Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting Into You

During my middle school aged years I had two very good friends Jordan and Adam. We had a lot of fun. We did a lot together from long talks after school to making rediculous home videos to campfires. My favorite memory of them though is a motage of similar moments. They used to sing and play the guitar for me. When they found out that I was moving, they took me up on the hill in my backyard and as we sat in the grass they sang and played the Relinet K song called getting into you:

And then every time I came to visit after that they would play that song and sing it. I loved it. Plus, they got better over time :) I have several recordings of them singing this song to me over the years. Not sure how/why that became my song (probably because it's the one they had practiced the most), but it's a good song, so I liked it.
However, the last time I went back to visit, I didn't get to hear the song from them. Not because they wouldn't sing it, but because they aren't there.
Both Jordan and Adam are serving full-time missions. Jordan is serving in California and Adam in Brasil.
The other day as I contemplated serving a mission, I was listening to Pandora. I can't remember what station I had it on, but a Relient K song came on and it flooded me with memories. Because of that, I quickly jumped on my laptop and searched for "Getting Into You" so I could listen and reminisce.
I always knew the general meaning of the song, but this time it was so applicable to us.
One of the first letters I wrote to my friend on his mission, I finished off with writing "Do you, know what you, are getting yourself into?" With a smiley face drawn next to it.
Now that it applies to me, it hit me even more. Do I know what I am getting myself into?
I thought about that as I listened to the song the other day. And then I heard the verse that says:
"I  love you and that's what you are getting yourself into"

That song now means even more to me. Who would have thought that 2 teenage boys could have such a positive impact? Now they are out fulfilling this song and I'm on my way.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I am a Child of God... and So Are YOU

I love this version of I am a Child of God, because it shows how the simplest principles still apply to us as we get older. We are ALL children of God. So much about life becomes clearer when you come to understand that simple, yet profound principle. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

He Loves Us

A few weeks before I decided to prepare for a mission, I had a wonderful conversation with my neice. She had just turned 3 years old.

She spent the night, and as I was putting her to bed, I asked her if she had said her prayers. She responded with something like "Yeah, I talk to Jesus".

I thought that was an interesting response so I asked her.. "oh yeah? Well what does Jesus say?"

And she said the most profound, in depth, perfect, honest, true statement I may have ever heard:

"He loves Me"

The scriptures about "out of the mouth of babes" and the wisdom of children are so true. Like 3 Nephi 26:16 that says "...yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things..."

I realized then that everything else builds upon the love of Christ. We are loved. Christ loves us unconditionally. And we must love always as He has loves always.

After this little conversation, I continued to ask her. "...what else does he say?"

She responded with (in almost a DUH kind of way), "Just, He loves Us!" and then she turned to me and said sincerely- "I love you!" and gave me a hug and a kiss.

This lesson of love couldn't have been taught in a more profound way.
He Loves You too.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Why

So why in the world would I decide to sacrifice 18 months of my life, 18 months of my education, 18 months of seeing my family and friends... to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Especially since I'm a girl, and there is no pressure for me to serve?

Well, growing up I didn't think I would. I always thought it was an honorable, wonderful thing to do- but I thought I had other plans. Maybe I'd meet Mr. foreverafter and get married, maybe I'd continue to go abroad on service expeditions, maybe I'd finish school quickly and get right out into the work place.
I still thought I would have other plans, right up until about my 20th birthday...

So what changed my mind?

It started when I realized I was turning 20. My teenage years where coming to an end, and the rest of my life was in front of me. In the chuch, a girl can serve a mission when she turns 21- which meant it really wasn't that far off. It wasn't something I had originally planned on, but I decided to pray about it.
The timing worked out nicely, because it was right before general conference that I began to think about serving a mission. (General conference is a semi-annual worldwide broadcasted where we can listen directly to the Prophet- Prsident Thomas S. Monson and the apostles of God). I went to one of the sessions with a good friend of mine. Throughout conference, I felt over and over agian that I should serve a mission. Even the songs we song, felt very directed to me- like when we sang called to serve:
and several of the talks emphasized to me that a mission would be the best place for me to learn and grow and work on loving always.

but... I'm a stubborn person. I wanted to go, but not really. So I decided to pray some more. I had already set up a meeting with my bishop a few weeks earlier, so on the day of the meeting I fasted and prayed. I, in my imperfection, prayed almost reluctantly- something along the lines of "I really want to do this, and this or this and I'm not sure I reallly want to go, but if you reallly want me to I guess I will".
The other day I heard the expression "If you want to make God laugh- tell him your plans". Well apparently my plans were funny, because after meeting with my bishop (a very personal story which I don't think this is the best place for) I had- and have no doubt in my mind that I need to prepare to serve a mission.

I've always had a testimony of Jesus Christ, of the Book of Mormon and of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. However, even in the past 3ish weeks since I've made the decision to prepare- my testimony has increased tremendously.

I am incredibly grateful for this gospel and can not wait to have the opportunity to serve full time to share the love of Christ with the world (or state.. wherever I get called).

So what will I be doing? Here's an introduction that gives a good overview...

I am a very imperfect person, hoping to preach about a perfect gospel. It is a little bit terrifying, but I know it is important, so I will go and do whatever God has planned for me. Hopefully my preparation will help me become a better person as I learn and grow along the way. I know Christ loves me. And He certainly loves you too.

Love Always,