Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why Go?

My name is Jenessa. I'm 20 years old. I love my family, my friends, my life, and my Savior!  I have been called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Helsinki Finland Mission speaking Finnish. I am beyond excited to go. This is something that I have worked for, prayed for, and wanted my entire life. My whole mission will be to bring others to Christ. 

Last October General Conference changed my life forever. A mission is something that I have always wanted to do, and I mean that. My stubborn little 5 year old self would tell my mom that I was going a mission. She would say “honey, you might get married before then” to which I would respond “nope, I’m going on a mission” in my sassy, strong willed voice. As I got older, my desire to go on a mission increased. Up until this past summer, I had decided that I was going on a mission no matter what. Even if I met some great guy and fell in love, I was still going to go. He could either wait for me or marry somebody else. This past summer, I lowered my pride and told my Heavenly Father that I would do whatever it was that He asked. If He wanted me to serve a mission, I would. If He wanted me to get married, I would, but I would live my life in a way that I would be ready and worthy to do either one. Last October, I was driving up to Salt Lake from Provo with two of my best friends. We’ve been best friends for forever. All three of us had been wanting to serve a mission but we honestly didn’t know if we’d get the chance. We were in the car when we heard the prophet’s voice.  He proceeded to speak the words that would change my life forever. He lowered the missionary age for girls from 21 to 19, my age. The spirit became overwhelming in the car and all 3 of us started bawling. We all looked at each other and said “I’m going”. “I’m. Going”. I have never felt the spirit that way before in my life. It cut me to my soul. I literally felt like my heart was jumping out of my chest. Like my spirit was leaping. It was the most insane feeling ever. The next Sunday, I fasted and prayed to make sure that I really was supposed to go and that it wasn’t just something I really wanted badly. I attended the first session of conference in the conference center in Salt Lake City. We all stood to sang “Called to Serve.” The spirit was amazing. During Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk, I got my definitive answer. It was the talk where Jeffrey R. Holland discusses what it would’ve been like for those remaining apostles after Christ's death. He acts out what the conversation would’ve been like between the Savior and Peter. The Lord asks Peter "do you love me?" three times to which Peter responds “Lord… thou knowest that I love thee” three times. Christ responds:

"What I need, Peter, are disciples-and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the world of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me."

When I heard these words, I was overwhelmed by the Spirit. I felt as if the Lord was talking directly to me. A distinctive voice came into my head that said “you’ve gotten your answer, now go and do.”

This is why I'm going. This is why I'm putting my life on hold for a year and a half. Leaving my family, my friends, my technology (I won't have my phone or be on Facebook!), and my country behind. I'm going because I know with all my heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church and I want to share it with everybody. Heavenly Father knows and loves each of His children on this earth. Christ lives and died for each of us so that we may repent and live with our Father in Heaven again. I love the gospel. I know that it is the only the way to be truly happy. I can't wait to serve my brothers and sisters in Finland and bring them unto Christ, to help them become as happy as I am. The church is true! 

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