Friday, October 9, 2009
One month ago today....
I held in my hands a large, white, envelope addressed to "Sister Christina Zwick" a name that I will soon answer to daily. I can't wait until I am used to hearing that because that means I will finally be a missionary! Today I greeted two Sister Missionaries who came into my work for lunch. I have never seen Sister Missionaries in Henderson. It was definitely a tender mercy during the busy hour. I said, "Hello Sisters!" I hoped they could tell I was mormon. I wanted so badly to tell them that I have a mission call and that I'm leaving to do exactly what their doing in just a couple of months, but my manager was standing two feet away. She doesn't know I'm leaving...YET. It didn't stop me. I love talking to Sister Missionaries. This was the first time I had seen any Sister Missionaries since I've gotten my own mission call. It made me very happy. I observed them the whole time they were there. I have never looked up to people so much without even knowing their first names. I feel like I served a couple celebrities, the Sister Missionaries! I hope they come in again. Tomorrow :). What I loved about it is how natural it seemed for them to answer to "Sister" when I greeted them. I couldn't help but think, within just a few weeks I will wear a similar tag and it will be natural for me to be called "Sister Zwick" too. I stared at their name tags and imagined myself wearing one. I read the bold lettering of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". What an honor that will be, to wear a name tag representing the only true church, to be serving in my Savior's example. I cannot wait!
A few hours before opening my mission call, I was feeling excited, nervous, happy, anxious, and scared. With my family gathered around I started thinking about how hard it will be to leave them and felt a little sad too.
Mike, Steph, and Jeff tuned in on Skype.
I opened the envelope and began to cry as I read the letter. The spirit was so strong.
It's quite embarrassing to me when I watch the video of me opening my call, but I am still glad I have it recorded. I've watched it over a hundred times and the feeling of excitement and correctness still comes over me when I hear where I've been called. So for those of you who weren't there...
Reading the line to where I have been called to serve was the part of the letter I was most looking forward to, but as I have read and re-read the mission call letter, I have been amazed at how articulate and motivational it is. It's made me feel like I really do have the potential to be a influential tool in God's hands. I have read it almost every day as it reminds me of the mission I am preparing to perform.
"Dear Sister Zwick: You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the New York Utica Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.
You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, December 16, 2009. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president.
You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored gospel. You will be an official representative of the Church. As such, you will be expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and appearance by keeping the commandments, living mission rules, and following the counsel of your mission president. As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs, the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the Restoration and of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. As you serve with all your heart, might, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized.
The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place in you our confidence and pray that the Lord will help you become an effective missionary.
You will be set apart as a missionary by your stake president. Please send your written acceptance promptly, endorsed by your bishop.
Thomas S. Monson"
Wow. Every time I read it I feel so lucky to get to have this opportunity. I am grateful for good health, a testimony of my Savior and his atonement, a loving and supportive family, and all my other blessings that are making this possible for me. I knew when I read, "Utica New York" that it is the perfect place for me. People there are preparing themselves to come unto Christ. I can't wait to find them and help them on their way! Living the gospel is the way to happiness.
One month of waiting down... two more (and 7 days) to go!