Here's me: (to see if I know how to add pics)
oh look...it worked! ;)I'll be leaving on July 23rd to start my 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Irvine California! I'm am so excited for the opportunity to serve and to share my testimony with the good people who live there.
As I was titling my post, I was struck by the metaphor there. Trial Run. When I think about what the mission field will be like, those two words sum up my feelings. Embarking on this next step in my life, I find that the fear and anticipation are growing each day my MTC date gets closer. This is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done -- and it doesn't help that almost everyone I've told tells me the same thing :) That makes it really real.
But. You know how after you finish a run you are so satisfied and proud of what you accomplished? That is my hope for my time as a missionary; that it will be the hardest, most rewarding and satisfying trial I have yet faced in my twenty years of life.
You may be wondering -- like I did, at first :) -- why I want to give a year and a half of my life to serve a mission. It's true that, when the prompting from the Holy Ghost first came, I did not want to serve a mission. I knew how hard it would be for me to go out and talk to complete strangers, shy as I am.
When I met with my stake president he asked me this same question, "Why do you want to be a missionary?" Thoughts raced through my mind. Things like, 'it's what the Lord has asked of me' or 'I want to share my testimony.'
But when I opened my mouth, I said, "I want all of God's children to know that He loves them. I want them to feel the joy and hope I feel because of the Gospel."
As soon as I said it, I knew for sure that this is why I want to serve -- not only for me, not only for God, but for those many people with whom I can share the message of God's love. For much of the twenty years of my life, I have taken for granted the knowledge I possess of God, of His love, that I am His daughter, that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through priesthood power, and that we can return to God's presence with our families if we live the way He has asked.
Check out my mormon.org profile to know more: http://www.mormon.org/me/F8VY/Kaeley