Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Days Leading up to Leaving

This post is a little bit about what I've been doing to prepare for my mission to Indianapolis. I hope that its equal parts entertaining and insightful!

Alright, first thing first... Mission prep is no pick-nick. It can be one of the most overwhelming things that a teenager can voluntarily do. It involves a serious dedication to reading Preach my Gospel (PMG), scripture study, praying, on top of purchasing all the necessities for the mission, packing up all the things that you  aren't taking, and coping with the idea of leaving behind all your friends and family.

Developing the habits of intense study can be really hard. The amount of study that missionaries do can seem astronomical, but considering the knowledge we need to be effective teachers, it seems hardly adequate. Sometimes I lay in my bed and pretend that I don't hear the little voice in my head reminding me that I need to read, but I know that if I want to be a good missionary, I've gotta know my stuff!!! The amazing part of becoming a missionary is that the Lord really does help you out. There is no way that I could go out and be a missionary without massive amounts of heaven's help. It's crazy how much I notice the tender mercies of God all around me. If you put your trust in him, he will bear you up and make all things possible!

Packing has by far been the most stressful thing yet. Packing up involves so much more than just stuffing all your stuff into a suitcase and calling it good, mostly because there is so much to pack. Everything you take, you have to haul around for the next 18 months. So, there is the limitation of only taking what you need while still covering every situation you could be in in the next year and a half. K, just so everyone is aware, I over-think everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. I have a month till I leave and I'm freaking out that I don't have everything I need yet. I will probably be packed for weeks before I leave and still not feel prepared. There is so much to take, and yet so little space in my two massive suitcases.

The other stressful part of packing is having to spend the money to buy yourself a mission appropriate wardrobe. The Elders get to go to Mr. Mac and buy their suits, shirts, shoes, ties, and luggage all in one convenient place while the Sisters have to go all over creation to find skirts, dresses, shoes, tops, accessories, coats, and bags that are modest and mission appropriate. I think I've been to every mall within a 400 mile radius and shopped online and still haven't gotten everything I need. Not gonna lie, I am the definition of a shopaholic, and I can't take any more shopping!!!

Packing up your room is easy. You just slap everything in a box, cover that thing in packaging tape, write "DO NOT TOUCH!!! THIS IS MINE!!!" all over it and hide it in the hope your siblings don't find it and steal your stuff.

K, confession time. I lied when I said that packing was the most stressful thing. Getting ready to say goodbye to my family and friends has been excruciatingly difficult for me. I know that I'm going to get out there and have to adjust to a new lifestyle, but what's going to make it harder will be doing it without the ones I care about. Sending just one email a week is going to be difficult for me. Even through my first year of collage, I went home and called my mom ALL THE TIME. My siblings, as irritating as they are, are the best "built in best friends" EVER! My best friends from my Jr high and high school  and college days have embarked on their own adventures in Europe for this semester and have already left, but I miss them soo much! How am I supposed to survive this? I know what it's like to be on the other side of a missionary leaving, having said goodbye to and sent out my amazing boyfriend just two months ago. Its really hard to let someone go, but I can already tell that leaving is going to be much harder for me. There have been countless prayers for comfort, and its been tough. I try to avoid thinking about it whenever possible, but I know that the Lord will give me the strength I need to be away form everyone.

Whew! Got that off my chest! While the prospect of going on a mission seems scary, daunting and stressful, I believe that it will be one of the single most important things I will ever do! What could possibly be better than serving the Lord!!!

I hope that y'all have enjoyed reading! I will probably post one more time before I leave, then my dear sweet mother will be posting my weekly emails! My contact info for while I'm away will also be posted later! Love you all!!!