Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Decision to Serve

 Dear Readers,

If you're reading this blog then you probably already know that I have been called to serve in the Honduras San Pedro Sula East Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am so excited to be able to serve the people of Honduras for the next 18 months! I am going to go to the MTC in Mexico City on October 30th and I'll get to Honduras in mid December.

I decided when I was fifteen that I wanted to serve a mission. I had been thinking for a couple months that I might want to serve a mission but my decision was solidified when Elder Brent H. Nielson gave a talk in General Conference entitled A Call to the Rising Generation. http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/a-call-to-the-rising-generation I realized that there are people in the world that need the gospel and I could help them. They are God's children and they deserve to be happy and receive the blessings that Heavenly Father wants to give to them. I spent the next three years planning on serving a mission, but then life changed when President Monson announced that sisters could serve at 19 instead of 21. At that moment I got a pit in my stomach. A felt unprepared, inadequate. I couldn't sleep that night.

I spent the next six months figuring out if I was supposed to serve a mission. I still knew that I wanted to serve but I need to know if I was supposed to serve. After months of praying, reading, frustration, going to the temple, crying, and a bit more crying I finally got my answer and started my papers. Then, I submitted my papers in May.

  I expected my call to arrive on Wednesday June 12. I sat by the mail box for three hours but my call didn't come. That Saturday I realized I had written my home address incorrectly on my mission papers. I was a mess. My Bishop called the mission office to explain the situation and they told him they would mail my call again and I should get it within a week or two. Imagine my surprise when I opened my mailbox that Tuesday not finding my mission call, but a letter from the church travel department. I opened the envelope to the words "Honduras Missions Visa Requirements." I stood, alone in my kitchen, in total shock.

The day I found out that I was going to Honduras was the only day in my life that I was scared to serve a mission. I had gotten used to the idea of serving stateside, having members make Thanksgiving dinner, going bowling on P-day, but all that was gone. I was scared to preach the gospel in a third world country, but after a prayer I knew that I would be okay. I knew that Honduras is where I am supposed to serve, and that all I need to do is trust in my Heavenly Father and His plan for me.

There are some days I less excited to go than others. I think about staying home and finding a nice boy to marry me, but that Idea never lasts for long because I have felt God's love for me and I have had the Holy Ghost tell me that I need to be in Honduras.

I can't wait to get to Honduras and start spreading the gospel and serving God's children there. I know that I am being prepared to meet them and that they are being prepared to meet me. I know that this is going to be best year a half of my life.

Hermana Odekirk