Since receiving my mission call back in October, I have felt God's presence more than ever. Sure, it has been the hardest couple of months, but I've seen and experienced some really neat things.
One cool blessing has been reconnecting with many old friends - best friends from elementary school. I've messaged them back and forth on Facebook or Instagram, finding out about their lives and how they've been the last 10+ years. This has been a huge blessing. These friends meant the world to me.
One friend in particular leaves on his mission to Norway this Wednesday. When I asked him how he felt about leaving, he gave the most honest answer, and I completely related.
“I feel like curling up into a ball and sobbing. But I haven't shed a single tear.”
It's really one of the weirdest feelings. I could not be more excited about serving a mission. I can't wait to meet so many new people, share the gospel of Christ, grow, learn, and experience so much. But at the same time, I'm terrified. I'll be speaking another language, living far away from my family, and going without a lot of the comforts of life I'm so used to. Even just typing that, I have this thought running through me head, "Oh, calm down, you'll be fine," but it's scary. It's a scary thing to give up a year and a half of your life.
And that's where the whole reason to serve a mission comes in. I'm not giving up my phone, my car, my computer, etc. for nothing. I'm not willingly leaving my family and friends behind with little contact for 18 months just for the heck of it. I am going to serve a mission because I love my Savior and because I love my Heavenly Father. I have a strong testimony of this gospel - I know it changes lives. I know that it has changed mine in so many ways. I can feel God leading and guiding me, helping me through confusion and pain. I know that everyone needs to hear this message, and that's why I'm choosing to serve.
I'm not being forced, I'm not going to make other people happy... I'm going because it feels right.
So yes, I'm scared and nervous and anxious and freaking out. But I'm also excited and ready and humbled and calm. All at the same time. Doesn't really seem like it's possible, but it is. Just so many emotions, and yet through it all, I can consistently feel God's arm around my shoulders, helping me and encouraging me.