With my closest friends all sitting in my living room and my family watching me through a computer screen on Skype, I felt beyond lucky to have so many people who were excited for and supportive of my decision to serve the Lord.
On August 12, 2015, after the longest month wait of my life, I opened my letter from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and was called to serve in the Philippines Tacloban Mission, speaking Cebuano, reporting September 16,2015!
I didn’t feel shocked about the place, mostly because I knew very little about the Philippines including where it was, I just felt peaceful and eager to find out about the country. However, when I read the date I was leaving, I had to reread it in my head to make sure I read the date correctly. ONE MONTH! I was expecting 4-5 months and I am so happy I was wrong.
That night, I slept a total of 3 hours. I had never had such strong feelings of excitement and fear at the same time. I was filled with more purpose than ever, but at the same time so much uncertainty and questions. I stayed up the rest of the night doing as much research on my mission as I could, reading the entire missionary handbook, and doing as many things on the missionary portal checklist as time would allow.
After researching about the amazing, humble Filipino people I was so ready to get out there and love, serve, and teach them. All of a sudden, a month was too much time. Eager is not a strong enough word to express my feelings about teaching and reteaching the Gospel to the wonderful people of Tacloban in the Cebuano and Waray-Waray languages. The Philippines, which I now know the location of, will be my home for the best 18 months of my life and I know without a doubt that that is where Heavenly Father wants and needs me right now.