not sure if that ever happened.

  3. Ahh! Thank you for your kind words :) I'm so excited to be heading to Perth! I hear it is lovely there. But yeah, I hear that Aussies are so friendly but not always the most religious? Guess I will find out.
    And thanks for the link to that video: that was awesome! Gave me chills. did you know an Elder Read or Elder Cook?

  4. Elder Read!? The Man! :) I served around him in my final transfer in Duncraig Ward, great times! Saw Elder Cook afew times too at Transfer Meetings, Zone Conferences ect. You get to meet and know most of the Missionaries in the APM, unless you spend alot of time out Country (Every now and then they seem to open Albany or Esperance for Sisters for afew transfers), which is awesome! We're a close nit group at the most of times!
    I'll be straight up, in my True-Blue Australian Way (I'm back in Brisbane now on the East Coast); Your correct, Australians aren't the most reglious of people. But there are so many people from all over the world that you'll meet as you tract and "Talk with Everyone". The work is going forth in great ways; In the first six months of this year, we baptized just as many people as we did in the entire year of 2011!?
    Sisters though also seem to get into afew more doors when tracting/contacting ect. And I'm sure you'll do great!

    1. Yeah Andrew is pretty great! He and I, as well as Jeff Jorgensen, got together on Friday and hung out and talked about the mission and such! They are fun people....speak highly of the mission and the people. Andrew wants me to pack him in my bags!

      Any other tips. Or things I should know?? :)

    2. Yeah Andrew is pretty great! He and I, as well as Jeff Jorgensen, got together on Friday and hung out and talked about the mission and such! They are fun people....speak highly of the mission and the people. Andrew wants me to pack him in my bags!

      Any other tips. Or things I should know?? :)

  5. Ahhh, Jorgensen! I remember him too :) Other tips... hmmm.. Prepare for a very hot Christmas! We had one week in January 40 degrees (104 F) or over for an entire week. Islanders LOVE to feed the Missionaries! Be wary of aboriginals... Nah, city folks are alright most of the time, its the one's out bush (Country) that are the concern. Get used to Australians and there slang... and there swearing!
    Perth Mission itself; We're an awesome bunch :) 4 Stakes, 5 Zones; The area's you cover as a compaionship are getting smaller, and as I left there weren't any plans for new cars (Abit of mess there), so be prepared to ride bikes! Bunbury is paradise, or so the word goes... Girrawheen & Kwinana are getto area's; Doubleview ward is where all the Americans live! Duncraig ward had a fair few too... I could probably go on forever, but those are the ones that come to my mind straight up...