Okay who is with me and opened up the October issue of The New Era and laughed? I sure did. I know, right? What in the heck? That couldn’t possibly be me! My inspiration for this weeks email stems from the title of the article my giant face was on, “For Young Women: Making the Mission Decision.” A small handful of you may know how my decision to serve was made but I figure the vast majority doesn’t so let me just take a sec and share!
Now looking back, I can so clearly see how God prepared me for this calling throughout my entire life. I’m coming to a realization of character/personality traits I posses that were given to me for these people and this work out here; It’s astounding to literally acknowledge God’s hand in my personal preparation and worthiness to represent His Son. Even though, the thought of serving a mission was nonexistent before I met the Hawkins’ sisters. But even then I thought, so cool for them and I was inspired by their passion for serving a mission but I just never thought it would actually be for me. I was so okay with being a “member missionary” and trying to be a good example to those around me, never actually contemplating serving a full time mission. Little did I know the Lord had something extraordinary in store for me.
Saturday Oct. 6, 2012. The Prophet of the Lord, Thomas S. Monson announced that the minimum age of sister missionaries would now be 19. When those words were spoken I was not in the right state of mind to be receptive to any answer. I was kinda numb to it all. I was off in la la land with a boy and was just so totally aloof to even the consideration of any other plans or desires. I received numerous texts and such of “Avery, this is so for you!” “You were the first girl that popped in my head!” and so forth. Why did everyone else think I should go when I sure wasn’t convinced? However, I really was so excited for all my girly friends I knew were to answer the call to serve. Attending in afternoon session with this boy, the rest of Saturday was lovely and happy.
Sunday Oct. 7, 2012. I was going to go up to SLC for the morning session but accidentally slept in, missing my ride and when I woke up and realized that, I remember thinking “eh why go? You’ll have to run around to find a ride and that’ll take too much effort. I’m tired.” Silly Satan! God wins. I don’t even know how and it’s all a blur to me but somehow or another I hitched a ride with random people and threw on some dress, hair and make up a definite no. I met up with Nicole, Kenny and her family and took our seats (BTW the best seats I’ve ever sat in! The pulpit is right in front of us!).
Then an apostle of the Lord, Elder Holland, addressed the world. He spoke of the account of the resurrected Lord and Peter on the Sea of Tiberius (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/the-first-great-commandment?lang=eng). I was captivated. He had to have been speaking directly to me. It felt as if the Savior Himself was talking to me and asking me, “What I need, Peter (Avery), are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do.”
As I listened in spiritual awe, I knew with absolute surety that I was to serve. It felt at that moment that if Jesus Christ were to ask me if I loved Him, truly loved Him, He may have had to ask three times. And that alone killed me. I swore that Sunday that I would never give the Savior a reason to question my love for Him. I needed to leave my “nets” behind; I had to show Him I was willing to give everything up to “feed His sheep.” So, I didn’t question my answer. I texted my bishop at the conclusion of Holland’s talk and set up an appointment for the coming Tuesday.
And now here I am. More love and passion fills my soul than ever before. Love is my motivation, it has been since the get go. Making my mission decision was life changing. I believe in the atonement and I know I’ve been prepare and also forgiven to now be entrusted to feed His sheep. Because… “Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world.” I can bear you my testimony that this work, His gospel is changing the world, and it sure is changing mine.
Y'all have a blessed day :)
|Our miracle, Robin. Met her on the street, committed her to be baptized and she sobbed and accepted. God is good to us out here in GA!|
|Julia Love's baby shower. The Whitewater ward is so awesome!|
|Raff !!! The crazy parrot and the coolest people ever!!|
|Love me some hard core cleaning....poop covered walls, mold infested everything. You name it, we will clean it|
|Sister Green's mother called in an order for us at Carrabas Haha - she's the bomb!|
|My soul sista|
|My sweet boy, Julian. I gotta get myself one of these cuties someday!|
|Always have always loved the swings! Especially with Niveah and Norris Love!|
|I planned a zone p-day...what did we do? Kickball, of course|