Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mission Call

Well...I definitely pronounced my mission "Seeeoul," But I CANNOT WAIT to serve in SOUTH KOREA!! I will report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on November 18th and will be teaching in KOREAN! To be honest I was completely shocked when I read my letter. The night before I opened it, my friend guessed North Korea as a joke and I laughed and thought "no way am I going to Asia." Well, here we are! I guess I am needed across the world and I could not be more excited!

The whole process of getting my call happened pretty quickly. Because I was in Utah, I was worried I was going to have to open it without any family from Arizona. My mom had a flight to come up Saturday night (8/1) but only if my call came by Saturday afternoon - the mail comes at 3:30pm and she would have to leave for the airport by 4. By Friday, my call still had not arrived. Still hoping for Saturday, my mom packed just in case and waited the longest day in history for it to maybeee come in the mail. On Saturday afternoon, I distracted myself by going bridge jumping with some friends in Utah - telling them that I may or may not be picking my mom up from the airport that night... By the time I got back to the car I had one missed call, several texts and the most exciting picture EVER waiting for me!!
It was SOOO hard to wait from Saturday night to Sunday night. It was the joke of our family that as soon as I turned in my papers, my mom was already conspiring how to open the call without me knowing. (She later admitted to googling "Secret ways to open LDS mission call...) LUCKILY she had a flight to catch and didn't have time to actually put any of those strategies into practice. Saturday night I had to hide my call deep in my closet and wait until 7pm on August 2nd to open it!! 

When I opened my call, I felt a mixture of excitement for my adventure in Korea and peace that this was where I was meant to be. The next day however...doubt took over and the language had me very afraid. I felt inadequate, insignificant and unprepared. The most comforting promise to me came from a quote by President Thomas S. Monson. He says, 

"I testify to you that whom God calls, God qualifies." 
Heavenly Father knows us perfectly, better than we know ourselves. He knows where our strengths, weaknesses and personality are needed and what we are capable of handling. I find so much strength in knowing that my Heavenly Father has perfect faith in my abilities, as long as I put forth my best effort and put my trust in Him. 
Elder Neil A. Anderson said, 
"Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time. In our days of difficulty, we choose the road of faith. Jesus said, 'Be not afraid, only believe.'"
I know that I will not be able to do this on my own. When I give in to fear, I lack faith. I diminish Christ's role as my Savior when I say "I can't." This is me thinking about doing it all on my own, when in reality we NEED our Savior's divine assistance. I am so grateful for the enabling power of the Atonement, which will give me strength and comfort to do all things through faith and trust in Christ.

Today my Bishop reminded me that I need to stop worrying about the Korean language. That will come. My job today and now is to develop my testimony. Without a strong testimony, nothing else will matter. It is not about the words they hear but the way the Spirit makes them feel. Even if I slaughter the Korean language, they will be understanding if I speak with conviction and allow the Spirit to carry the truthfulness of the message into their hearts.

The more I have learned about my mission the more I realize how perfect and specific this call is to me. I wasn't praying with a certain place in mind, but I was praying to let my Heavenly Father know of all my desires and fears. This call to Seoul answers all of them and even those I was not aware I had. In many ways, I feel Korea is the perfect place for me to serve! 

My biggest validation came as I was doubting myself yet again. I was worried about being so far across the map from my family and the life I know today. During this time, I reflected on how much progress I have made in the past few weeks to come unto Christ. As I have grown closer to my Savior, I have desired to become more like Him and have been praying to develop 3 attributes: selflessness, patience and humility. As I was feeling discouraged, I realized how amazing the people in Korea are in that they represent all of these qualities without even trying. It is just who they are: kind, loving, selfless and giving. I feel like I am going to learn more from their example than they will even learn from me. 

I am so grateful to be able to love and serve these incredible people for 18 months and hopefully bring them closer to their Savior. I'm grateful for inspired leaders and to be sent to a mission that is so perfect for me in many ways. I know the commandments are given to bring us joy. When we are living obediently, we are at our happiest. I can't wait to go to Seoul, Korea!! I love the country and the people so much already <3

Korea!! All the way across the map
My beautiful and always supportive best friend/roomie Mackenzie!
My amazing grandma Jujee
Totally slaughtered that envelope

Love my 엄마 eomma
Shout out to Jesse from the ward who also got his mission call this weekend to Louisville, Kentucky!!
Paige my love since age 2 - Her dad served in Korea Busan with my Uncle!!
My best friend Brittface since age 4 - FaceTiming my other bffs Allie, Birdy, Sam (Aaron), Drea and Ana! As well as my amazing familia back at home!!

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