Saturday, March 26, 2016

My Mission Call

I have always kind of wanted to serve a mission. When the minimum age changed from 21 to 19 for sister missionaries, a mission became real. I knew I wanted to serve. My older sister decided to serve a mission and was called to the Japan Tokyo South Mission! I was so excited for her. But when everyone started asking me if I was going to serve a mission now, I told them no. I didn't want to be serving a mission just because Anna was. I had forgotten my previous desire to serve the Lord! I started attending BYU in the fall and grew so much spiritually from going to school there. Ah I just love BYU! So in September there was a regional conference at the Marriott Center. Elder M. Russell Nelson and Donald L. Hallstrom in the presidency of the seventy spoke to us along with some others. Elder Hallstrom talked about how missionaries, temple work, and family history are all equally important. When he spoke about missionary work and started talking about sister missionaries, I felt the spirit stronger than I ever have in my life. I knew right at that moment that I'm supposed to go on a mission. I knew all along that I needed to, but I was being stubborn. It was such an amazing experience. Throughout the rest of the meeting, every time I thought about serving a mission, I was hit by another strong wave of the spirit washing over me. Welp, I guess I'm going on a mission!

The same day, one of the counselors in the bishopric in my ward came over and asked me to give a talk in church the next Sunday. And guess what it was on... Yep that's right. Missionary work and why I've decided to serve a mission. Keep in mind that I had just BARELY made the decision to serve a mission! Craziness. Just another sign that I'm supposed to go on a mission! God is so great folks.

So I started my papers in December 2015 and the earliest I could get them in was January 13, 2016. However, I had some depression a couple years back so I was told I needed to go to LDS Family Services to get a report done before I could turn in my papers. I wasn't too fazed... until my report took a MONTH to be written and sent to my bishop! It was so hard to be patient. I finally was able to submit my papers on February 23. But little did I know, God wasn't done testing my patience... I had to wait another month for my call to come! Two of my roommates even submitted their papers after me and received their calls a week before me! It was extremely hard to wait for my call as my faith, trust, and patience were being tested hardcore. BUT, I learned such a good lesson and my faith and trust in the Lord has improved so much! I realized that God works on His own time, not mine. And God's timing is perfect! I finally got my call on March 22!

The day my call came, a terrorist attack happened in Brussels, Belgium. Four missionaries were injured, three of whom were from Utah. It was definitely a surreal, scary moment for everyone in the world. Luckily, the missionaries are okay and are recovering well. I know that God truly protects His missionaries. That night, as my friends and family were gathered around, I opened my mission call.

Dear Sister Fordiani:
You are hereby called to serve as missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission.

As I read those words, I knew that this is the perfect place for me. Even though I was completely shocked (partially because I was convinced I was going to Spain), I felt such peace that this is where the Lord needs me. I am overwhelming grateful for the Savior and our Heavenly Father and how well they know me! And most of all, I'm so excited to serve the Lord!!

I have a testimony of God's timing. If my call had come before the terrorist attack, I know that I would've been a lot more apprehensive and nervous to leave on my mission. I'm so grateful my call came when it did, and I know that God's timing is perfect and He truly has a plan for all of us.

I leave for the Provo MTC on June 1, 2016! I will be preaching the gospel in the Dutch language! June 1st can't come fast enough.

 It's here!!

Belgium/Netherlands mission, June 1st.

 Some fun Polaroids we took with Lili's camera. Lili is going to Nicaragua Managua South! 

Alysa drove all the way up from Cedar City just for my mission call opening!

The whole gang.

The fam. Anna was there in spirit :)