Sunday, September 28, 2014

How I came to the Decision to Serve

Over the last several years, I’ve had many meaningful experiences leading me to the decision to serve a mission.  Serving a mission has crossed my mind a few different times.  The first time being when I was twenty years old right before my twenty-first birthday.  The couple of times I really considered going I never felt total peace about it.  

A couple years later, I ended up getting married and sealed in the temple.  Soon after I realized I wasn’t in a healthy marriage. Getting a divorce was something I never imagined would happen to me, but there I found myself.  It has been almost three years since my divorce. Since then I have continued to move forward with my life.  I feel so grateful for my many blessings and for the chance I have to one day meet someone who is worthy to take me to the house of the Lord to be sealed to for time and all eternity.  But until that day, I am trying to fulfill my life and fill it with joy.  

Like I had said before, serving a mission had crossed my mind a couple of times prior to getting married, but after my divorce I figured my time to serve had come and gone and I hadn’t really given it much thought.  Last summer, I was able to meet with my patriarch, who had given me my patriarchal blessing years before.  He asked me if I had considered going on a mission now.  I couldn’t believe what he was saying.  Surely, I was too old now.  I needed to move forward with my life and serving a year and a half mission would surely set me back even further.  That evening, a few different times, my patriarch asked me to consider the thought of going on a mission.  I left feeling very overwhelmed, thinking I needed to serve.  After talking with my parents they let me know that he was just giving me counsel and that I didn’t need to feel pressured to serve a mission.  I instantly felt relief.  

Five months ago, I had the opportunity to go back and visit BYU- Hawaii where I had graduated college.  The first two days I was out there I kept having a strong impression that something in my life was about to change, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. My third day out there, on March 19th, I was sitting outside of the temple writing down some goals I wanted to work on.  While I was meditating there, the sister missionaries, Sister Kim and Sister Sabey, came up to me and started talking to me.  Out of nowhere, they asked me if I had thought about serving a mission.  I answered by telling them that I had, but that my time to serve a mission had come and gone.  Then they asked me to pray about it.  I couldn’t believe how bold these two sisters were, but I promised them I would pray and ask Heavenly Father if I was to serve a mission.  

Not too long after talking with the sisters, I went back to find them and asked them if we could pray together.  They checked out a room in the temple’s visitors center. This was the same room that five years earlier, on February 1st, 2009, I met and prayed with Sister Latu about going on a mission.  I desired a priesthood blessing to receive some comfort and guidance, but I didn't ask if there was anyone there that could give me one. As soon as the sisters and I sat down in that room, they asked me if I would like a priesthood blessing. I couldn't believe how in tune these sisters were with the Spirit.  

I was able to receive a blessing from one of the senior missionaries Elder Multrie.  It was one of the most powerful blessings I can remember ever getting.  My cheeks were covered in tears.  While I was receiving this blessing, I realized that by serving a mission I would have the opportunity to work on all of the goals I had just written down during the past hour in front of the temple.  I was also blessed that Heavenly Father would answer my prayer and give me multiple confirmations so I would know for sure what He wanted me to do.  

Once everyone left that room, I knelt down on my knees and prayed to my Father in Heaven.  I was terrified, scared, and even sick to my stomach at the idea of going on a mission.  I knelt there for twenty minutes, crying, as I tried to get out the words, “Do you want me to go on a mission?” Physically I found myself not able to get these simple words to come out of my mouth.  I told God how I was feeling and that I was going to need Him to make it very clear to me if it was His will for me to serve a full-time mission.  Finally, I was able to ask and instantly the knots and sickness in my stomach left as a peaceful calmness came over me.  I knew then Heavenly Father wanted me to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

I still found myself quite overwhelmed with the idea of leaving for a mission at the age of 27, but just as my blessing had promised me I continued to receive confirmation after confirmation that this was His will and this was what I was supposed to do.  Since then Heavenly Father has blessed me with comfort and confidence.  I have found myself more and more excited to serve my brothers and sisters and share the truthfulness of the gospel with them.  

I am already noticing blessings in my life, but I know my family will also be blessed because of my efforts to serve a full-time mission.  I will be able to do missionary work in my own family.  I will have the chance to bear my testimony each week to my family by sharing my experiences with them in my letters.  I also know my family will be watched over and cared for while I am gone.  I have two very sick brothers.  My oldest brother has been very ill since I was five.  Almost my entire life I can remember telling Heavenly Father that I would do anything for my brother--I would even give my life for my brother.  I have come to realize that giving a year and a half of my life to the Lord is but a small thing to show my faith and willingness.  

I felt like serving a mission was God’s will for me at this time in my life.  I put this in His hands, walked by faith, and after five long months, on August 21st, I received my mission call.  I was called to serve in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission and will report to the MTC on November 12th, eight months after I turned my will over to the Lord and decided to serve.  I am so excited and have no doubt in my mind that this is where God wants me to be.  I look forward to serving the people in Minnesota and can’t wait to see God’s hand in my life and the lives of those I meet and teach in the next 18 months. Miracles are going to happen!


  1. Sister Larson, your powerful testimony and crazy insane willpower is going to make you a mighty force in God's work.

  2. Sister Larson, I'm so proud of you! I'm SO excited for your experiences you will have while serving the Lord. You're so inspiring I know you will touch MANY hearts and that is so wonderful! Love you Bobbie.