It's funny how things work, really. I never pictured my life turning out the way it is. Ya know, when you're dreaming of someday, you never really know what to expect. But I honestly have never felt so at peace and simply happy with a decision in my entire life.
I never planned on serving a mission, it simply wasn't expected of me, and I never put much thought into the whole mission 'idea.' But of course the age change happened last October conference, which made a lot of young high school minds start spinning. That is exactly when the thought was planted in my brain that I, could serve a mission at nineteen. I could literally leave six months after my boy friends (ex. spencer;) and still get back before him. (& yes if we are being honest, that was what sparked my first interest sorry that he controls my mind.) But immediately following that distinction, I realized that I had never prepared for this and I wasn't 'good enough' persay.
So I thought that was the end of it. No mission for me, no way. Not exactly. The very next seminary class guess what the subject was? Yes you called it. It was all about, every shape and form you could put it in, our duty as members to magnify our callings. And the very first topic of discussion was missionary work. And not only the fact that elders could serve a whopping one year earlier, but that SISTERS could serve at NINETEEN. This was HUGE. And that is when somewhere in my mind I derived the idea of me serving a mission at nineteen. And immediately following that distinction, once again, I thought to myself "I have never prepared for this and I am not good enough."
As the discussion continued and the lesson got more in depth, I remember precisely when Brother McDuffie asked the class to open their scriptures in the New Testament where we were currently studying at the time. And of course I was too busy concentrating on home work or my phone or something of other unimportance when I got that 'stare down' from the teacher that meant 'open that bible now or i will hit you with one.' So I grumbled and flopped it open to whichever page fate would desire and out came pink and green striped strip of paper with a quote on it. I picked up the strip and began to shove it back into the book (because I am an avid glue-inner, i love quotes) but something stopped me and i decided to read whatever random quote/handout/gluein that fell on the floor that day. It said these words exactly..
"When we offer all that we have to the Lord, HE magnifies our efforts and we become the instrument in His hands to bless the lives of others. And not only is that a blessing beyond compare - to witness His miracles and get to be a part of it - but, what we receive in return, is so much more than what we gave!"
It didn't have a author, or a title, or even a scripture to be attached. Just that simple quote, that reiterated what I already should have known. It made me pause, for.. well forever. I just sat there. Thinking over and over again "I have never prepared for this and I am not good enough." Then looking down at that quote realizing, how much that didn't matter.
When we offer all that we HAVE, all that we HAVE prepared for, all that we can give. When we try our best to do HIS work HE WILL help us. I know that. I believe that with my whole heart. When I finally looked up from that quote, I had to laugh. My heavenly father knows me SO well. He knows my flaws and my weakness's. He knows when I'm going to doubt myself. He KNOWS that the adversary is going to try to point me in the wrong direction and tell me that I am not good enough. He knows that there are people out there waiting to hear exactly what I have to share about the gospel and my testimony. He knows that, and the adversary knows that. They both know that I have a work to do right here, right now. And that is when I knew I had a calling to fulfill.
As a member of the Church, I have a role to play in sharing the Gospel with others who are willing to listen and learn of Christs teachings. I know for a fact that we are sons and daughters of a living and loving God who will answer our prayers. I know that he has called Prophets who are inspired men, who listen to the promptings of the holy ghost and have assigned me a call where I can make an impact on the people i serve, through the spirit that I share with them.
This summer I did make an appointment with my bishop and got all my papers, doctors appointments, dental work and etc. done in a week. Both my Bishop (being my dad (:) and my Stake President are beyond amazing men, who have given me advice that will influence me throughout a lifetime. My call has yes, been assigned, and I am currently waiting for it to show up at my door any day now. I cannot wait to hear when I have been assigned to go for the next eighteen months but I hope and pray that I can love the people there and what I have to say will influence them in ways they never knew were possible
I love the Gospel. I love the simplicity of the church. I love the joy that it brings me in my life. I love the knowledge that i have to know that i have guidance and direction whenever I need it. That i can be sealed to my future husband and family for time and all eternity. That God loves me. That Jesus Christ is my savior. That through the atonement I can be like him. That Joseph Smith lived his whole life and died for the Book of Mormon to be passed down through generations so that I could read it, and know of the Gospels truths. What a blessing it is that I have all the things that I do. Eighteen months is the least of what I can give back to the Lord for the blessings he has given me. I am so grateful for the opportunity that i have to go serve. And i cannot wait to get out there and do it!
Sincerely Yours, Madison Paige