I am called to serve in Pocatello, Idaho, and I report to the Missionary Training Center on January 13th! I can't wait!
This is the blog my family will help me keep while I'm away, and they'll post the letters and pictures I send to them here. But first, I wanted to share why I want to serve my church...
I grew up in the church. At first, I was a "Mormon", a member of the LDS church, simply because it was all I knew. Then hard times came around, bringing with them doubt and confusion. In those moments, when life was not picture perfect, I asked, "What do I really know for myself?" Desperation to know if I was crazy or not for believing in a God who knew me by name, literally drove me to my knees. Alone in my bedroom, I cried and vented out loud. It wasn't really praying, I was laying out all of my problems and pointing at each of them saying 'what is this for?!'. Finally, I stopped venting. I sat in silence, brooding in loneliness, and I asked aloud: "Heavenly Father, are you out there? Do you really love me like I've been told?" In that instant, I swear I felt a warm hug wrap around me. No one was in the room. Peace and warmth flowed into my heart, and I stopped feeling loneliness. Instead, with all my soul, I felt that I had a Father in Heaven who loves me, and my problems, whatever they might be about, are important to Him. Words in my mind said "I'm here. You never have been and never will be alone. I'm here." I cried more- but it was different. I was happy. The depth of my misery was offset by the sweet knowledge that God cares. Nothing so powerful had ever happened to me in my life, and when I feel discouraged again, I remember that moment and that peace. Why am I a Mormon? It's not just a religion. It's not just something I do every Sunday. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because I believe it is true. I have a personal testimony in my Savior, and I believe that this is His church restored to the earth. I can't say I know everything, but I do have faith. God does exist, and if He loves someone as imperfect as me, He DEFINITELY loves you. It doesn't matter who you are, who you were, or who you feel like you can never be. I am happy because of the hope I have in Jesus Christ. My faith in the surety that I can be with my family forever with my God is the most precious thing that I own. So of course I want to share that knowledge! It's like when you watch a fantastic movie and you go around telling everyone about it because you loved it so much. I can't wait to tell everyone I can in Pocatello about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and help them find happiness in their lives like I've found it in mine :)
For those of you who maybe stumbled across this and don't really know much about the LDS or "Mormon" church, check out the links to the right to learn more! And find the missionaries like me with the name-tags on the street! :D For those of you that know me and are keeping up with my blog just because you're awesome, I love you!!! Thank you for all your support!
See y'all in 18 months!