I literally have only 293 days left to serve as a Full time missionary
for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Hold that thought.
This week was DRAMATIC.
The Budds (Senior couple) are teaching one of our investigators now.
I went on exchanges with Sister Hansen. Who goes home this transfer.
Our Ward Mission leader went back to Utah.
We had an American Sign Language lesson with D. ASL missionaries from DC
North came and helped us.
Lots of baptism interviews.
And then Church.
The ASL missionaries came and translated church for D. It was cool.
M. is on date for September. So that's awesome.
Lots of less active members have been coming to church.
Craziness has been happening out here.
Don't worry about me.
...So that was our week.
Fortunately nobody passed out or got spit on, so its all good.
Now back to my original thought process.
I literally have only 293 days left to serve as a Full time missionary
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Spencer hits his one year mark this week.
Which means we both are hitting our "less than a year left" status.
BE READY 4 THIS
I've nearly forgotten what it's like to own an iPhone.
To tweet my favorite song lyrics.
To shoot my homies a text.
To stalk Madison W. on Insta.
To Pinterest new clothing trends.
Go shopping when I feel the need.
Take a daily swig trip with mom.
Chase Eli around the house and play "road kill".
I've forgotten my first name.
How to sleep in.
How to function without studying in the morning.
All my favorite bands.
How to play the guitar.
How to balance on any type of board.
How to keep flip flops on your feet.
How to feel rock skinny jeans.
It's a special occasion.
Eight months of being a Sister will do that to a person.
I'm afraid I'm gonna come home a lot weirder than I anticipated originally.
Especially considering the circumstances in which I left home to BECOME a missionary.
And to think there's still 293 days left of changing.
You guys are in for a surprise.
A weird surprise,
Sorry not sorry.
I will admit however there is one story I haven't forgotten. And I want to share it with you all today.
BECAUSE it got me to where I am today. It's the story of WHY I decided to serve a mission,
Because let's be honest. This whole wearing a skirt deal 24/7 for a year and a half... was never in my plans.
...MY plans, that is.
And because it's a special occasion my story will be my Ernest attempt to answer a question I get a lot. Which is what advice I give to anyone thinking about / preparing to / or leaving on a mission.
So hopefully this answers your questions, or inspires you, or if nothing else motivates you to be inspired and uplifted and begin reading and seeking for answers yourself. Because God will answer you too.
And if nothing else this will clear up why I chose the most random scripture in the Book of Mormon to be my mission plaque power scripture. So here's the story behind it, y'all ready for this?
Last year at this time I was a completely different person. In fact this week exactly... Last year I was still deciding whether or not a mission was for me. I was filling out my 'mission papers' and needless to say spending a lot of time on my knees, seeking answers. At this time in a persons life you don't really know what you're doing anymore. You have endless options on how to live your life, how to spend your time. But for some reason the thought of serving a mission would never leave me no matter how hard I tried to put it off and plan otherwise.
I remember I had just bought a brand new glimmering white, 2012 Mazda 3, with an amazing sound system and black microfiber interior. Man, that thing was my baby. I was working and saving up money and trying to get into a Pharmacy tech program so I could get school rollin'. I thought I had things all figured out but for some reason nothing was working out the way I had planned on.
This time last year I was spending every waking moment with Spencer. He was leaving in a couple days and I was distraught at what I was going to do when he left. I wasn't very happy with the idea that a mission would be separating us for two whole years, so saying I wasn't excited about the promptings I was getting to serve a mission myself was an understatement.
I know some of my closest friends weren't very happy about that idea either. I was incredibly confused.
Taking a step back I see now...
God had a plan for me all along. But in the moment it's such a big deal.
My life was exactly how I wanted it, why would I change anything?
Like I mentioned above, I spent a lot of time in thoughtful prayer.
Pleading for direction. What school I should go to.
If I should quit my job.
What career I should pursue.
If I should get married.
ANYTHING I could think of.
When no answers were coming and I was only confusing myself more...
I finally pleaded for any sort of direction, to steer me where I was supposed to be going.
It wasn't until the day after Spencer left, August 15th, late in the night, when I had gotten home from work. The house was quite. It was dark outside. I was upset. Confused. Alone. Forgotten maybe? Or so I thought. I remember the words of a prophet who once said any earnest truth seeker must read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. And so I was doing it. I felt prompted to open up to where I had been reading the past few months.
I opened up the Book of Mormon hoping for some form of magnificent answer to my questions, some etching that perhaps had MADISON written all over it, or something that confirmed MY wants and desires. Ya know like that I should go to this college or program or seek out this specific career. Or find the love of my life. Idk. I had a bit of an imagination. But obviously not one that covered the extent of serving a mission, that wasn't ideal.
As I opened the book it was simply the same old stories I've read about my entire life. In fact I opened the book smack dab in the middle of Alma, which is the longest book in the Book of Mormon. I thought to myself what could possibly stick out to me in this chapter that I haven't already read?
And I was wrong.
I felt compelled to continue reading where I left off. In Alma chapter seventeen. It talks about the Sons of Mosiah who, In my opinion are the greatest missionaries within the Book of Mormon, or perhaps all time.
Which is what caught me, considering the circumstances. In the chapter heading it mentions that the Sons of Mosiah gave up their rights to their kingdom to SERVE God, to GO PREACH to the people.
Considering I thought my life was great
And was about to give up all I'd ever known and loved for something...
I began reading the chapter and was stopped at verse thirteen which was, at that moment, TO ME a complete answer to my prayers.
"And it came to pass..
When they had arrived in the borders of the land of the lamanites...
That they seperated themselves one from another, trusting in The Lord
that they should meet again at the close of their harvest. For they
supposed that great was the work which they has undertaken." (Alma17:13)
They separated themselves and departed one from another
TRUSTING THE LORD THEY WOULD MEET AGAIN
At the close of their harvest, for they supposed
GREAT WAS THE WORK THEY HAD UNDERTAKEN
a missionary leaves their home, their family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, everyone. To go serve. because The Lord calls them, because the work is greater. And seeing there that it takes a leap of faith to trust The Lord that things will work out, sold me. It clicked, that there was something greater in store for me that I hadn't even dreamed of yet.
So, that was it.
An answer to My prayer
Not how I expected
Certainly not how I had hoped
But it was clear as day to me in that Moment
That The Lord had a work for me to do.
And many others as well.
Currently there are 85 thousand (plus?) missionaries serving the same purpose. The Lord had a plan for each of them, and for each of the individual lives of people they will touch and help and serve. The work is Great.
In fact it's greater than anything you have yet planned or imagined to do.
The Lord needs you.
He needed me.
And I'm here.
I can't say every minute of every day I'm content with what I'm doing and wouldn't rather be doing something else. But I'm satisfied with the work, with the blessings, with the promises that as we trust in The Lord things will work out.
We will meet again at the close of the harvest,
When the work is done
When my time is up
If I trust in The Lord
He'll lead me to where I need to be
And what I need to become
And same goes for you.
So my advice?
Take your questions to The Lord.
Have an open mind.
An open heart.
And he will guide you.
In the weirdest of ways.
I can testify to it myself.
That he is aware of us all.
So that's why I'm here.
*Well most of why... for further reasons see previous blog post in November of 2013
"Essay to Bishop Stucki" (Daddy)
and that's my novel for you today
Thanks for reading and supporting and being a great human soul. So many miracles and friendships and sharing of the gospel have come from this blog. Who would have thought? So thank you for reading, sharing, commenting, emailing and ultimately for using the internet for GOOD.
keep doing it.
You can share this blog on Facebook / Pinterest / bloglovin / twitter / Insta and whatever else comes out in the near future while I'm out of the technological loop.
#spreadtheword and be a missionary
Y'all are the besssttt
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Or email me at
For any other conversation / questions / statements
Wait till I get home.
Love you all!
I gotta bounce
Oh ya, so mom
Thanks 4 the swig cookies you did a good job shipping them.
Do you think you can ship a strawberry mango mountain dew purée?
Just a thought
I missed these guys 1st Day back at school...
|Ethan's Junior Year...but he sends his love:)|
|Mr. Style (Ty) freshman year and seminary...|
|Makenna is going to be taller than me when I get home, she is starting 6th at a big school...|
|and Little Eli starting Kindergarten...he sends his love too.|
I Love my family
...we will meet again...
Sister Madison Paige Stucki
(via email July 11, 2014)