Today has been amazing. Up until this point in my life, I don't think I've ever experienced anything more thrilling, exciting, or humbling.
Today I received my mission call to the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission.
It's a funny story really. I've been waiting for a little over two weeks now for the call to come. Here in Hurricane, Utah, mission calls usually arrive on Thursdays. Since the call hadn't come last week, and it didn't come yesterday, I had resigned myself to wait until next Thursday. I kept myself busy around the house this morning, catching up on chores, tidying my room, and then I decided to go give my dog Sam a bath.
I went outside, dressed in a swimming suit and basketball shorts, my hair pulled up in a funky ponytail-thing on top of my head, armed with the garden house and doggie shampoo. Washing Sam isn't always calm or peaceful, so it's best to go into the experience knowing that you WILL get wet...very wet. He tried to make a run for his dog house, but he is an obedient little stinker, so he came when I called him and grumpily accepted his fate.
About half an hour later, I came inside, a little wetter than before but otherwise no worse for wear. There was a knock at the door, and I went to answer it. It was the mailman, and in his hand was a big white envelope. I stared at it as he said, "We thought you might be anxious to see this, so I thought I'd drop it by the house." It took a couple seconds for me to realize what it actually was. When I did, I gasped quietly and murmured, "Oh." The mailman grinned, and continued, "We tried calling this morning but no one answered." Still staring at the envelope, I replied, "I worked late last night so I was asleep this morning." He grinned some more. "So I take it this is yours?" I nodded, and looked up at him finally, smiling. "Yeah, it is. It's mine." He chuckled, handed me the envelope, and congratulated me before he left.
I closed the door and stood in the entryway for a moment, still staring at what was in my hands. I was aware that I was breathing funny, all gasping and shallow, but that only slightly bothered me. I sat on the couch, and carefully tore across the top seam. I pulled out the contents of the envelope and read,
"Dear Sister Pedersen,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission."
That was as far as I got. Everything else was blurry as I started to cry. Yes, I cried. Honestly, did you expect anything else from me? :) It came when I was least expecting it, and that's probably how the Lord intended it. Eventually I made it through the rest of the letter, but it was that first part that brought me to my knees. I am so grateful and so humbled that I've been given this amazing opportunity. What an incredible chance I have to show the Lord how much I love Him! I get to serve His children, and teach them more about Him, and bring them closer to Him. What greater thing could I ask for? What could bring me more happiness at this point in my life?
I know it will be hard. It will be the hardest thing I ever do, besides being a mother. But it will also be one of the most rewarding things too. And so I'll be honored and proud to serve the people of Louisiana. I will gladly say, "I'm Sister Pedersen, and we're missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." I will do my best to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.
I know this Church is the Lord Jesus Christ's church. It belongs to him; His name is on it, and in it. I know that He lives, and loves us. I know that He wants all of us to come home to be with Him. And I promise I will do everything in my power to help that come to pass. I know this is His gospel and the surest way to return to Him. I know that our Heavenly Father and Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, and guided and directed him. I know Joseph was a Prophet of the Lord. I know that we have a prophet here on earth today. I know President Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet of the Lord today, and that the Lord speaks to him just as he did with the prophets of old. Nothing, NOTHING can make me renounce this testimony. I know it's true. I know it. And I bear this witness in the sacred name of our Savior, JESUS CHRIST, Amen.
2 Corinthians 4:5
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.