Thursday, January 23, 2014

How It All Started...

Hello all... ha I'm not sure if I have any followers....But anywho, Hello to those who are reading this! I am in the last stages of my "paperwork" (it's all online, so no real paper) of preparing for my mission. I basically just have my doctor and dentist appointments left. I am planning on submitting them on April 1st (no joke!). So it will be pretty cool! My brother is on his mission in London, England and he says he can't wait to find out where I will be called. I can't wait either!! :) I am super excited.

So a little background about me would probably be helpful for readers. My name is Megan, I am 21 years old, and am the second youngest of 6. I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints my whole life, and was baptized when I was 8 years old.

I believe that every member of the church, whether born and raised in it or converted later in life has their own 'change of heart conversion'. Mine did not occur until I was 18. I always new that the Church was true, but I suppose I leaned on others' testimonies more than strengthening my own. When I was 18, I was finishing my Personal Progress (a young woman's equivalent to an Eagle Scout). One of the tasks was to read the Book of Mormon all the way through. I had never done that. I had read parts of it, through personal study and references from classes, but I had never read it cover to cover.

Over the summer, I did just that. I read the Book of Mormon all the way through. At the end of it, Moroni (one of the authors) gives a challenge. He asks you to pray to Heavenly Father and ask if the Book of Mormon is true. He promises that the Holy Ghost (the third member of the Godhead) will give you a feeling in your heart and you will know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I took Moroni's challenge. When I was done praying, I'll be honest. I was expecting the heavens to open up and an angel to come down and proclaim to me that the Book of Mormon was true. However, that was not what happened. It was all very simple. I felt a warmth in my chest, I got goosebumps, and I just knew. Not at all what I had expected, but I received my answer anyway. It was the most incredible experience I have ever had.

So back to the mission topic... I have always wanted to serve a  mission, but as I grew older, it became more like "if I'm not married by 21, then I'll consider it". And then there was the General Conference session where President Thomas S. Monson announced that the age at which a young woman could serve a mission was lowered from 21 to 19. I was 20 at the time, so it didn't really affect when I could leave. But when this was announced, I felt something. I know it was the Holy Ghost telling me that serving a mission was indeed something that I needed to be preparing for. I was slightly confused though, because even though I felt I needed to serve a mission, I also had the feeling that it was not the right time yet. So, I continued on with my life, working and spending time with family and friends. It was not until the General Relief Society meeting in September of 2013 that I knew it was time. The choir (a group of sister missionaries from the Provo MTC) sang a medley of "Go Forth With Faith" and "As Sisters In Zion". During this song, I felt a rush of the Spirit. I knew that this was Heavenly Father telling me through the Holy Ghost that I was supposed to serve a mission, and start preparing for it immediately. I started tearing up and wrote a note to my mom sitting next to me about what I just felt and experienced. She started crying, and wrote back that she had a similar feeling. It was the most incredible thing. For a few months before this, I had been feeling out of place. Lost, stuck in limbo. I wasn't going anywhere in life. I wasn't in school, nor was I dating anyone. I was working, which I loved, but it wasn't getting me anywhere.  So having this revelation was such an answer to prayer! I needed direction in my life, and Heavenly Father gave it to me.  The following Sunday, I met with my bishop, so that I could start working on my papers. .. and now, here we are! A few months later, and I am almost ready to turn them in.

I know this post is getting long, so I will wrap up quickly. I don't know how many of you there are reading this, but to you I want to say that I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one and only true church here on this Earth. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that He stands at the head of this church. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and that he helped restore this church in this dispensation. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today, and that he will never lead  us astray. He is the mouthpiece for the Lord. I know that serving a mission is the right thing for me in life.  I know that I will be blessed for following what the Lord has commanded me to do.

Thank you to all who are reading. I will post again soon!

-Sister Dean

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