I wrote this in my journal on October 9, 2012, the day that I decided to serve my mission:
Does life generally pass by in an insane blur? That's what they used to tell me, but it always was an impossibility. I wanted to grow up, I wanted to be independent, I wanted to feel significant in a world of individual insignificance. Now, real life is here. Two years ahead of schedule, but here nonetheless.
Last week, my mother, the neighborhood women and I talked about the rumors of something big happening at General Conference. I had no idea how drastically this change would affect my life. I forgot the concern and lived my week.
Saturday morning rolled around, and I opened my laptop to watch and listen to our apostles and prophet. I was sleepy. When President Monson began to describe missionary work, I immediately perked up. The boys could serve missions at 18. It was so exciting. Then, he continued. As soon as he declared that young women could serve at 19, tears streamed down my face. I honestly don't remember the last time I cried like that. And for a solid three hours, too. I felt that I needed to serve a mission now, but it wasn't in my plan. I felt inadequate, like I wasn't ready for this responsibility. Yet here I was, with an unbelievable feeling of "think about this Jazz. Seriously, think about this."
I believed this to be a trial of my faith. A test of pure dedication to the Lord that I had never experienced before. There were positives to staying and going. I knew this would be a huge decision and not one that I could make in an instant, as some of my friends had done. Here came the fasting and praying and talking to every person I knew. First, I called my parents. I bawled the entire time, asking their opinions and how I could reach my answer. They led me to my Bishop and every friend that I consider dear. Everyone told me that I would be great, that it would be an amazing opportunity, but that ultimately it was my decision. So it was no help, really. I met with my Bishop that night, and my nerves were immediately calmed. We talked forever about a mission and how it requires outstanding faith. He gave me a blessing to help me decide and to do whatever would be best for me.
Sunday came, and my stress level increased. Through the roof. Being a planner and not having a plan is any planner's worst nightmare. So I sent an email to a dear friend on a mission, who's opinion and insight I trust more than anyone else. I told him of my concerns, the positives and negatives to each scenario, everything. Then I waited. I prayed and waited all day.
Monday, his reply came. He was so encouraging and told me all the blessings he had received and would continue to receive on a mission. He talked about how beneficial a mission was to his mother and their family. I felt the spirit emulating out of my computer screen for a solid ten minutes. I was getting closer to determining my answer. I signed up for a Mission Prep class starting the next day, talked with my Bishop more, then prayed and fasted and stressed like crazy.
This morning, I work up. The first thing I heard was, "You are going on a mission." That was it. Clear as day. My answer. So here it is. My next year and a half figured out in three days.
I'm letting go now, and I'm letting God.