After out beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, made the announcement a year ago that missionaries would be able to serve at a younger age, I began to realize that lives were about to change.
I have never been the perfect (or close to it), poster-child for the Church, but ever since I was baptized, I've always had a love for the Gospel and for helping people. These two things combined with the many experiences I have had throughout my youth that have testified to me that serving a full-time mission is what I should begin preparing for, have driven me to foresee a mission in my future.
When I went to my cousin's farewell talk (years ago when the thought of a mission was waaaaay beyond my consideration at the time), he said something that changed me that day; he said, "Decide today if you are going to go on a mission. Make that decision now."
So I did. I decided right then and there, in that very chapel in Houston, Texas that I was going to go on a mission when the time came.
So after hearing the announcement, I prayed, fasted, thought hard about my priorities, prayed, considered the pros and cons, tried to push the idea of serving right now out of my mind just to make sure I couldn't actually put it out of my mind and that it really was what I wanted, prayed some more, and I soon began to realize that everything that tugged at my heart pointed toward a mission. Of course the last thing I want to do is leave behind people I love, BYU, starting my major, good job opportunities, the usual, etc...
I love this Gospel so much and I even love people that I have never met before. How is that possible? I don't really know, but I know that love is from the Lord, who IS our Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to share this message of truth, not because serving brings me happiness, but because the Gospel and the divine love from above can bring others happiness and everyone deserves to feel that love and know where and who is it from. I KNOW that when we sacrifice good things for better things and work according to the Lord's timing, things work out for us. And it works that way because the Lord loves us so much.
So after months of working on my mission papers and trying to ignore the temptation to put my mission off for later on down the road I finally got my papers in and....
I finally got my call.
Dear Sister Howle,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Canada Toronto Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months. You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language.
I'M GOING TO CANADA AND I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER.