Almost 20 years ago I embarked on one of the most amazing and SCARY adventures of my life. To this day I wonder how I had the strength to do what I did, but deep down inside I know I was given what I needed by my Heavenly Father.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are blessed with the opportunity to leave our families for 18 months (as women) or 24 months (for men) and teach others about our Savior Jesus Christ. It is time we give back to our Heavenly Father.
I was so blessed to be able to spend my time in the beautiful countries of Switzerland and France. I learned to speak that wonderful language. I met some amazing people. I had some incredible, life altering experiences.
One of my dearest friends sent her sweet daughter on her mission today. Looking at this through the eyes of a mother, I am in awe of her strength let her go. I am so thankful that I have been blessed to share this experience with her.
I was not expecting the emotions to resurface. I remember being so excited to go, but so scared at the same time. I knew what I was doing was right, but there were many moments it didn’t feel that way, because of what I was leaving. I wanted to be strong, yet there were more moments of weakness than I could count. I trusted that Heavenly Father would protect and help me, however I wanted to know the end before I left.
In the days leading up to my departure, I think my focus was on being with my family and simply making it to the next day. I didn’t pack until the night before I left. I think it was a moment of denial…I was really going to walk out that door and not come back the same person. I am grateful for an amazing family who supported this and lived with me during those days.
I remembered the feelings I had when I was officially given the missionary title. It was exciting and heavy and scary and wonderful and and and… I was the first of my siblings to embark on this adventure. Everything was new. It was all a bit overwhelming.
The first night I spent in Switzerland the reality of my mission fully hit me. I was half a world away from my family…those who protected, support, loved and taught me. I felt alone and very scared. I remember kneeling down by my bed and pouring out my heart and tears to my Heavenly Father. I haven’t thought about that prayer for years. Looking back, He silently listened to His daughter and gave me the peace I needed to sleep.
I found out how BIG the world is. There are so many people on this planet. All of us are His. So many of us have forgotten who we belong to. My heart takes courage knowing that my sweet children will have that same chance to take those scary steps out our front door and come back new and powerful. I also am grateful to know that I can let them do it, because of my parents, my husband’s parents and my good friends walked this path and were blessed beyond measure.
I am thankful that I have had the chance to experience these emotions, that have been asleep for so long, once again. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of my mission and the amazing blessings it brought to me. It changed my life FOREVER. Heavenly Father is so kind to allow us to do this for Him.