Last night I had my farewell open house and this morning I gave my farewell talk. It's crazy to think how fast time has gone on and that in just 10 days I'm actually going to be a missionary. It's absolutely incredible. After I received my call, I received a link to the Missionary Portal, the site for future missionaries that has links to dress guidelines, Preach My Gospel, needed immunizations, etc. This site also has a countdown to when I report to the MTC. I've watched go from 84 to 61 to 25, and I thought that this day would never come, but now it's just around the corner. Ahhhhhh!!! I feel good though, things are feeling right, and I'm feeling ready enough.
These past few days have been filled with many goodbyes, and I have been so blessed with friends, family and neighbors who have been so, so supportive of my decision. None of you know how touched and thankful I am for this, but I would love to thank each and every one of you who have gone out of your way to make me feel welcome and let me into your lives.
I will post something every week (hopefully), and I hope all of you will follow me in this amazing journey! I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's been a crazy month, but I'm surviving and just trying to figure out life. I've gone through many stages of post-mission-call-itis, the most major ones being the "is this even real?" phase , "oh my gosh this is too real I don't think I can do this" phase, the "this is going to be the best experience ever" phase, and the "I'm not ready, I don't think I ever will be" phase, and let's not forget the others, "I'm going to die of dengue fever", "I LOVE mission shopping", "I HATE mission shopping", "I'm gonna have to eat a goat colon, aren't I?" and "I can't wait to get going".
Honestly, though, I've been struggling the past month. I feel like ever since I got my mission call, I've been in a rut. I've barely opened my scriptures, hardly prayed, I haven't had the desire to serve others, I don't want to talk to people, and I've pretty much stayed in the house most of the time. I just have no drive, no want to be productive.
So this will end today! I'm going to read and study like it's nobody's business, I'm going to pray to my Father in Heaven like crazy. I will force myself to be social and go out of my way to talk to people, and will finish the service projects I started at the beginning of summer. It's going to be great!
I have a testimony that the Lord does help us do what we are meant to do, that He cares about our well-being and wants us to succeed. Keep moving forward. Be positive. Stay awesome, my friends.
This is my picture-of-the-day, but come on, this one definitely deserves to be on the main page. I'm going to open it tomorrow, surrounded by my family and friends. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh I'm dying inside from waiting!!!!!!
The time is finally coming where my papers are in, I got a job, and everything seems to be going okey-dokey-atichokey. *knock on wood*. I've always heard from former missionaries that the months before leaving on their missions were pretty hard- they faced a lot of opposition. And yeah, I've had some of that. But you know, I think it's finally starting to get good now. I was worried that I wouldn't get a job, leaving me below what I had set out to pay for my mission and leaving me with absolutely no fund-age for when I come back home, but I have a job now, paying me more than I had expected, so there's one up. My papers officially went in last Monday, so I don't need to freak out any more; all my prayers are for the mission call to come ASAP. So there's another up. And last, nothing bad's really going on. Yeah, I'll melt into a puddle if I step outside the door, but there's plenty of good things to do indoors, right? It just means that I can spend more time with my wonderful family and get caught up with putting together this website. It's actually pretty time consuming.
I'm trying to prepare the best way that I can, but it's hard not knowing where I'll be going and what topics I need to focus on learning better. I don't even know what language I'll be learning if I even learn a new language. Anyways, ciao for now and hopefully my next post will be my actual mission call! *screaming inside*
I'll write back soon!
Sister Hermana Syster Schwester WhoKnows? Stringham
Ever since the end of April, I have been doing all that I could to get my papers in as fast as possible so that I could finally find out where I will go on my mission. Sweden? Portland? Marshall Islands? Guatemala? I'm dying to find out where I will serve, but there have been so many delays in getting my papers to the Church that it has left me feeling frustrated and alone. I'm not angry or upset with anyone that has been involved with my papers, I'm just disappointed with the luck I've been having with them. Everything from the doctor's availability to getting everything taken care of, there have just been so many things that have not happened in my favor that it's driving me crazy! They will hopefully go in Sunday, so cross your fingers.
On the positive side, this tedious experience has helped me grow. I've learned to trust that not everything in this life will be convenient. Even when I'm doing the Lord's work, there will be struggles and heartache. I've accepted God's timing and have realized that His time frame is more important than mine, that He knows what He's doing and I just need to trust that it will work out in the end. I know it will! I'm going on a mission no matter what, a couple extra weeks of waiting won't matter in the long run. Plus, I will know where my mission is for the rest of my life, I should appreciate the time of the unknown for as long as I can.
For those of you struggling with God's timing- it's hard, not knowing when God will reveal His will or what He wants you to do. There are so many unanswered questions in this world that need answering, and it gets frustrating when Heavenly Father doesn't respond right away or it isn't the answer you were expected. But stay in there. Answers will come if you look for them.
Today was a very busy day for me. It began with church at 9 to 12, mission interview at 2:30, mission prep class at 3:30, then seminary graduation at 6. Whew!!!
All of this mission prep is making my mission a real reality and it's starting to kick in that I will only be here for a few months more. I'll miss everybody, but it's time for me to experience the world and get to know myself better and gain valuable skills. I am extremely nervous that I will fail or that I won't be good enough, but I know that this mission is something that I need to do. I feel ready enough, if there is a 'ready'.
Waiting for my mission call is killing me! I can't wait to find out where I'm going. I already love the people and the land, if only I knew who they were and where it is. It's strange, how I already feel love for a people that I don't yet know, but I feel a longing to be with them, a willingness to serve them. I know it sounds silly, and I can't explain it. I just... love them.
Wish me luck!
HOLLEY STRINGHAM: Salt Lake City, born and raised; returned missionary from the Indonesia Jakarta Mission.; a simple folk aimed on changing the world