Last week I was not even close to being in the mindset to serve a mission. Then, everything changed.
Every able young man in the LDS church is asked to serve a mission. I never wanted to. I made choices that kept it from being an option. It was never something I planned on doing. Especially not now. I figured it was just too late for me. However, I made a lot of changes in life. Here I am, 23 years old. I’m serving a mission.
Do I want to? Definitely not. I have an amazing job that allows me to work from home, I’m almost done with a marketing degree, I have finally started pursuing music seriously, I live in an impressive town home, I was finally about to buy a new Subaru to replace my broken vehicle because my finances now allow it, and let’s not forget…. MY HAIR. My glorious mane of triumph will be whittled down to nothing. My pride. My glory. It will be gone. The only reason why any girl was ever interested in me… GONE. And just as man buns were all the hype. Now I’m going to just be…. A normal person.
I have a lot of good reasons why I shouldn’t serve a mission. In fact, a lot of people would truly understand if I didn’t. Even my leaders have said I’ll still be a good person if I don’t go, and maybe I should just focus on getting married. These things are all true. However, I am not in the business of ignoring what The Lord has commanded me to do.
I am going to dive into my personal life, so you may understand how I have come to the decision to serve a mission. Maybe it can help you if it is something you have thought about. Up to this point, I have been living a very good life. I have made an incredible amount of mistakes in the past, but the atonement has been a big blessing in helping me repent from my past. This isn’t to say I don’t still continue to make mistakes. I most certainly do.
A couple weeks ago, I had a feeling that I needed to make some progress in my spiritual life. I figured it has been a while since I received the Melchizedek priesthood, and I needed to keep the progression going. I started playing with the idea of starting the process to get endowed. It seemed like the proper next step. I brought this up to some of my friends. This is where it got interesting. All four people I brought this up too, separately asked me if I had thought about serving a mission, and that they felt like they should ask me. I said “Of course not! That is way too far gone for me now. I’m too old, and too far in life.” Well, after that I did give it a little thought. I started to pray for guidance. I prayed about whether I should start the endowment process, or if I should maybe serve a mission. I did this for a while, but I received no answer.
I began to think that this was just going to be one of those things where I needed to use my free agency. That there wasn’t a right or wrong answer, I just needed to make a decision. Or so I thought. On Sunday, November 16th, I woke up with a very strong impression that I needed to ask a dear friend for a blessing for guidance. I met him at a church building after sacrament meeting, and we went to his home. We went to a room, and began with a word of prayer. He said he felt like he needed to tell me that whatever is said, that it is not coming from him personally, that it is coming from God. I thought, “Okay, whatever, let’s just do this.” He began the blessing much like any other blessing…. And then there was a long pause. A very long pause. During that time I had an overwhelming feeling rush over me. Tears started to fall from my eyes. I knew what was about to happen. Not to make light of the subject, but I felt like Harry Potter sitting under the sorting hat. I knew exactly what was about to happen. In my head I kept repeating “I will do what you ask of me. I am ready. ” Then, it happened. He said, “It is The Lord’s will that you serve a mission at this time.” It was put in the most blunt fashion.
There was only one thought after the blessing was over: I am doing this. I don’t know how, but this is what I’m doing. I didn’t fight it. I made the decision right at that time that this is what I am doing. As I stated before, I am not in the business of ignoring what The Lord commands of me, especially when it is put so bluntly. And as my grandma told me very simply, “When The Lord asks you to do something, you do it.”
So, here I go. I am terrified. I have cried about 20 times a day since Sunday (no exaggeration). I’ll just be eating, and then I start to sob uncontrollably. I have no money saved for it, I don’t have health insurance, I have debts I have to pay. However, there is one thing I have, and that is FAITH. That is all I need. I may have these feeling that I don’t actually want to serve a mission, but as my friend put it, “If you really didn’t want to go, you wouldn’t be going.”
I will miss my friends and family so much. Many of them will be gone. Some, I may never see again. I may get back and not have a high paying job. I may get back and have no car. I may get back and have no dates because I don’t have my awesome hair anymore. However, I was sent on this earth for a purpose, and that purpose was to serve The Lord.
So, I will go and I will do that which The Lord has commanded.
If you would like to stay updated on my journey (The haircut is next week), click the three lines at the top of the post! It will lead you to the area that you can do it. Then just click “FOLLOW THE JOURNEY”
Also, You can follow me on Instagram for inspirational messages here: @jaromrocks