Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Call

I decided that I was going to start working on my papers when I was home in Minnesota in late April. The plan was to start them as soon as I got back to Provo, and have them turned in and completely finished with-in two weeks. I wanted them to be submitted by mid May and potentially have my call by the end of May.

Well obviously that didn't happen.

I can't even express to you how frustrating it was to start my papers, schedule doctors appointments, and schedule interviews with my bishop and the stake president. There was delay, after delay. The amount of time that it took to get everything done was ridiculous. I felt so discouraged. And especially because I was still kinda on the fence about the mission I felt like maybe this was Heavenly Father telling me that I wasn't suppose to go...

But after many trips to the Temple, I realized that I need to be Patient, I was on His timeline, not mine.

Finally, my papers were submitted on Sunday June 16.

I've heard that a lot of people start freaking out and have a hard time waiting for their call as soon as their papers are in. Surprisingly I felt pretty calm and patient. Until my bishop texted me on Friday and said, "Hi, your call was sent out yesterday You should see it tomorrow or Monday. Congratulations."

TOMORROW?!?! I Could get my call tomorrow?

I started Freaking Out! This was getting real. A General Authority had seen my face. Somewhere there was a piece of paper telling me where I was going to serve. AHH!!

I was excited, scared, nervous, anxious, happy, and surprised.

I didn't think that I would get my call till Wednesday. And even after my bishop said that it would be there by Saturday or Monday I was pretty confident that It wouldn't come till Wednesday.

But my bishop had given me hope so I sat there all Saturday Morning, waiting for the mail, and I was so disappointed when it wasn't there. My hope was crushed.

But the bishop did say that it could come Monday so I sat again and waited for the mail. And again it wasn't there.

By this point I knew that it wasn't coming Wednesday. So I sat around on Tuesday and tried watching movies to pass the time. It was the Longest day of my life. I was watching  Les Miserables and it got to the part where they sing "One Day More"

If you haven't seen it watch it!
And the last phrase of the song says:
"♪ Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in Heaven has in store
One more dawn,
One more day.
One day more! ♪"

And I was like "THATS ME!"

Then it was Wednesday. I was freaking out! I went down to the mailbox three times! I sat on my kitchen table and waited for the mailman. I felt like such a stalker and I felt like the mail was taking extra long to get here. And then there she was! The mail-woman! I couldn't contain myself. I sat there patiently waiting for her to leave. And than I ran down to the mailbox and just stood there. I was so scared that it wouldn't be there. I probably stood there for a good 6 minutes debating whether or not I should open it.

And then I was like "Alright Mallory, stop being pathetic and open the dang mailbox."

I opened it and there it was!

I pulled it out and I immediately started crying. At that moment I was 100% sure that going on a mission was what I was suppose to do. At that moment that it didn't matter where I was going or what language I was speaking because I was going to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I was going to preach it to those that needed to hear it from me.

I thought that I was for sure staying in the states. And I was pretty sure that I was staying English Speaking or ASL (for those of you that don't know I'm pretty fluent in American Sign Language). I thought if I go foreign maybe Canada or maybe the UK. I thought that I would be a more effective missionary if I went state-side. So I didn't even think about foreign countries because I thought that there was no way I would get sent anywhere outside of the United States. I mean lets be honest. One of the main reasons why I learned sign language in high school was because I can hardly speak English! If I couldn't even speak my own native tongue how was I suppose to learn another language?

I had to wait till 5 to open it! My call just sat there. Starring at me. Waiting for me to see what was inside. Waiting was torturous. Finally, 5 rolled around and my roommates and I picked up some friends and drove up to my grandparents.

It was time. I could open it.

BRAZIL!!!! WHAT?!?! I Thought maybe I would go to South America but I was thinking Peru, or maybe Chile but BRAIZL? PORTUGUESE?!?

My mind was blown.

I couldn't even comprehend what had just happened. 

Was I really going to spend 18 month of my life in Brazil? Preaching to the People in Portuguese? I can't even pronounce the name of my mission "Piracicaba" (since then I've learned how to pronounce it. Click here it you want to hear it)

A lot of people have told me that as soon as you open up your mission call and  read where you are going you just know thats where you are suppose to be. But honestly I was so overcome with shock and excitement that I didn't quite get that. It's been three weeks since I've had my call and after learning about my area, the culture, and the people I have no doubt that Piracicaba Brazil is the right place for me.

The Lords plan for us is so much better than our own. I've learned and developed a testimony of that these past couple of months. I know that the Lord wants me in Brazil. Learning Portuguese is going to be difficult and it will be one of the hardest things I ever do. But if God wants me to learn it then I know that I can do it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

To Go or Not to Go

WARNING: This is really long and may make me sounds super dramatic READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

This has been by far, the hardest decision I've ever made. Granted, I feel like I haven't had to make too many tough decisions but this hands down has been the most difficult. For some girls the decision to go was easy. Some of my friends made the decision in a matter of minutes. For me, this was not the case.

As I mentioned before in my previous post, I had never had a strong desire to serve a mission. In fact I didn't think that would even be an option for me since I was for sure going to be married or in a serious relationship before I turned 21. (reality check. Really?! Married by 21? HA! What was I thinking?  Apparently I had a lot of confidence in my dating abilities..) But  that perspective changed when the mission age was lowered.

I felt the spirit so strong as President Monson made the announcement. I immediately felt a love for God and His children, and suddenly I had this urge to serve. All I want to do with my life is serve Him. But I knew that serving Him didn't necessarily mean serving a mission.

I knew that going on a mission was never a bad thing. But I didn't know if going on a mission was the best thing for me.

Now this is where things started to get complicated. and by complicated I mean emotional meltdowns, a wonderful boyfriend, unstable friends, my dad lost his job, stupid boys, countless tears, and one really confused Mallory. (as if my life wasn't dramatic enough)

Shortly after the October General Conference , There seemed to be a significant change in the Mormon/BYU culture. I felt like every 19 and 20 year old girl had  decided to leave. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing but I felt like (at least in my freshman ward) you definitely stood out if you weren't hopping on the bandwagon and submitting your papers. (I'm sure this wasn't all of BYU but I definitely felt this way in my own ward.)

At this point I wasn't getting a real clear answer whether or not I was suppose to go, I had assumed that I wasn't because unlike many other girls I didn't have a strong spiritual prompting telling me that I need to go.

So I tried my best to continue living life like nothing had happened. I registered for classes for the following fall semester, I signed a housing contract, got a job, and prepared myself to continue with my educational goals.

But I wasn't happy. I wasn't satisfied with what I was doing. Missionary work was constantly on my mind. I love the gospel. I've seen how it changes lives. I wanted to do nothing more than share it.

I was so confused. I felt like if Heavenly Father wanted me on a mission he would make it more clear to me.

I had decided that God needed me somewhere else and that a mission wasn't in my plan. Unfortunately I felt like people expected me to go and they seemed disappointed when I told them that I wasn't going. I hate disappointing people. I felt like people were judging me. (I'm sure people weren't and I'm just being dramatic but this how I felt.)

Other girls who I had talked to who had also chosen not to go were so peaceful with their decision. I couldn't understand why I wasn't. Why couldn't I find peace and move on with my life? All I thought about was missions and missionary work. I was obsessed. I spent hours on youtube watching people open mission calls. I included Preach My Gospel in my scripture study. I spent hours talking to my roommates having "What IF I went on a mission" conversations. I felt like all we talked about in Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School was Missionary work. Basically I couldn't get it out of my mind.


Why couldn't I get a clear answer? And If my answer was "No" Why couldn't I move on?

I was pretty emotional and this was a really touchy subject. It was hard to keep from tearing up whenever my friends talked about how excited they were to serve mission, or when professors and church leaders would mention how great it was that the MTC was packed full with missionaries. I really didn't think I could take it anymore.

And then BOOM!

It happened, I lost it.

I was sitting in the back of my living prophets class when I overheard a discussion between two guys. They started talking about what they were looking for in a future wife. And they started talking about sister missionaries. And then he said it. "I'm not even going to look at a girl unless she has been on a mission." to this his buddy replied "Yeah, obviously if she hasn't been on a mission she must either be unrighteous, or unworthy."

I completely lost it. I excused myself from the class and cried all the way back to my apartment. Was my decision not to serve going to prevent me from finding a husband? I was so upset. I knew and understood that sisters were/are NOT under the same mandate to serve missions. But it was so hard for me to accept the fact that others didn't understand this. I didn't want people to think anything less of me for not serving. And more importantly I didn't want to think anything less of myself.

Then a wise friend told me "You do not want a Man who's standard is higher than God's" And then it hit me. It didn't matter what other people thought of me. It didn't matter what other people said or how they acted around me because all that mattered was that I was making this decision for me, and that it was what God wanted me to do. (duh.. I can't believe it took me months to figure that out)

But because I still hadn't had a huge spiritual prompting I still felt like staying back was the right thing for me. I was tried to accept it but I wasn't at peace with it.

Of course missionary work was still on my mind, but I knew that I needed to work harder at focusing on other aspects of my life and try my best to move on.

So what did I do? Got myself a distraction. ever.

For the most part I was happy. And even though I was having fun with my friends and my boyfriend, missions were still on my mind.

I was sitting in my Sunday School class and of course the lesson was on missionary work. I sat back and tried to tune out but then we were asked to turn to our Scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants Section 4 and we read all of the verses but this one stuck out to me.

"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;"

I had a desire to serve. Thats all I wanted to do. Am I really called to the work?

I got excited thinking about the idea. I could help so many people, This would change so many lives. This will change my life.

I prayed and prayed hoping that God would give me an answer but I still didn't feel like it was necessarily the right choice.

As I was on the phone talking to my mom I was discussing my future plans. I told her how I wanted to do a internship in Romania and how I wanted to spend a summer backpacking through Europe. I had it all planned out and was very excited about it until she said, "Those sound like nice plans but what about a mission?"  ugh.. you can guess what happened. Tears, and lots of them. My mother was one of the few who was super supportive in my decision to Not go, and yet here I was again venting about my life problems again. After our conversation I began to entertain the idea again. I could go on a mission. I could put my education on pause. I could at least start preparing.

Later that night my friends and I were chillin at my apartment. I was sitting on the couch with the boyfriend, stalking people on facebook while my roommate and her boyfriend decided to watch a 20min youtube video of people from her high school opening mission calls. As each person started reading off where they were going I started crying (Seriously I'm surprised that I still had tears by this point) again. My boyfriend notice and looked at me straight in the eye and said. "Mallory, you really need to follow your heart on this one. If you want to go just go. Heavenly Father will not let you make a wrong choice without letting you know."

And that's when I realized that it was my choice. (duh.) Heavenly Father wanted me to make the choice. He gave me intelligence and smart mind so that I could study it out. That night as I studied my scriptures I  read Doctrine and Covenants Section 9: 8-9 "But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought..." I felt like someone turned the light bulb on because the whole deciding not go and not feeling at peace with it was my "stupor of thought" (haha gosh as I'm writing this I feel like such an idiot.. its fine).

I went home for a week shortly after this epiphany and thought about it some more, talked to my parents and decided to take a leap of faith and work on my papers.

I still wasn't 100 percent sure if a mission was the right thing, which is one of the reasons why I kept it on the down low. I felt good about it as I was filling out my papers. It made me happy to think that I could potentially go on a mission. But it wasn't until I went down to the mailbox and had the envelope in my hand when I knew that I was doing the right thing. :)

Anyway thats my story. I'm really impressed if you read all that!

Love always, Mallory

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Announcement that Changed My Life

My Initial response to President Monson's Announcement in the October 2012 General Conference .
(re-posted from my previous Blog)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My mind is Blown! This weekend has been crazy. My Aunt Jen came in town and so I decided to spend General Conference weekend at my grandparents house. I was enjoying listening to the beginning of the Saturday morning session when the prophet came on and made this announcement.

Yep thats right Men can start serving at 18, and Women can now serve a mission at 19 instead of waiting till 21!! (For those of you that don't know Young Men and Young Women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spend 1 1/2 to 2 years serving the Lord and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.) When I first heard this announcement that Men could go after graduating High School I was so excited thinking about my 3 younger brothers and what a blessing it would be for them and my family. But then as President Monson continued and started talking about Sister missionaries I couldn't believe my ears. 19!! Women can leave on a mission at 19!!

This was basically my reaction.

I couldn't believe it. I started getting all emotional and teary eyed thinking about all the women my age and the kind of impact that we could have on the world. I got on facebook and started crying as I read about how all my friends were excited about this announcement and I started thinking about how this would change the lives of the members in my generation.

I got on facebook this morning and some of my friends have announced that they are starting their papers, and that they plan on leaving in a couple of months. Every single one of my close guy friends have mentioned that they are now considering to leave after this semester. Even some of my girl friends have decided that they are going to leave with in the next year!

Seriously, I feel like everybody has decided to leave. Which leads me to the question, maybe I should go too.

I've never seriously thought about serving a mission. My attitude like many others has always been "Well if I'm not married or in a serious relationship then maybe I'll consider going/" I definitely have always put that thought on the back burner. But after the announcement made yesterday I have got a lot of praying and thinking to do. I turn 19 in January, which means that If I choose to I could leave this winter. But is that the right thing for ME to do? Should I wait a couple of months and go after next semester? Should I spend the summer working and leave this fall? OR am I not suppose to go on a mission at all?

Could this really be me?

Obviously this was the ONLY thing on my mind yesterday. All I could think about was the idea of going. How will I pay for a mission? How will this affect my education? Where would I be spent? Am I going to have to learn another language? Will my brother and I be going the same time? Would I get along with my companions? Will I have enough courage to share the gospel? What if all my friends choose to leave and I'm left with no one? What do I want I want to do with my life? What do I want out of life? More importantly what does God wan me to do?

My mind was spinning and I became so overwhelmed, I felt like everyone had made this life changing decision with in a few hours! And I was still confused. But after talking to my wise parents I realized that this was a big decision and that I didn't need to decide right away.

So will I be serving a mission? I have no idea! But for now I'm going to continue living my life and who know maybe one day you'll have a Sister Roberts knocking on your door.
          ~Mallory :)


Apparently "Bem-Vindo" means "Welcome" in Portuguese.

Okay we will work on Portuguese later.

Anyway, This is my mission blog!

Basically I wanted to create a blog where I could organize my thoughts, letters, pre-mission preparations, and everything else mission related.

Also I wanted to create this to clear a few things up. I know that some of you were offended that I didn't tell you that I was planning on going on a mission, and heck some of you have no idea what a "Mormon Mission" is. So if you so choose to continue reading this blog my next few posts should hopefully explain everything! But if any of you have questions about what a mission is or anything please feel free to email me!

I really appreciate those of you that have given me positive feed back and support thought out this whole process. You all are the BEST!

Love Always,

Side note: I'm still trying to figure out the design that I want to use for this Blog so please excuse any messiness and what not. I'm still experimenting!