Last week I had the opportunity to talk to the Laurels (16-18-year-old girls) in my ward about missions.
Before the activity, they wrote down questions and asked me . . . well, basically anything they wanted to about missions: what brought me to the decision, how did I know it was right for me, when did I know it was right for me, how have I prepared, what am I scared for, etc., etc.
I was blown away by how profound some of their questions were.
Guys, I was in tears reading some of their questions. (Which was why it was a good thing I got to read them beforehand. Then again, I cried during the activity too, which I guess just proves I am a case.)
Reading their questions brought back all of the feelings of making the decision--the fear, the joy, the worry, the peace. It was good for me to remember how I got to my decision. And it will be good to remember that on my mission when days are hard.
Besides the great questions about missions, there were some questions that made me laugh. Like,
What advice do you have about dating? Oh honey, you're asking the wrong person.
I'd also like to thank whoever wrote these questions:
Yes, it says "Sister (Awesome) Armknecht." Bless you, child. Bless you. You're awesome, too.
Anyway. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to speak to them. I feel like we really don't talk very much about sister missionary work in the Church. We talk about missionary work in general a ton, and the men in the Church usually get at least one talk per Priesthood session about their priesthood responsibility to serve missions.
But we don't talk about sisters' decisions to serve very often. I know that going on a mission is not for every sister, so maybe that's a reason why. But there is peace and strength found in discussion, and it's helpful to realize that not everyone's journey to that decision to serve a mission is the same. And it's important to realize that almost everyone of us has similar fears about going, and similar hardships and joys on the mission.
So--if you're reading this--thanks girls, for letting me talk with you last week. I hope it was helpful. And remember that life's going to be better than you ever dreamed. Harder, too, but better.
****also, I am fully aware that I've never posted about coming to my decision to serve a mission. I don't think I ever will, to be honest. The process was long, painful, inspiring, humbling, and too personal to put on the web. But if you ever want to know the story, I'd be happy to share it with you personally, one-on-one. Just let me know.