It can be absolutely agonizing. Take it from me, friends, the decision to go on a mission was the hardest one I’ve ever made. But the greatest. Hands down. Times a billion.
For those of you who are still wrestling with yourselves, and perhaps God, (Enos 1, anyone?) we’ll turn to some advice from some fellow prospective sisters. Today, let’s meet Sister Holbrook.
California native, Khira Nicole Holbrook was most recently pursuing her goal of becoming an elementary school teacher while attending Brigham Young University-Idaho. That was until a quiet little answer to a quiet little prayer changed her life. For the next 18 months, Khira will wear the nametag, and become Sister Holbrook, laboring in the Montana Billings Mission.
But if you were to ask Khira, the answer didn’t come all at once. Let’s go back about a year.
During her Winter 2012 semester, Khira was interning for the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida. While there, she kept trying to make plans for her immediate future, but kept coming up short.
“I’m the kind of person that has to have a plan for the future,” she said.
Khira was waiting for a missionary who would soon be returning home.
She decided to pray about it.
On a trip to the temple, Khira opened her scriptures. Her answer?
“I opened up to a scripture in the Doctrine & Covenants,” she said. “I read something about the saints not dwelling on it, and I thought ‘Oh my gosh! I can’t plan!’”
So putting her trust and faith in God, she returned back to Idaho for the Spring 2012 semester.
“I just decided to stop worrying about it,” she said.
While back at school, Khira’s missionary came home and the two eventually started dating.
At first, things were going great, and with what she thought was a potentially long-term relationship, Khira turned to her Father in Heaven for some guidance.
“I needed to know if I was supposed to be with this kid,” she said.
And that’s when an unexpected answer came: a mission.
Khira started her papers, and though her boyfriend was supportive of her decision, he told her he didn’t want her to go.
Khira simply told him that she understood where he was coming from, but that she felt strongly about serving.
As it turned out, the relationship ended not too long after, and Khira finished her papers.
And then her call came! Well, that is after nearly four agonizingly long months of continual setbacks.
Khira submitted her paperwork and returned back to school for Fall 2012 semester.
She watched as friends, and thanks to the new missionary-age announcement, girls younger than her were receiving their calls. She continued to wait.
Khira, like many other missionaries, had previous medical issues that had to be checked and rechecked. After what seemed to be an eternity of re-living of her life story, her paper work was finally submitted. While driving home at the end of the semester, she found out that her call had been assigned.
“I just started crying,” she said. “After waiting nearly four months I finally had my call. It was going to be the greatest Christmas present.”
The next day, a big white envelope, stamped with the phrase “Seasons Greetings!” was in her mailbox.
Surrounded by her friends and family, she read her call: Montana Billings Mission.
“I knew when I read the call that that was where I was supposed to go,” she said.
For Khira, one of the most influential factors in deciding to serve was gaining a personal witness.
“I had to know for myself that I had to go. I couldn’t have my boyfriend tell me not to go,” she said. “It wasn’t a big booming answer, I just had really small confirmations.”
Small confirmations, and a whole lot of faith.
In two weeks, Khira will step though the doors of the MTC.
What is she most excited for? Oh, just to be able to teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
“I know that it’s my calling to teach. I’m not scared. I’m super excited.”