Going on a mission is obviously not an easy decision to make. It is HARD and stressful and there is a lot to consider. Like school, things you will miss when you are away, and all the things that you will be giving up. It isn't a decision to jump into, especially for sisters. We don't have the obligation to go but instead simply encouraged to ponder and pray about it. The easiest way to do this post is a timeline..
all my life--- to--December 2012- NO DESIRE TO SERVE AT ALL.
Now at this time, the age change was already made and I didn't think anything of it. I had never wanted to serve a mission, but I knew..well thought I knew that a mission was absolutely no way for me. At this time I was actually getting ready to send my best friend off on his mission. He had just gotten his mission call and I was super excited for him and I knew the importance of a mission! But It just "wasn't for me."
One night I was talking to my best friend and he asked me specifically one day on the phone.."Hey, Taylor, Have you ever thought about going on a mission." And now here I am...And how do I react. MAD. I was so ticked off, I got super defensive so quickly. WHY IN THE WORLD WAS HE EVEN BOTHERING TO ASK ME THAT QUESTION!? I was fine just the way I was, I didn't need the spiritual strength that would come from a mission. And I told him quite sassily, "unless it mentions something in my patriarchal blessing about going on a mission I am not gonna think about it. Because if it is in my blessing, then it is in the plans for me." I was 17 at the time and would have a whole year and 3 months before I would even start my papers.
Guess who heard that little remark? Heavenly Father. About a week later I got my patriarchal blessing. It didn't say straight up "you will serve a full time mission" but instead said just enough to get me to have to seriously consider if it was something I had to do. So I got praying, and I got thinking. I had gotten a subtle answer that a mission would be a good idea, but I wasn't completely sure, or maybe I just didn't want to accept what I already knew was my answer.
My best friend left for his mission. At this point I was ready to serve, because the Lord was pushing me out there and I was really starting to feel that I should go, but I didn't really want to..yet. I figured Heavenly Father had answered my prayers in subtle ways. You should all know that I am not that easy to convince. I told the my friend I was gonna go on a mission most likely and he was thrilled. But I wasn't satisfied with the subtleness of my answer, I wanted a big slap in the face!..so I kept waiting. because after all..I still had a year before I could even start my papers... I wanted to be sure.
April 2013--General Conference
Being a member in an inactive/nonmember home, I sat watching conference on my laptop. TWIST. Conference had ended. And I was watching the commercials that play afterward. What happened to play? It was a rerun of the october conference which President Monson changed the age.
You should know that I hadn't watched it the first time, people has just told me it happened.
So I was there sitting on my bed watching this rerun of the age change and the moment he announced the age change for women I was in tears. Sitting in my room just bawling my eyes out and feeling completely pathetic for crying at my laptop. ....90%
I began to talk about it and tell people about my decision to serve and everyone was so supportive of me. This one woman that was a new member came up to me once I had started to talking about it and she told me "I know that we don't talk much and I don't really know you, but I really feel like I should tell you that the first moment I met you, I knew right away that you would be involved in missionary work, I went home and told my husband, you can even ask him. If you ever question your decision to serve, don't." Um WOAH. What do you even say to that!? I was so shocked and so humbled by her comment, when she said it my heart was filled and I was so ready to go out and serve!...95%
Once I began talking about my choice to serve, and a few people came and told me that we were getting sister missionaries in our ward!
Living in Maine, we are not over flowing with missionaries, let alone sister missionaries!...But the moment my choice to serve comes up, sister missionaries get placed in MY ward?...Talk about the Lord's timing!.....100%!!!! And I would now have people here to prepare me, specifically me. I knew the Lord gave them right to me as him saying "Get ready, sister, cause you are going, and you will be prepared." You would think that would be it. That I would then be 100% content with my answer. NOPE. Not me. I wasn't okay with that. I was only...97%
Even though I was mostly sure, I wasn't completely. But I went out with the missionaries and had an amazing time with them, and loved bearing my testimony and sharing what I know to be true, but I still wasn't 100% sure..Ya I know, Im realllllllly stubborn. I am kicking myself now because of how I stubborn I was when really the Lord was being SO obvious with his answer of what I was supposed to do.
August 2013-- The final push
The night before a fast sunday, I was praying to know if I should serve. The moment I stood up from my knees, Alma 17:3 came to my mind, I went straight to my scriptures because I wasn't familiar with what it said at all... But I opened to it and read:
But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.
How strange, I knew that meant, "Well, Taylor, you have prayed, but um, have you fasted? Because that is when I will teach you."
So the next day I opened my fast and I asked my Heavenly Father about my decision to serve, what it really right for me?
The moment I closed my fast, the moment I stood up, I just knew. I felt a comfort and excited feeling come over me and I just new it was my time to serve, it my my time to get myself prepared, because I WAS GOING ON A MISSION!! 100%!
It only took months for the Lord to convince me, but I am mighty glad he did because I am more than excited about it! and as discouraging as it was to wait a whole year to start my papers, it just allowed my excitement to grow and my testimony to strengthen and for me to really prepare myself. I am now 115% sure that mission is exactly what I need to be doing right now. I refuse to believe that any of these occurrences were coincidence. I know that my Heavenly Father knew what I needed and when I needed it because he knows me better than anyone.
I know that this church is true, from the very bottom of my heart, and with every fiber of my being. I know without a shadow of a doubt that there is nothing better for me to be doing at this time than serving my Lord, our Lord, full-time. It will be anything but easy, but it will be more than worth it. I am so blessed to have this gospel in my life, and for the atonement of Christ, the least I can do is share that knowledge with my brothers and sisters who are lost in darkness.
If you haven't made up your mind to serve, just be patient and listen to our Father in Heaven because I can promise you, He will let you know what you need to do in his timing and in just the manner that you need to hear it. Personal revelation is real. You can receive it, all you need to do is humbly ask and the Lord will open the windows of heaven and provide you with the answers that you long for. He will convince you if you need convincing if a mission is for you, true story.
-- Sister Wagner