Friday, January 25, 2013

The Final Decision

The next 2 months after the announcement was full of me thinking. Thinking of all the possibilities, weighing my pros and cons. My decision would sway back and forth from day to day.

For about 2 solid weeks, I had a firm no, that I was not going. Those were some really hard, dark weeks in my life. I know now that Satan was pulling me pretty deep.

After feeling so down and confused about life after those two weeks, I decided to set my priorities straight and make a trip to the temple. I went with two of my roommates to the Logan temple which is about 5 minutes away from my dorm to do baptisms.

It was pretty busy when we went, and so we spent a lot of time waiting on the benches. I pulled out the scriptures and read many chapters in the Book of Mormon. For the first time in what seemed like months, I really felt happy. I felt relieved and comforted. It's amazing what the temple does to clear your mind.

After leaving the font, I was waiting for the shower next to my roommate and just flat out told her, without even thinking about it first, "I need to go on a mission". She turned to me and said "I knew you would say that". And my heart smiled.

In the temple, I had realized that not ONE day went by since the big announcement that going on a mission didn't cross my mind. I knew it would be something I would CONSTANTLY continue to think about if I didn't go and something I would regret if I didn't. I need to get out there.

This is an absolute amazing opportunity and I can't express right now how excited I am.


I started my mission papers on December 10, 2012.

Right after starting them, I had many missionary experiences come my way. I was already able to share the gospel with some of my closest friends and family. After talking about things with them, I was so happy and excited to share my beliefs and share the truth. I knew I had made the right choice.

My family still didn't think my decision was final. It took them another few weeks to truly understand how serious I was about it. I remember my mom called me up one day saying that my doctors appointment was confirmed, and she told me "Megan, you better write me some dang good letters." It was at that moment that I knew she would support me 100%. And at that moment where it hit me that this was really happening. I didn't get scared though, I just smiled and said "Bring it on!" :)

There is no doubt in my mind that this gospel is the truth. I have known it since I was born. I KNOW that families can be together forever. Family is what brings me the most joy in my life and I am most excited to go out and share that message with others, even if that means I will be leaving my family for 18 months. What's 18 months compared to eternity? Hah! Absolutely nothing. I want others to have this same happiness, love, and excitement that I feel.

My Lord and savior is my best friend. He is there always. He carries me through my struggles and listens to my thoughts when no one else will. He understands and he loves me more than anyone else on this world ever will. I am excited to spread his love and help others to realize that they aren't alone and that he loves them just as much as he loves me.

I'm so excited to serve. There is nothing else that I could picture myself doing for the next 18 months.

As my favorite seminary teacher once told me.
"The church is true, God loves you, and Satan hates you." It's so true.

The Announcement

Previous to this day, I had never really thought seriously about serving a mission. Like many other girls, I just figured, hey, if I'm 21 and have no prospects of marriage, then yeah! I will totally go! That changed really fast though.

On October 6, 2012, about 8 o'clock, my mom came down to my room to wake me up saying "Happy Birthday" and that dad was upstairs making me a big birthday breakfast.

I went upstairs and dad already had omelets all made up for us. We ate the wonderful breakfast then I grabbed my laptop to show mom some pictures. We totally didn't realize what time it was and that General Conference had already started. While the laptop was up I figured I would hop on Facebook. I saw my cousin, Chase, post this message:

"Breaking news: the church is going to allow 18 year olds to serve missions and not wait till you're 19 and women can serve at age 19 instead of age 21! WOW! What a blessing!!"

I was like "what?". I though he was kidding until I started to see more and more status's similar to his, appear on my news feed. I went to the church website and replayed President Monson:

"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 opportunity of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of the age of 19"

My thoughts immediately turned to my dear guy friends and all of the crazy thoughts and changes this would bring to them

"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 young women might serve"

I was ALL ears. All of a sudden my heart started racing.

Today I'm 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"

I nearly spit out the omelet that I had been chewing on.

Mission mission mission.

Shock ran all through me, as well as goosebumps and a completely blank mind. I had no idea what to think. It was the weirdest feeling ever. It took a while for me to process the words. I turned to my mom. "I can serve a mission RIGHT NOW!"

As soon as I said it out loud, another rush of emotion ran through me. My whole life could change at this very moment.

All throughout the rest of the morning, that was all the talk was about. The other general authorities kept relating their talks to missionary work and the huge change that had been made. My friends kept calling and calling me. My two best friends Rachel and Eliza both called me to wish me a happy birthday and talk about our feelings on the subject. My college roommates Sarah and Holly called me as well. I was crying and laughing and crying all morning. Rachel and Eliza were both set on going. I still felt like I had a TON to think about.

My dad kept walking past my room and coming in to talk to me. We discussed the possible options and what this meant for me. It amazed both of us how adamant all of my friends were on Facebook about going. I just kept crying and could NOT stop no matter how hard I tried - but it was GOOD crying, so no worries! :) He said it was the Holy Ghost just nudging me to "Go Megan! Get out there and SERVE! Go!" It was such an overwhelming feeling. I hugged him lots and lots and could not wipe the smile off my face.

My brother, who was living in Georgia at the time called me as well. He thought it was so funny how the announcement happened ON my 19th birthday. Him and his wife Carly sang happy birthday to me and then I had a good conversation about things with Jord. He said that he never ever regrets his mission and it taught him a whole lot about himself and taught him valuable lessons that have helped them in his marriage and in his work. It's definitely an opportunity that is set for this generation. This forces girls to REALLY ASK the Lord if they should go or not, rather than just waiting till 21 or getting married right out of high school. The change is a great thing. I told him that personally, I was scared because I wasn't sure if I was spiritually ready. He laughed and told me that I am more ready than most of the kids that head out now. He said that he was all for it and that him and Carly would support me in whatever decision I made.

My mom didn't say much about the subject, she just told me that she would miss me and that I didn't have to decide right at that very moment. She said she would support me as well in whatever decision I made and I knew she would. This was just a decision that I needed to make between me and that Lord, and I had always been horrible at decision making...

For the rest of the day, I went to Lagoon and a corn maze with friends for my birthday. (I'm a sucker for amusement parks and halloween activities). I could not get the mission out of my mind, and although I didn't tell anyone that I was going for sure (it was only day 1 anyway). I think on that day, in my heart, I knew the answer. Little did I know that I would be faced with lots of opposition later though.

October 6, 2012
"Words are at a total loss. I am SO BLESSED beyond belief. Thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL my birthday wishes. I have the most incredible family and the greatest friends. ♥ It was great to see the WHOLE gang back together tonight. They always make my birthdays extra special :) Today has been a day I will never forget. Went to Frightmares for the first time in years, to the home corn maze, and of course, the traditional Denny's at midnight. ♥
But the greatest gift and memory of them all was the words from the prophet this morning. That's the one thing I can't get out of my head! Coincidence on my birthday? I think not. A mission at 19? It's the best birthday present I could ever ask for.
It's amazing to see all of my friends that are so willing to jump at this new opportunity that the Lord has opened up for us. We have all been so prepared and i'm excited to see the gospel explode throughout the world with all of these young saints. You guys are so awesome... I just wanted to thank all of you for being a part of my life and helping me to be worthy enough to serve a mission right now. SURPRISE!! It's incredible how your whole life plan can change in one single day.
Thank you! I can't say it enough. Best. Birthday. Ever."