is a weird thing. Sometimes, the days go by too fast. And other times they go by too slowly. I think it all just depends on how you use your time. The days where I just sit around waiting for it to be time for bed, I get so bored, and think that the day will never end. The days where I am talking to my family, or reading articles and blogs, and preparing for my mission, the time goes by so much faster.
Being in Ukraine has been a wonderful experience, and I have learned so much about myself. Sometimes it's nice to get away from the monotony of every day life, and take a little adventure. It's a good way to step back, and get away from things that you thought were right, and then didn't go the way you had planned. It's nice to be able to really rely on the Lord, and trust that he knows what is best for you.
Although I came to Ukraine to teach English, I also came to help find myself (as an individual). I think that has really helped me. When I was first considering a mission, I was so afraid that I was wanting to go for all the wrong reasons. That being 21, with no potential spouse on the horizon was the reason I was going to go, because what else is there for me? Well, that is the complete wrong line of thinking, and once I realized that, I realized why I really want to serve a mission. Being almost 21, and not married is helpful, as it qualifies me to serve a mission (it would be hard to serve a mission right now if I was married), but it is not the reason.
Another thing I thought about while I was deciding whether or not to serve a mission, was that it would be a good way to find myself. I would be away from family and friends, there would be no boys to complicate my life, and I would be able to really focus on me. Well, a mission is not a good place to focus on me. While serving a mission you should focus on the Lord, and serving him. You should focus on the people you are teaching, and how you can bring others to Christ. A mission is not about you.
It took me a while, but once I realized how important it is to not focus on yourself, I realized why I really want to serve a mission, to share the joy the gospel brings me with those around me. I know I can do that on a regular basis, but I want to do that everyday as a representative of Jesus Christ. As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don't want to go on a mission to find myself, rather I want to go on a mission to lose myself in the work.
Now back to the matter of time. My time in Ukraine is coming to a close. I will be home in 3 weeks, and I don't even know how I feel about that. I am so excited to get home, and get my papers finished and submitted. I am excited to get my call. I am excited to get out there and serve. But, all at the same time, I am incredibly nervous. I keep thinking of all of the things that could go wrong, or all of the things that I am going to miss. And what if I'm not really ready? It's all a lot to take in. I mean, I have been thinking off and on about a mission since I got my Patriarchal Blessing when I was 14, but I never actually took the time to really prepare for it like I should have. And now I only have three weeks until I can submit my papers (maybe a little bit longer depending on how all of the appointments go), and I feel so unprepared.
And that just brings me back to the idea that maybe I should push my availability date back a little bit more. When I was skyping with my family on Sunday, my little brother said, "You know how you were talking about going on a mission? Well, you better not leave before my birthday!" My heart hurt a little bit when he said that. He is getting so big, and though I have missed a lot of my siblings's birthdays over the years, this is a special one. He will be turning eight and will be getting baptized, and depending on when I report to the MTC, I will more than likely miss it. There are so many things that I will miss, which was one of my biggest concerns when I thought about serving a mission a year ago.
But that is the thing. Regardless, I am going to miss so much, and delaying serving the Lord is not going to help that. Because than I will continue to miss things. That is what happens when you grow up, sometimes you have to sacrifice a lot of good things, for better things. So, as much as my heart hurts when I think about all the things that I will miss, I am so excited for all the things that a mission will bring. The people I will meet, and grow to love. Those that I will teach, and serve. The letters that I will get, and the letters that I will be able to send with lots of spiritual experiences, and so many more things. (Obviously letters are not the most important thing, but I sure do love getting letters and hearing from my family!)
So moral of the story, time is a weird thing, but I know that if I do things and focus on God's timing rather than my own, things will work out the way they are supposed to. I just have to put my trust in him. After all, his timing is pretty great.