In a few weeks, I will be leaving on a plane on my way to Sao Paulo. It has not been an easy road to get to Brazil.
This past summer I turned 20 and at the time the missionary age for girls was 21. For the first time of my life, I thought about going on a mission. I first dismissed the idea completely, but the thought of serving a mission stayed in the back of my mind for some time. I couldn't stop thinking about a mission really. I started praying to know if I should go on a mission all the while thinking that I didn't really want to serve one.
Somewhere along the way, something changed. By September, I no longer thought of a mission begrudgingly. Instead everything seemed to reaffirm that I should go on a mission and I actually felt good and happy about it. For instance, in all my classes, and not just my religion ones, the teacher or a student would mention something relating missions or the church or something random and I would think of missions and a wave of warmth and contentment would wash over me.
Now my only problem was that I couldn't turn my mission papers in until March - four months before I turned 21 and was eligible to serve. Then it was General Conference weekend and it was announced that the mission age was lowered to 19 for girls. My astonishment and happiness was complete. It was unbelievable. It was as if the age change was just for me; another answer to my prayers.
I started as soon as possible and by November 4th I had turned in my mission papers to Church headquarters. On November 14th I received a letter with my assignment. I was to serve in the Brazil Maceio Mission, beginning April 3rd.
Four months later and I still have three weeks until I leave. It has been a long four months, but I'm so happy that I have been able to spend this time preparing. I have grown closer to my Heavenly Father and have found a new appreciation and love for the scriptures. I only hope that those I will be teaching will be able to feel how much I love the gospel and how much their Heavenly Father loves them and how much I want them to be happy.
In a short time, I will be on a mission. I will be dedicating 18 months of my life to serving others and my Heavenly Father. Why? Because I know the immense joy that I have experienced because of the gospel and I want to share that joy with others. Because the Lord has blessed me so much and I want to give back any way I can. Because I know He answered my prayers. Because going on a mission feels like the best thing I can do.
So. See you soon Maceio.