Sunday, February 9, 2014

My first post! And my last...

Hello, world! 

My name is Mekenna and I've made the decision to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Wow, this is exciting! I would NEVER have guessed a year ago that this is where I would be today, but I know it's the right thing for me and I couldn't be happier! And let me tell you, it has not been easy getting to this point.

During my first semester at BYU-Idaho, something felt off. You know how some people say that when you go to that school you're meant to be at that it just feels right? Well I didn't quite feel that way. I felt like I was supposed to be serving a greater purpose but I had no idea what. Everyone around me seemed to know exactly what they were doing with their lives, and then there was me, hiding in my little corner hyperventilating about which major to choose, not knowing where I was supposed to fit in. I was so frustrated... I changed my major 3 times in my first year of school. I experienced having several room mates get their mission calls while I lived with them and I got the same feeling each time one of them opened their call -- paramount excitement and extreme desire to get me one of those! (No, but really.)

Then I started going to BYU-I devotionals. All of the sudden, all I could get out of each meeting was "missionary work, missionary work, missionary work!" Whaaaat? There was no way. I felt so inadequate. I could barely share my testimony in church or give a presentation in classes. How was I supposed to go and preach the gospel to complete strangers? It took months of praying and thinking to come to the conclusion that I would take a leap of faith and go for it. Everyone told me how much I would grow and how there was no better thing I could do for myself. 

It was frustrating trying to ask the Lord if this was the right thing to do. I finally decided I would just tell him my plans and he could confirm them for me. Once I let the Lord know my plans, I started noticing scripture passages that calmed my feelings of doubt and inadequacy. It took me a while to realize that those feelings are from Satan -- he doesn't want more missionaries and he does everything he can to make you doubt yourself. I read my patriarchal blessing again for the first time in about a year and it spoke to me in completely different ways than the last time I'd read it. It seemed like every reason I had not to go was refuted in my blessing and I was told to go! Heavenly Father answered my prayers in very different ways than I had imagined. Life was so great! I finally knew what I was doing with my life! It felt right when school didn't cut it for me! I had it all planned out. At the end of the semester in July, I would submit my papers and be gone by the end of summer. HAH!

Heavenly Father was probably giggling at how I thought I could control my own time table. There was a lot that I needed to learn first. I needed to realize my dependence on the Lord. I needed to develop a closer relationship with Him. Of course, I didn't know that yet! Over the next 6 months I experienced loss and hardship. It was confusing because it came at a time when I felt like I was becoming my best self. I was swallowed up in it for a while until I overcame it all with the help of the Lord.

It's all a matter of perspective! What can seem like a tragedy can also be a tender mercy depending on the way you choose to see it. It took me forever to come to this realization; nonetheless here I am, ready to go on my next big adventure for 18 months. Through all this, I learned to rely on my Heavenly Father. I learned to recognize His hand in my life. He truly answered my prayers and I grew closer to Him through these trials. I testify that if you turn to him in prayer and in study, you will grow to know him better and see the ways that he speaks to you and influences your life. He wants you to turn to him so badly! And if you feel unworthy as I did, know that however far you've strayed that his hand is always outstretched towards you. "For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still." (2 Nephi 19:21)

In case anyone was wondering about the mission thing (no big deal, right?), I was called to the Philippines Quezon City North mission, Tagalog speaking, on October 22, 2013. I will enter the Manila MTC on February 14, 2014. Happy Valentine's Day to me! As such, my mom will be taking over this blog and posting my weekly letters here for those who want to read them.

I hope that the things I say will touch someone's heart, and if you're contemplating a mission yourself, don't waste your time hesitating like I did. Go! There is no greater joy than the joy you will find in the work of the Lord!

See you in 18 months.

    Sister Wilson

No comments:

Post a Comment