The idea of serving a mission had been on my mind for years before I made the decision this fall to serve a full-time mission. As a convert, I had spent years watching missionaries teach and share the gospel, and realized that serving was an honor and a privilege especially for the young women in the Church.
Until recently, however, I hadn’t needed to give it much thought, I would be graduated from Southern Virginia by the time I was old enough to serve. But with the announcement that President Thomas S. Monson made in October of last year, I felt like my world had been turned upside down (and I know for a fact that I was not the only one!), and quickly realized that I was meant to serve, but also earlier than anticipated.
There were tears, and many, many prayers offered up that weekend. I fasted the next day, and as I continued watching Conference and taking notes, I realized that not only was I meant to serve, but also that I was to serve earlier than anticipated – by the next fall.
I talked to my parents, and made an appointment with my bishop. The day I met with him, he grinned and said, “Hi Sister Redner, I figured I’d be seeing you in my office soon!” It just made me happy.
Why do I want to serve? Because the Gospel and my family are the two most important things in my life. I don’t know where I would be without either of them. Over the years I have realized that the Gospel is all about families, and with that realization, I knew I wanted to share the Gospel with families all over the world. Because I have been blessed with the Gospel, I find myself with a great desire to serve and to teach, and to bring the Gospel and what it means to whomever I can reach. It changed my life, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t change the lives of other, and that is my greatest desire – to give people the opportunity to see and feel and recognize the love that Heavenly Father has for them.
I have two months until I will find out where I am to be sent for eighteen months to teach the Gospel and to serve others. I am so excited, and I’m excited to share the experience with you, my friends and family!