Just Another Unwarranted Opinion on Missionary Work

Serving a mission has been on my mind since I was seventeen years old. Being a single, twenty-two year old student at BYU has not done much to dissipate these thoughts. Against my better judgment, I read every missionary-related blog post that shows up in my Facebook feed. Apparently, serving a mission is a very contentious topic.

While reading these blog posts, I’ve realized that the situation in which I’ve found myself hasn’t been adequately addressed. And I want to address it.

For women in the church, it seems like there’s only two acceptable options:

1. You desire to go on a mission, pray about it, and decide to serve.
2. You desire to go on a mission, pray about it, and receive “no” as your answer.

The problem is, I don’t fit into either of those categories because I never desired to serve a mission.

When President Monson made the announcement, I was getting ready to study abroad in Jerusalem. I was turning twenty-one in the next six months so putting in my papers had already crossed my mind. I told myself that I would consider whether or not a mission was right for me during my time in Jerusalem. I ultimately decided that while I wasn’t swearing off serving a mission forever, it just wasn’t the ‘right’ time.

I continued to pray about the decision, feeling increasingly frustrated at my Heavenly Father for not providing me with an answer. I knew deep down in my heart that I wasn’t receiving an answer because it was my decision to make. But I wasn’t ready to—nor did I want to—take responsibility for that decision.

So I kept putting it off. One semester went by, then another, and then I couldn’t make a decision until after my summer internship, and then I only had a semester of classes left, and before I knew it, I had accepted a full-time job.

I guess I’ll revisit the issue in 2018.

Except not really. Because somewhere in the midst of all of this, I realized that the reason I kept putting off the decision was because it was too hard to admit to myself that I didn’t want to serve.

Shouldn’t every righteous, gospel-loving member of the church want to serve a mission? Up to that point in my life, I always thought the answer to that question was yes. Choosing not to serve would imply that I was not as gospel-loving as I imagined myself to be.

I now realize that this is nonsense.

Do I think I would be a good missionary? Yes. Do I believe that it would bless and change my life? Yes. But I don’t believe that serving a mission is the only way to bless and change my life. It’s been over two years since I could have left on a mission, and to be honest, my life really hasn’t changed that much. Except now I’m not afraid of admitting that I didn’t want to serve a mission. And I think that’s just fine.

Just Another Unwarranted Opinion on Missionary Work

Taking Stock

Making: Excuses to procrastinate doing my homework.
Cooking: Does refrigerating water count?
Drinking: My dad’s homemade strawberry lemonade. Mmmm.
Reading: Standing For Something by Gordon B. Hinckley
Wanting: My ankle to not be broken anymore.
Looking: For a new watch.
Playing: My new winter playlist on repeat.
Wasting: Time. I’m always wasting time.
Sewing: A t-shirt quilt that I started over a year ago. There’s no end in sight.
Wishing: That it was already April and that I was graduating.
Enjoying: This three-day weekend full of sleepovers, food, and family.
Waiting: For Interstellar to play in the dollar theater.
Liking: Blogging. I’m just as surprised as you are.
Wearing: My summer skirt in the dead of winter.
Wondering: Where I’ll be in two years.
Loving: Zach.
Hoping: That this summer will be the best one yet.
Marveling: At the earth. Do yourself a favor and study plate tectonics.
Needing: New church shoes.
Smelling: My perfume. I might be getting sick of it.
Following: Too many blogs.
Noticing: That my little brother is growing up.
Knowing: That I complain too much.
Feeling: Sleepy.
Opening: A reply to an email that I shouldn’t have written in the first place.
Thinking: That I should probably make some New Year’s Resolutions.

Taking Stock

Why My Face is Not Actually Flat

I’ve always wanted to write a blog, though I’m not exactly sure why. The thought of complete strangers—or even worse, close friends—reading my innermost thoughts and feelings is terrifying. And yet, sometimes I think that I have pretty dang good ideas that I’d like to share with the world.

But what if nobody liked my self-proclaimed interesting thoughts? And worse, what if nobody ever read my blog? I don’t know if I could handle online rejection in addition to rejection in my real life.

Blogging for a class, however, means that I can blame a lack of readership (and lack of interesting material) on this being a school assignment. There are not many people who want to read school assignments in their free time.

And so here we are.

Now, you may be wondering whether or not my face is actually flat.

As the date of my birth rapidly approached, my parents were torn between naming me Paige or Claire. Janelle, my older sister, was five years old at the time, and when asked which name she preferred, she adamantly expressed her preference for the name Claire. Janelle tearfully explained that if I was named Paige, I would be born with a flat face like the page of a book.

I narrowly dodged that unlucky fate. I don’t have a flat face. At least I don’t think I do.

Why My Face is Not Actually Flat