Friday, May 23, 2014

The Mission Call

I never thought in a million years as I grew up that I would go on a mission. I even told my parents to stop asking me if I was going to go on one a year ago. After the mission age change (young men 18, and young women 19) I became very frustrated because it felt like people expected all girls to go. There was so much push to go on a mission that I closed myself of from the idea completely. As all my friends started getting their calls last year I became even more frustrated because they were all leaving me, and I didn't want them to go. At the beginning of July in 2013 my brother was coming home from the Philippines  Manilla mission. My parents took me with them to go and pick him up. While I was there I fell in love with everyone my brother had taught. His emails and letters came to life as I met everyone he had told us about. I loved them because my brother loved them. I saw the light in their eyes and their humble pure hearts. I saw what a mission really was, it was to find love for not only the gospel, but for our brothers and sisters all over the world. When I got home my view of a mission changed completely. As almost all of my friends departed on their missions I continued saying goodbye and shedding a lot of tears. 

As time rolled on a mission was always in the back of my mind. One day my boss pointed out that I was now old enough to turn in my papers, and she asked me if I had been thinking about what I was going to do. That made me realize I had to start thinking about my future, and if I was going to go serve. I prayed so hard to find an answer, but nothing was coming back to me. I had to talk to someone, and I knew it had to be my older brother Ian because he knew what situation I was in and he can keeps secrets. He always knows what to say to me, and advised that I should talk to our bishop. That Sunday I had a meeting with my Bishop to get some further advice. He said this to me, "Kaitlyn, think about it. You already know what you want to do because you are sitting here in my office. You just need to get your mind connected to your heart." In that moment I knew I had to go on a mission. 

I continued to pray to my Heavenly Father to know if it was the right decision. I had no answer. Weeks went by and I was still praying and studying to know. I was reading my patriarchal blessing when I got the impression that I need to go to the temple. The next Saturday I went to the temple by myself. Sitting in the conformation room as they were confirming those who had passed on before me as members of the church I began to cry. I realized that this is what life was all about. Coming unto Christ. I got my answer, and the next day I talked to my bishop and started my papers. Telling my parents when I got home from my meeting was the best feeling in the whole world. I have never seen them so proud and excited. My mom did the most hilarious happy dance!

On April 23, 2014 early in the morning I got a call from my parents that my mission call had come in the mail. I was at school at Utah State University so I wasn't able to open the letter until later that night after my classes where done. Classes that day went by sooooo sloooooowly I thought they would never end. I couldn't remember a single thing any of my professors had taught, all I could thing about was where I would be going on my mission. After a long day of waiting I made the hour and a half drive back home with my roommates. When I got home I was finally able to hold the letter, but I still couldn't open it. To get my mind off of it my mother took me and my roommates to Zupas for dinner...numm numm! 

As eight o'clock rolled around my living room began to fill with all the people I love! I was even able to get some of my family that lived far away there via Skype and FaceTime! The anticipation was killing me as I held the closed letter in my hand. I began to cry as I started opening the letter because I could feel the love and support from all of my family, but most importantly from my Heavenly Father. In that moment I was reassured that going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was what I needed to do for the next 18 months. 

I continued opening my letter and started reading well stuttering...

Dear Sister Cooper,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the New Jersey Morristown Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president.

After just reading the first to paragraphs everyone was cheering, and there was so much happiness that flooded over me! I had no idea what to think or say. I was very overwhelmed emotionally and spiritually.

As time has gone on I have realized how perfect this mission is for me! I couldn't be more excited to go on my mission! I know that I have been called to New Jersey for a reason, and I am excited to give my life and heart to the Lord for those 18 months! I will be leaving a lot behind, including my family and boyfriend, but this sacrifice is nothing compared to the blessings that come! I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church that contains the restored gospel. I know that God is aware, and loves every single one of his children no matter where they are in life or what they have done. I can't wait to fall in love with the people I will be serving in the New Jersey Morristown Mission! This decision will forever change my life, and I couldn't be happier.
My first time holding the letter

First let me take a selfie

My family can get a little bit too excited.....

My besties

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