That was not the case.
Then I thought I just needed extra time to find a sweet job in New York City...or anywhere else. After all, I am graduating in December.
That also, was not the case.
Then I figured I just needed to have fun and be with the people I love while we still have time together.
And I was right! BUT, in the midst of that, I also came to realize something else...
I don't always know what is best for me. So often I pray to receive direction on the way my life is headed and SO often I don't always get the clearest answer...it always just kind of happens. I find my life heading in a direction that I couldn't be more happy with, and for that, I just continue to thank my Father above for being so gracious in making my life so clear cut.
After my grand internship in Chicago this summer, I knew that I wanted to continue in the advertising industry. It's everything I'd ever want in a job, so I worked hard at keeping connections with everyone I could at different agencies around the country. Coming into this semester, I knew that my friendships made would be coming to an end, and I'd be off to bigger and better things at some fancy city away from this little city in Utah.
As weeks passed and as my beautiful roommate, Kaitlin, started the process of submitting her mission papers, I couldn't help but think that maybe MY path I had in my head wasn't exactly the right path for me...?
As many of you know, men in my church are asked to spend two years of their life starting at age 19, to serve a mission somewhere in the world. The assignments are made from the first presidency of the church and you are asked to pick up and go wherever you are called. It's terrifying and exhilarating and magnificent all at the same time. Sisters are not required to go, but are gladly welcomed if they so choose. My mom served in Korea at the same time as my dad a little over 20 years ago. (That's where they met...nothing sketchy...don't worry...) It's always been in the back of my mind that I COULD go if I wanted to...but to me, I just felt like God had planned out my life so perfectly up until now...why would I diverge from that in any way?? I had my dream job right in front of me! Yet, as Kaitlin drew closer and closer to getting her call...I drew closer and closer to the Lord, seeking His help in guiding me to make the right choice, for ME.
At the time, girls were not allowed to serve until 21 years of age. Literally a week after these thoughts started coming into my head, the missionary age for girls was dropped to 19, allowing me to submit my papers as soon as I wanted to (since my 21st birthday isn't until March). Meaning I could leave immediately after I graduate this coming December.
All my life, I've been taught that people receive answers to prayers in different ways. I've always been the type to just realize a ways down the road that my prayer had been answered based on the position I was in or the place I had progressed to after a certain amount of time...ya know? Like...slow guided inspiration that led me to the place I needed to be - and then I realize that that was the exact answer I had been seeking. I've never been one to get an answer based off a heavy spiritual experience that causes tears to shed and serious good bumps all over my body...until that day in the Conference Center in Salt Lake. I went into that General Conference weekend ready to get a confirmation on the decision to serve, and the prophet of God stood up within the first few minutes of that incredible weekend and spoke straight to my soul about the importance of missionary work and their cry for help in hastening the work of the Lord. That's all I needed to hear. My answer was clear. I needed to go.
I have no reason not to go - in fact, my reasons TO go greatly exceed my reasons to stay. This may seem slightly trivial to many not of my faith, but I feel like a great portion of my life needs to be spent in service to my Savior - the great sacrifice He made for me and every other person that has ever lived, or will live, is impossible to repay, but a year and a half is still a year and a half, and I can handle baby steps for now.
This gift of the gospel is meant to be shared :) And I know that I can help make others just as immensely happy as I am with it's wonderful news of light and purpose in this life.
I have been called to serve in the Stockholm, Sweden Mission from January 2013 - July 2014
I could not be more excited :) I know this is where I need to be and I'm so grateful for the people that have been in my life to guide me to the place I am today. I'M GOING TO SWEDEN!!!
If you would like to find out more about why I'm leaving reality for 18 months - ask me. If you want to hear more about my church - ask me! If you want to be my friend and take me to dinner/lunch/hot chocolate - ask me! If you want a hug - ask me! If you want to cuddle - ask me! I'm just in one of those moods...so take it while you can.