Friday, July 18, 2014

A Note on Mission Calls

Some of you may be wondering: Why in the world would Sarah choose to serve her mission in Sweden. To this I respond: I didn't choose, Heavenly Father chose for me.

What exactly do I mean by that? Well, I applied to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (in LDS lingo: I submitted my mission papers). After submitting everything, my papers were sent to Salt Lake City to Church Headquarters. Then, the Missionary Department processed my papers (and the papers of thousands of others). Next, my papers were submitted to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency and one of those 15 individuals decided where I should serve my mission through Divine Guidance. Essentially, the person is prompted by Heavenly Father through the Spirit as to where each missionary should serve.

So, I didn't choose to serve my mission in Sweden, Heavenly Father chose for me because He knows me better than I know me. He knows that there are people in Sweden that need me and people that I need. He has a plan for me, individually, in Sweden and I am excited to follow that plan.

For more clarification on mission calls and how they are assigned, please read or watch The Divine Call of a Missionary by Ronald A. Rasband.

LDS Lingo Defined:
The First Presidency: The highest governing body of the Church, including the President of the Church and two counselors that he selects.
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: The second highest governing body of the Church. Much like the 12 Apostles appointed by Jesus Christ when He was on the earth.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Mission Call

Today is the day! My mission call came in the mail! Instead of just writing about it, I would like to take an excerpt from my personal journal as to my thoughts and reactions

Thursday, I called Jared (my older brother) and talked to him for about an hour. Then, I went on down to the mailbox and... MY MISSION CALL WAS IN IT!!! I freaked out! I ran upstairs (it took all of my willpower to not open it then and there) and called the family. I am so excited! I know that where ever Heavenly Father sends me is where I need to be; He has prepared people that need me and I need them too! I am going on a mission!
So, with my family on Skype, on the phone, and one member present in the room, I opened my mission call. Here is the video:

Here is exactly what (the beginning of) the letter said:
Dear Sister Griffes:
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 Sweden Stockholm Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.
You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Swedish language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president 
And now, another excerpt from my journal:
I am so excited! I'm speaking Swedish and serving the Swedish people! It's going to be hard, but wonderful all at the same time! I am so excited to go and serve my Heavenly Father for 18 months!
Later, I read my call to a group of my friends (mission calls are big deals at BYU). My friend, Becca, who served her mission in Sweden, was there and she freaked out! It was wonderful! I know that she will be a big part of my life and will be able to ease a lot of my fears and insecurities about Sweden. What a blessing to have her just down the hall and up the stairs from my apartment!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

To Serve or Not to Serve, That is the Question

In the life of any LDS (Latter-Day Saint) young adult, deciding whether or not to serve a mission is a huge decision. Some people have wanted to go since they were little, others have known that they didn't want to go since they were little, then there's the group that I fit in. The group of, "I have no idea if I want to serve or not." Trust me when I say that there was a lot of pondering and praying that went on in my decision to go. It took months and months of back-and-forth before I finally put it all in God's hands and told Him that I would do what He wanted me to do. 

And, so, I'm serving a mission! Now that I made the decision, I am so excited to serve! I know that it is exactly what Heavenly Father wants me to do and I'm going to give it my everything. The mission application process was kind of long and tedious. There is lots of paperwork to fill out, a couple doctor/dentist appointments, and a few interviews. 

I met with my stake president (the area church leader) for my final interview. I was kind of nervous going in, praying to Heavenly Father that I would receive confirmation that serving a mission is the right thing to do. I received exactly the confirmation that I was looking for! My stake president said a lot of things I needed to hear to ease some of my worries. He encouraged me to do my very best then put it in God's hands. It was really a great interview and a very spiritual experience. My papers are all submitted and I should receive my mission call within a few weeks.