As I have mentioned before (see "Letters" post), I have been called to serve a mission for my church. But this is not a mission trip, like some churches do, where they spend two weeks doing a huge service project in a third world country. No, this is different. A mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints means doing service, means teaching people what we, the Mormons, believe, means talking to everyone and being a friend. It also means a huge change in lifestyle; it means no music, no movies, no television, no gaming, unless approved by church leaders; it means no cell phones, no unmonitored Internet, no school, no sports; it means packing everything into two suitcases and living out of them, knowing you only get to shop once a week; it means no contact with family except through email once a week, and a Skype call only on Christmas and Mother's day.
And I get to do that for 18 months. And I couldn't be more excited!
I am going to serve in the New Mexico Farmington area, which is the yellow area in this picture. As you can see, I'm serving in a large area, not just in the city of Farmington (the white box, not the red arrow). And I could potentially serve in four states on my mission, which I find particularly cool. And when do I start? In 18 days.
18 days. Two and a half weeks. That's not a lot of time. And let me tell you a secret: even though I am excited beyond measure, I am also scared to death. I'm scared that I won't say the right thing, that I'll offend somebody, that I'll mess up. I'm scared that I won't know what to do, that I won't learn fast enough the things I need to learn, that I won't get along with my companions.
But I know that those are not my own thoughts: those are the thoughts that Satan is imposing on me, trying to tell me I'm not good enough, that I won't be able to do it. But I can do it. I can make a difference. And I will do it, because my game plan is to rely whole-heartedly on my Lord and my God. It's hard to prevent those thoughts from Satan, but it is possible to ignore him. Because I know that the Lord is on my side and will help me be the best missionary I can be, so long as I keep doing my part.
"For with God nothing shall be impossible."