(My friends will appreciate the 'Last Exorcism' Reference!)
Honestly, I would already have my mission paid off if I had a dollar for every time I've had this conversation in the last month or two:
"WOW! I am SO excited for you. Now when is it that you leave?"
"March 27? That's coming right up! Are you ______?"
I always answer "Yes" because I am all of those words! In fact, I am all of those words AND their opposites. I am all of those words, their opposites, their synonyms, their brothers, their sisters, their cousins, and their cousin's great-grandchildren.
But the thing about all of those words, is that they're JUST WORDS.
And until recently, they really were JUST WORDS. Just words that I used to describe how I felt, not because I really felt them, but because I knew that I SHOULD have felt them. But honestly, I didn't feel a whole lot. Everything was just so surreal.
THEN, last week happened. Oh, what a week!
*My parents were out of town and only reachable through email. (Good Practice.)
*I began packing for the mission.
*I started my mission journal.
*I stood in Deseret Book for two hours searching for mission-related inspiration.
*I got my mission clothes.
*I hung out with friends who were down for Spring Break.
*I watched my Temple Buddy recieve his own Endowment.
*I said my first goodbyes.
And today, we had a returned Sister Missionary speak in Sacrament.
With all of those things going on, all those WORDS, finally became FEELINGS.
I DO FEEL excited, and scared, and nervous, and ready...
Extra Sensitive to the Spirit.
Hungry for American Food.
Like this is all I've ever wanted.
Like I'll be extremely successful.
An adrenhaline rush.
Like my eyes won't stop leaking.
Like I want to just live in the Celestial Room of the Temple until I go.
Like time is going by way too slow.
Like time is flying by super fast.
So incredibly ready to get to work.
Like my Spanish es muy bien.
Like I'll never, ever learn Spanish.
Like a good example.
Like a bad example.
That I've worked hard enough to prepare.
That I haven't worked hard at all.
AND, OH, SO VERY, VERY EXCITED!!!
BASICALLY, if you could see all my Pre-Mission Emotions,
they'd look like this:
And a little bit of this:
AND A WHOLE LOT OF THIS:
But then, I remember this:
The moment when, just two weeks after my 19th Birthday, the Lord's true and living Prophet announced that "able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve, may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of 21."
So many people told me that they KNEW he was going to say nineteen.
CALL ME CRAZY, but I didn't KNOW he was going to say nineteen...
I REMEMBERED that he was going to say nineteen.
As soon as he began that announcement, it was like time froze. Something Eternal clicked inside of me, and I remembered that the age would be changed.
I REMEMBERED that I was supposed to go.
Just two and a half weeks after the announcement was made, I held my mission call in my hand. I was surrounded by the people that I loved most. They heard me read:
"Dear Sister Simonson,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
And then they heard me pause and gasp and watched me bury my head in my hands and squeal with joy, because my eyes had jumped ahead of mouth and read the words:
"You are assigned to labor in the Peru Lima North Mission."
Somehow, I felt at home with a place I'd never even seen. I knew it was right.
But mostly, I remember this:
And honestly, when that happens, nothing else really seems to matter.
Sure, there's a lot to be scared and nervous (and a whole lot of other things!) about. But, my main purpose for the next 18 Months is to tell people how I feel about My Savior, and I can definitely do that. I mean, after all, HE DIED for me. I love Him. All that matters is that I let the people of Peru see that.