So, I had a pretty amazing day today. :)
First of all, today was significant, because today marks t-minus 10 days until I report. (TEN DAYS. THAT'S NOT VERY MANY.) So. Things are starting to really feel crazy. I've been having a lot of really crazy experiences lately and just so much is going on. All of my emotions are really close to the surface, you can tell... And tears have been shed pretty often these past couple weeks. I'm not necessarily nervous or anxious... Everything just feels... intense. I definitely feel a lot of pressure to make these last few days count, that's for sure. I keep feeling the urge to micromanage everything so I don't leave anything important out. I think we're just about done with the shopping, I've got my wardrobe all set, and my luggage, and my books, and bag... I'm just missing a couple things that I'll probably get at the grocery store tomorrow or something. It's pretty interesting, this past week and now... Pretty much 100% of my thoughts are centered on the mission. I'm "in the zone", as my dad said. I didn't know I could focus so completely one one thing until now. Really. Every thought. It's kind of weird. And now it's coming! So soon! So soon. I'm still a little in unbelief about it... It'll be interesting when it finally 'hits me'.
Maybe it'll hit me when it's the day of my farewell. Eeks. I got my topic a couple days ago: Why I want to go on a mission... Using Alma 17 and the talk by Elder Nelson, 'Ask the Missionaries'. Oh boy. That makes me nervous. So nervous. I'm probably going to start writing it today, although I've been thinking about it a lot already as I've been studying Preach My Gospel (the missionary handbook of sorts) and my scriptures. Oh man. Nervewracking. There will be SO many people there. Just family alone will be huge. I have 6 siblings, 5 of which will be there their families. Plus my mother has 4 siblings and my dad has 3, and I bet they'll come with their families. Oh my goodness, so many people, and so much pressure! I want so badly to be eloquent and express myself adequately. Especially to those that aren't members and don't really understand a lot of what's going on in my life right now. I want to be able to express myself and my testimony properly. I feel that is is so important to do that. I feel the need to prove that I know what I'm doing and I am a fully informed member of the church. I am not naive, sheltered, or even brainwashed. I have studied and searched and pondered and prayed and found it to be the truth. I haven't been leaning on the conviction of my parents, I haven't been that way for a long time. I think so many of those present may be thinking otherwise.... Maybe they think that religion is something I'll grow out of, almost like finding out one day that Santa Claus isn't real. I want so badly for those present to know that I know. My testimony and conviction of the gospel is so strong, I deeply and fiercely love my savior, and the gospel fills me with such unbelievable hope and happiness. I'm just worried that I won't be able to express that like I want to because I'm not that articulate, especially when it comes to things I care about most. I hope that I can be prepared enough and worthy enough to be a vessel in His hands, so that the people that I love so much who are there can be touched by the spirit, and feel the truth in my words. I do know, despite my nervousness, though... That Christ is aware of my concerns and my worries.. I know that if I do my best to prepare and be ready, He'll take care of the rest and everything will work out. :) That's his role, as Savior... To take our best, to take our efforts, and make them enough, make them fit for what is required. Pretty amazing. I just need to keep remembering that this next week as I prepare...
Speaking of farewells! I went to my cousin Krystal Larrabee's farewell today. She's about four months younger than me and we've had a pretty amazing relationship. We've grown up and have always been pretty close, usually having multiple sleepovers together, going to girls camp together... etc. We both felt the impression to serve a mission when the announcement came, and it's been pretty cool these past few months. our calls were issued on the same day, which is pretty special I think. :) We got our calls a day apart. She's going to the Texas McAllen mission, speaking Spanish. (It's actually kind of funny. Her dad went to Brussels, speaking French, and my Dad went to the Uruguay/Paraguay mission speaking Spanish! It's like their daughters got switched.) Her farewell was today, mine is a week from now. She reports on Wednesday, I report a week later. :) I hope I get to see her in the MTC (missionary training center). She was absolutely stunning today. She looked so happy, so full of the spirit and a very visible strong testimony. The musical number for the meeting was Savior, Redeemer of My Soul... (Go here and press play... Amazing.) One of my very favorite hymns. It set the mood perfectly for her message. Her message was about repentance. She did so well, and it was so amazing to hear her speak. Just listening to her I know she's going to be amazing. She treated the topic with an amazing amount of love. She has such a kind and caring heart, it's one of her most prominent qualities. I know the people of her mission will be blessed by her sweet heart. She's such an amazing example to me, I want to be just like her. :) If I speak on Sunday with half of the power, compassion, and amazing spirit that she did today... I will consider my job well done.
Also! Krystal's brother-in-law, Jaims, told me at the farewell that he served his mission in Eastern Canada as well! I didn't know that! I guess he served in the mission just east of mine, in Nova Scotia, New Brunswik, Prince Charles Island, Prince Edward island... Other places. Anyway, it was so fun to talk to him. He was so excited for me to go. He said that Canadians are SO nice! "I don't even think there's crime there..." Haha. :) He gave me a tip to brush up on my Canadian history, because a lot of times they think Americans are arrogant because they know our history, but we don't know a lick of theirs! (Note to self: Their first prime minister was John A. Macdonald.) He told me to memorize the song Un Canadien Errant, which is a very patriotic song that they love which is about the Lower Canadian Rebellion, when the British colonials exiled the French Canadians to the United States. We also talked about their money, their churches (can you imagine church with talks and hymns both in English and French?!) and some other things. :) It definitely got me even more pumped, and gave me a confirmation that I've been called to the perfect mission for me. Pretty cool!
I'll keep you updated! My LAST week! Pretty crazy. I'll be woking on my farewell, getting one last shot, cleaning the house, bathing the dog... All in preparation for family coming to visit, late Friday night. Then Sunday is the farewell, then there's Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoon, I'm off!
(See also, the end of Romans chapter 8. Specifically verse 28. ;)