About a month ago, I got my mission call to the Rome, Italy mission. I'll be serving there for 18 months (July 24th 2013-January 2015) and I'll be learning to speak Italian. (if you want to read more about LDS missions, click here).
Last year I was a volunteer at the missionary training center, helping the missionaries learning spanish. That was a pretty out-of-the-blue thing, and I ended up doing it weekly for about 9 months. That was what put the idea in my head of, "Hey. This is something you could do. And you might even like it."
I started thinking more and more about if I wanted to go on a mission. I decided I definitely did want to go, but the timing wouldn't be great when I turned 21. I would be in the middle of a school year, and it would be right near the end of my schooling, when a lot of film students go do internships, make their capstone films, etc. I was thinking how great it would be if I could go sooner than 21. Even though the timing wouldn't be ideal when I was 21, I was thinking a lot about it, because I'd be able to start my mission papers in late 2013.
Then at general conference, President Monson announced that the age that girls could serve was changed from 21 to 19. I was 19. And I started crying my face off. My wish of being able to go sooner came true! I had already applied for my study abroad at this point, and I wasn't backing out (it's a 6 week trip to europe, duh). So if I did go on a mission it would be in the summer of 2013. I gave it a few months of thought, prayer, and fasting. I felt a lot of comfort when I imagined myself as a missionary, and I never heard the spirit say "NO DON'T" so I started my mission papers and submitted them on February 19th.
My call came on February 27th, and it was so surreal. I was anxious to find out where I was going, but at the same time I was totally calm. I was thinking "You know, wherever I get called, I'll be telling people about the gospel. Which is the same no matter what state/country you're in."
I opened my call with my family, and found out i get to go to the Italy Rome mission. That mission encompasses Southern half of italy.
It's a huge sacrifice, of course. I won't get to see my family for a year and a half. I have to leave school for a bit, which is sad because I love school. All of my friends I've made in film will be graduated by the time I get back. Also, if my little sister decides to go too, then we'll overlap and I won't see her for even longer. I could miss a lot of important events (weddings and babies (potentially), graduations, new movies and new killers albums...). I'll be putting basically everything on hold.
But all of that aside, I'm so excited to be a full time missionary, and I have a testimony that working hard on a mission will bring a lot of blessings. I also have a testimony that the Lord can make more out of me than what I can make out of myself, so I'm willing to give him 18 months of my life. Most of all, I want to share this great news of the gospel with people. I've experienced such happiness in this gospel, and it would be selfish to keep it to myself. In general conference, they said the Lord is hastening his work, and I'm so excited to be able to help forward it. I can't wait to dedicate all my time to serving the Lord, and teaching and serving and loving the italian people.
And like... pizza, pasta, and gelato every day guys....