I am going to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I have been called to serve in the Washington, Everett Mission and I will be speaking Spanish!
It's odd. When I was a girl, I never pictured myself going on a mission. It sounded hard, embarrassing, and plain awful. Truly, that's what I thought. When I was in high school, a mission was still not my plan. Girls couldn't go until they were 21. I'd be dating someone seriously/married by that point, or that's what I hoped! I am ashamed to admit that I thought that only the weird/unattractive girls who didn't get boyfriends went on missions. This is not the case!
In October of 2012, an announcement was made by the living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, that said girls can now serve missions when they are 19. I felt a mantle being placed on my shoulders. A thought came to me that said "You love me more than you love anything else, Kimberly. This is how you can show your love."
I want to make something very clear: girls are not obligated to go on missions. It is a choice. Please, if you are thinking about a mission, do not feel like you need to go to prove something! Do not go to make your parents happy. Do not go because all your friends are going. Do not go because your boyfriend is going. Choosing to serve a mission is between you and the Lord.
I went back and forth a lot about the decision to serve. I'd have "missionary weeks" and "not missionary weeks." But here's what it came down to for me: I pictured myself at BYU in the Fall and I could not see myself there. I pictured myself in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) and I couldn't see myself there either! Then I tried on my friend's missionary name tag and looked in the mirror. It looked right. Again, I had a distinct thought. It said "Look, Kimberly. This is the 'you' that you're going to become. This is what you have to do to become what He needs you to be." So I submitted my papers. I took a step into the darkness. I acted on my faith.
The Lord is helping me with every step of my journey. I know that I am in Ukraine to learn essential things before my mission. The Lord is directing my paths!
Before I came to Ukraine, I wanted to go on a foreign mission. I wanted to learn a crazy language and be able to say "oh, yeah, I just spent 18 months in Africa, whatever." I knew that I shouldn't want that, but I did. Then I came here and started learning Russian. Trust me, Russian is basically impossible. I left Russian class and said "I just want to speak Spanish on my mission!" I also gained a deeper love for the good ol' USA. And peanut butter. And free public restrooms that are clean and aren't holes in the ground that you have to squat over. And being able to read billboards and street signs. And having a clean standard of living. And Mexican food. I really, really wanted to go on a stateside mission.
Can I tell you something? The Lord knows what you need. He knows better than you do. He prepared me for my call. He took care of my heart. He took away my selfish desire to go somewhere crazy and replaced it with a residing hope in the love of my Savior.
Remember how I said I couldn't picture myself in the MTC? Well, I was picturing the Provo MTC. I'm not going there. I'm going to the Mexico MTC! Everything is falling into place.
Will my mission be hard? Oh, yes. It'll be incredibly difficult. Will it be one of the best things I ever do? No doubt about it.
I have been called to bring the world His truth.
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."-John 10:10 I am helping people find the abundant life that the Savior offers. I know He lives and loves us. I know that this Gospel is true. Come unto Him and he will give you rest.