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 Spain Madrid Mission! :)
Before October I had never seriously considered going on a mission. It was always something I could decide once I was 21, but I never imagined I would actually go. Everything changed when good ol' President Monson got up to the pulpit!
I was 19. I knew what my major was, I had my classes planned out for the next 3 years, I even had summer plans figured out. I still felt like I didn't really know what I was supposed to be doing. I had so many questions but the answers kept getting delayed... and I wasn't sure why. A little bit frustrated, I wrote down a list of questions I was hoping General Conference would answer.
Every single one of those questions was answered by a simple phrase: Go on a mission.:)
I know with all of my heart that President Monson is the prophet. I know he speaks for God and receives the revelation that God wants us to hear and act on. This announcement was the reassurance I didn't even know I needed. It was confirmation that God truly does know me: He knows my name, my challenges, my weaknesses, and what I can become when I exercise faith in Him. Apparently, what He wants me to become right now is a missionary. :)
Let's backup... I was watching conference with my friend Merrisa (who is currently on a mission in Chile) when President Monson made the announcement that girls could serve at 19. I was overcome... basically I just froze. Then I felt a wave of comfort completely surround me...in that moment I knew without a doubt that I was meant to go. I knew that a mission would be hard but that I could do it with the help of the Lord.
I came back to school firmly resolved that I was going on a mission, but seeing so many others deciding to go made me doubt my decision. After a hard, confusing day I got a text from the sister missionaries (woohoo!!) asking if I wanted to go on splits that night. :) I swear I could hear the Hallelujah chorus playing. That was yet again another witness that God truly knows who I am, what I am going through, and what I need.
Going on splits turned out to be one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. As we were teaching the gospel I realized I felt completely at peace and happy. I came to realize that my decision to go on a mission isn't about who else is going, it really isn't even about me. It is about helping people come unto Christ and feel of the peace, happiness, and joy that this Gospel can bring. That is why I decided to go on a mission: to share the knowledge I have that this Gospel is true, that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God, that we have living prophets today who receive revelation on our behalf, that Heavenly Father truly does know you and will always answer your prayers, and that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins so that we can some day return to live with our Heavenly Father again.
"The cause of Christ does not need your doubts; it needs your strength and time and talents; and as you exercise these in service, your faith will grow and your doubts will wane. You need the church and the church needs you" (President Hinckley)