In August I was talking to my mom on the phone and she asked me if I was thinking of serving a mission and invited me to come home while I saved up if I decided so. To tell the truth, I had given the matter of serving a mission no serious thought in my entire life. I told her that I would consider it hoping to end the conversation quickly.
Mom had always wanted me to serve a mission. Ever since I was a little girl she had encouraged it, but being the slightly rebellious spirit that I am, I never would do anything on my mom's advise alone. However, some working of the Spirit infected me with a desire actually think about it for once.
I thought about it and wrote out a list of pros and cons to serving a mission (it was a short list on both sides). The pros won, but by a depressingly narrow margin. I took the matter to the LORD in prayer and I got no firm yes or no as so many members claim. The was the answer that came to my mind was this, "You'll have no regrets about serving a mission".
Why? I wondered. Why would the LORD leave such an important matter in my clumsy, rebellious, unconventional hands? I still don't know.
I ran the numbers and found that if stayed in my apartment, budgeted carefully (very, very carefully, no fun, no new books), never get sick or take injury, or incur any unexpected costs, don't lose my job, the stars and planets fall into proper alignment, and everything works out perfectly, then by the time I turned twenty-one next summer I would have exactly enough to fully pay for my own mission.
HA! I knew better, so I called home and made arrangements to live with my family while I saved up. Wouldn't you know, the stars and planets fell in to proper alignment and everything worked out perfectly. By the next summer I had exactly enough money in the bank to pay for the mission in full.
It took a couple months to track down my medical records and get the shots and dental requirements taken care of. My paperwork was submitted in October and just in time for Christmas I received the call to the Idaho Pocatello mission. I was to report to the MTC in January.
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It took me a few days to warm up to the idea of serving a state-side mission in a member dominated area. Actually, I didn't get to liking Idaho that much until I'd been there six weeks.