Choosing to leave home and serve mission for a year and a half is not an easy thing. At least it wasn't easy for me. It was never one big event that changed my mind; but instead, it was small happenings my entire life that prepared me to leave and go serve my Heavenly Father. I'm writing this now so I can look back and remember all the people who helped me get to this point and never forget why I chose to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission.
A week before I left my dad and I were talking and he said, "Kaila, have I ever told you to go on a mission?"
"Have I ever mentioned missions or talked about them?"
"Then why are you going on one?"
I looked at him confused thinking, "my dad is a good dad, right? Why wouldn't he have taught me and directed me to all things good?"
He could tell I didn't know what to say and told me, "I didn't and haven't talked to you or your sisters about missions because I wanted it to be completely your choice and I didn't want you to feel any pressure". My dad then continued by telling me that I am and have always been his favorite daughter and my other sisters are just fighting for second place...or something like that.
Although my parents never pushed me to serve a mission, throughout my whole life they have taught me the teachings of Christ and have been wonderful examples to me of how to become a disciple of Christ.
The last time I went on a temple trip with my ward before going out to BYU for the summer, the temple president said something that really stuck with me. He compared us all coming to earth like receiving a mission call. We anxiously waited to know where in the world we would be sent, in what period of time, and to what family. When I thought about my life in this way I knew that I had been blessed with one of the best "earthly calls". I have been raised in the church and sent to the most amazing, and lets not forget, competitive family who I dearly love. I have built friendships with people who respect my standards and have helped me become a better person. God has blessed me greatly with unique and incredible opportunities, and throughout my whole life has helped me hold to the rod and live righteously so I could be worthy enough to serve a mission for Him.
Back in October of 2012 when President Thomas S. Monson announced the age change for missionaries I was shocked. It was a huge announcement and I knew it would change many lives, but I only thought to myself, "hmm thats nice." Come to find out it has had such a monumental effect in my life. My older sister was 19 when the announcement came out and I was curious as to what she thought about the change. She gave me advice that had the most profound impact. "Prepare for a mission, but if God has a different plan for you and you decide not to go on one the worst thing that happens is you have a stronger testimony."
I had several friends in my stake who were preparing to go on missions. Even though most of the time we were just hangout and messing around, they were such incredible examples to me. At times we would talk about missions. Although I had not decided to go on a mission yet, they always encouraged and supported me. I'm thankful God put those friends in my life and I know they are doing great work all around the world.
Around this time last year I receive my Patriarchal Blessing. At first, I was too stubborn to see the guidance that God provided for me. But as I read my blessing more frequently and read it alongside with my scriptures the messages became more clear. I began to come across very specific phrases in my blessing that can also be found in the scriptures and I noticed the similar theme of missionary work and the gathering of Israel. As I continue to read my Patriarchal Blessings new things stand out to me and I know that God loves His children and wants to provide direction and guidance for us.
Finally, I chose to serve a mission because of my family. I know that great blessings will come as a faithfully serve my Heavenly Father, not only for my current family but for my future family as well. I know that by serving a mission God will help me become the best wife and mother I can possibly be.
When I was younger I remember my dad telling me that it was his goal to bring a million souls back to Heaven. I thought he had gone crazy and had no idea how he was going to do it. At the time, I didn't even know a million people let alone know how he was going to bring them all back to Christ. Now I know he will accomplish his goal. My dad joined the church in his mid 20s so he never had the opportunity to serve a mission. But since both of my parents converted to the church they have raise me and taught me the teachings of Christ. Because of this, I have decided to serve a mission so I can help people find Christ and bring them back to Heaven. Even if I only influence one person, I know my mission will be worth it. Hopefully that one person will effect someone else for the better and the chain will continue all because my parents joined the church and raised me in the gospel. One by one the people add up and soon there will be a million souls that will come unto Christ because of my dad and the influence he has had on people and the influence those people have on other people.
D&C 18:10, 15-17 "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation. "