Hey there sweet folks!
This week I wanted to share with you the reason I chose to go on a mission. I’ve been a member of the church my whole life, and I have always had a strong testimony of the truthfulness that it contains. When I was younger I tried sharing the gospel with my friends who weren’t members, and I’m not going to lie, I felt really uncomfortable at first. But I kept opening my mouth to tell people about the happiness it brings to my life and it got a whole lot easier! In fact, it filled my soul with so much joy that I prayed for oppurtunities to come along everyday so that I could find people who might need some gospel light shining in their life at that time.
One specific example really motivated my decision to serve a full-time mission. I gave one of my friends The Book of Mormon when she graduated High School, but she threw it away and got a little offended. But two years later, she joined the church and she just got married in the temple to a returned missionary!! Her baptism confirmed to me that I wanted to keep seeing people’s lives change through the atonement and blessings of the preisthood and it was one of the best days of my life!
“When I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.” Amen to this!!!
I started filling out my mission papers about 4 months before my 21st birthday in January. Then all of the sudden, really cute guys started popping out of the woodworks who wanted to date me!! Hehe it was hillarious! I hadn’t been on a date in 8 months before I started my papers, but when I started my papers I got asked out 2-3 times a week. So people, if you want to go on a date, fill out your mission papers! Haha, you’ll get instantly blessed for showing your willingness to serve the Lord. Woot Woot!
Another set back I encountered was in November when I had a grand-mal seizure in the middle of the night that wouldn’t stop! So my roomates called the emergency room and my guy friends in the ward to give me a quick blessing. The last time I had a big seizure, I woke up in a pool of blood, with black eyes, a bump on my head, and a whiplash. I thought I was sleepwalking, but long story short, after many tests I found out that I have Epilespy.
This news was a HUGE shocker to me because I’ve taken really good care of my body my whole life. I’ve been a really active dancer and conscience eater because I have food allergies (gluten, corn, and milk). My mom used to tell me, “Stop eating so many vegetables and start eating some ice cream!” because that’s all I ate. I was really frustrated with my situation because I felt like I wanted to go on a mission more than my friends who didn’t have health issues did! How come they got to go and I didn’t, when I had a stronger desire to go than they did?? After meeting with a neurologist, he prescribed me a double dose of Depakote. I told him I didn’t want to go on a mission if I had to take two dosages because I REALLY don’t like putting chemicals into my body, and I couldn’t afford the pills plus the mission expenses. So when I got a big white envelope in the mail, I thought it was going to be a “decline” letter telling me I’ve been regected due to medical reasons.
When I read that I was going to Des Moines, Iowa on June 20th I really didn’t know what to think!! I already had a back-up plan in mind: I had adorable guys to date, a really FUN dance team to join, and the option NOT to take double the medication prescription for my seizures. However, I’ve had so many miracles happen to me since then that if I don’t go, I’d be CRAZY not to recognize the hand of the Lord in my decision to serve a mission.
I’m really glad I had to go through the process of re-deciding to go on a mission because it helped me realize that for girls, it’s completely a matter of agency! It’s not in God’s plan to have every girl serve a mission; otherwise, it’d be a commandment! ;P I also felt the pain that is caused by not being able to serve a mission due to health problems. However, God knows your desires, and he will bless you for them by placing you where He needs you. If you are in this situation, jut know that there are endless ways to serve a mission, and He needs people without tags or suits to bear witness of the truth as well! )
Thanks for listening to my story! Love, Sister Stephers Tobias