Yes, thankfully for the better, but dramatic nevertheless. There I was a little freshman on BYU campus trying to figure out how to be a big girl and decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. I kept trying to buckle down and just decide. I remember talking with different people about their major and in visioning this wonderful moment when the heavens open up and tell me that was exactly where I was needed... but usually that just ended with me standing there with a conflicted look on my face. Don't get me wrong, I know decisions like this take time and real thought, but I didn't really even know where to start. The only thing that seemed right was turning to God. So, I prayed and fasted. I really tried to reach up to the pool of knowledge that is always found near our Father in Heaven. I have learned I can trust Him with anything since He has been right about everything so far. I remember just having the calmest feeling that things would be fine. Now if you know me at all you would know that most of the time I am calm about things. My mom can't decide if its a blessing or not because there is a fine balance between caring too much and too little. Not going to lie, most of the time I should probably care a little more than I do.. and so the calm feeling I got helped with the nerves, but didn't really solve any problems.
Then outta nowhere the heavens opened up. I never would have seen the possibility of me serving a mission at the age of 19. Some people say they saw the change coming, but I can honestly say I was completely clueless that beautiful morning in the Conference Center. (Luckily I have always enjoyed surprises) I was sitting there suuuper high up and all the way on the right hand side to where I could barely see the figure of our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, standing at the podium. While I could barely see him I definitely heard his strong, confident voice speak directly to my soul. The distance didn't matter at that point since there seemed to be waterfalls of appreciation and pure joy pouring out of my eyes. As I sat there with a new direction and excitement for life I felt as if I was engulfed in the arms of my Father, my Divine all-knowing God and his Son, my Savior Jesus Christ, at the same time. They knew. They knew all along.
And now, so do I. In fact, I know quite a lot. :) I am headed to the Provo MTC this week to start my missionary training and eventually end up in Vitoria Brazil! I go as a Daughter of God. A hopeful and enthusiastic messenger of His restored Gospel. I might not know what I want to do with my education(yet), but I do know that this gospel is true. So we are going to got with the things I know. :) There is nothing more real to me than the reality that God lives. That He really knows me and is aware of me. I chose to go on a mission because the knowledge of my Savior is what carries me through life. I know that Jesus Christ died for me. That He suffered for all of us so that we could one day return to our Father in Heaven. I know that Joseph Smith was sent as a prophet called of God to guide us and translate the Book of Mormon. I know that this book is inspired and that it really brings us closer to righteousness when we read it and ponder its teachings. This knowledge makes me happy and gives me purpose in life. There is nothing greater than sharing the happiness that I feel through knowing and living this gospel.
It is for this reason that I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it is going to be hard and that at times I will need to pray harder and try harder than I ever have before, but that is what this life is all about isn't it? We are here to learn how to be more like our perfect example, Jesus Christ and I can honestly exclaim that I am ready for my new chapter!
So here I go, Sister Earl signing off. :)
(Don't forget to write me! www.dearelder.com is one of the best things ever invented for writing letters. You can type up a letter and then it will be sent to the MTC and printed out for me! Its free and super self explanatory. All you need is my mission name and mailbox number which is in the left column of this blog! I look forward to hearing from you!!!)