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:
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."