Remember where you were when you heard the earth-shattering news that sisters could now serve a mission at age 19? I was in the conference center. The buzz from the congregation was electrifying. Whether you were in Salt Lake, or watching it with grand rapture on your flat screen television, I’m sure it left you as stunned and excited as I was.
For some of you, it changed everything.
Blogger Morgan Taylor was no exception. This is her story:
“I never wanted to go on a mission. Honestly, I never thought I’d turn 21 and not be married — I know a lot of girls felt the same way. Hence the low numbers of sister missionaries serving before the age change. I did, however, start seriously thinking about serving a mission before October conference. My best friend was preparing to serve his mission, and he started to encourage me to think about it. I pondered and prayed about it, and decided I wanted to serve, but I didn’t know what was going to happen in the few years leading to my 21st birthday. It seemed so far away, and I didn’t know what to do, so I put it in the back of my mind.
“Then came General Conference. I remember listening to the opening session hoping to hear a new temple being built in Busan, Korea (where my friend would be serving) and instead, heard President Monson announce that sister missionaries could now serve at the age of 19.
“I told myself, ‘I can serve a mission, I can serve now, I’m going’ and a wave of emotion hit me. The moment you know you are going to serve a mission is a very special and private moment. I was so incredibly happy. That’s how I knew. I thought about myself serving, and I couldn’t imagine being happier. My family encouraged me to fast and pray for a few days to make sure. I did, but I already knew I was going, and my prayers just confirmed that.
“I turned in my papers, had my interviews, and received my call. Holding that fat, white envelope in your hands is one of the most amazing feelings you can ever feel. You know inside of it there is a piece of paper telling you where God has prepared people for you to teach for 18 months. It is amazing.
“If you are thinking about serving, but still not sure you want to, think about why you want to serve. Write it all down, and look at your list of reasons you want to go on a mission. Then make a decision, get on your knees and pray.
Elder Boyd K. Packer asked us, ‘Do you go to the Lord with a problem and ask Him to make your decision for you? Or do you work, read the revelations [scriptures], and meditate and pray and then make a decision yourself? …Make the decision. Then ask Him if the decision is right or if it is wrong.’ Everyone’s decision to serve is very private and personal, but always keep in mind the Lord has your best interests at heart and he will always provide a way.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission at 19. I know that the age change was truly inspired, and I also know that the mission calls assigned to every missionary is inspired and unique. I will be able to spend 18 months of my life serving the people of the Tahiti, Papeete mission. It’s going to be challenging, and some days are going to push me to my limit, but in the end I know I’m the Lord’s instrument and He will take care of me.
I blog over at xoxomorgan.blogspot.com come on over to learn more about me and my mission, I’d love to get to know you!
Good luck, Sister Taylor. You are already changing people’s lives.