Monday, December 3, 2012

Mission Stuff, No Joke

So you understand where I'm coming from, there is another post in my drafts folder entitled Hermana Hermana, which was admittedly, pretty hilarious. And a lot of the things in there are true, such as, "I am so excited to go serve in a place that allows me to flush my toilet paper." But a lot of those things were not, like, "Did you know Hermana Hermana is actually a DisneyLatino knockoff of Tia & Tamara Mowry's Sister Sister?"

I was worried that someone (probably from the far-off hills of the South, the promised land God has gifted to all mankind,) would read this and think I wasn't totally serious. So before this blog becomes a bushel and a peck full of light and snarky missionary observations, I thought I'd make sure we're all on the same page.

Firstly, Thank You. If you are reading this, you've already heard the news and liked the facebook status, and most likely, you also are my grandma. I have been so deeply moved by all the support I've received these past few days (and weeks.) Thank you for being excited and happy for me, because it is definitely more than I deserve.

I've been pretty anti-mission for the last little while. I felt so left behind and lonely and I hated having to make new friends every year. I judged girls for going because I assumed they were just scared of graduating college and moving on with their lives. I judged boys when they came back and talked with that upward inflect at the end of all their sentences– and still had buzzed hair. I hated the "guess where I'll be called!" games and I hated detailed stories about former investigators. I hated how the visitors' center sister missionaries pounce on you because they have no one to teach. I hated Mission Prep class in Sunday School. I hated those ugly sister missionary shoes. (Still hate those, actually. You check my feet in six months and see.)

I don't know what to say, except that I don't feel jaded anymore. It was a very definite (and perhaps 180ยบ) shift. I was watching the first session of General Conference at my friend's house, and all of a sudden I felt like someone had thrown me a life raft. Like I had just been handed the opportunity to do this great thing that I had wanted to do since I was nine, and... that it wasn't too late for me. In a number of ways. Getting the call took a couple months, but I knew right then. 

Guys, I'm so happy. I'm so happy to be going to California and I'm so happy to be speaking Spanish. A few weeks ago I was doing my favorite hobby, which is heart-to-hearts-in-the-car. My papers had just gone in, and my friend told me what he wished he'd understood when he first got to the Dominican Republic was

God does not owe you anything. 
He doesn't owe you a job when you get back, or good grades, or a beautiful spouse. He could 'Job' you and it would still be more than enough. He would still have given you everything. 
He doesn't owe you anything. It is your privilege to serve. 

And that's how I feel. Like I have this one-in-a-million opportunity to give back in the same way that Jesus Christ gave. To live in the way He lived when He was here. To devote my whole life– for a year and a half, at least– to serving people and loving them and trying to share the joy and the comfort that the gospel brings me.

In my head, I have this awesome plan of how I'll go home and have so much fun living with my family for a few months. I'll jam every day with the sibs. I'll train for one last half-marathon. I'll Elle Woods it and rock the LSAT after studying hard for a month. Then I'll go on a mission and come right back to BYU Law School, where I will avoid massive debt and be able to roll my R's as I order my own papusas from that one place on Center Street.

But if that doesn't happen– if none of that happens– then I want you to know that to me, it will still be worth it.
Worth it and then some. God doesn't owe me anything; it is my privilege to serve.

Just like it has been my privilege to study at BYU these 4.5 years. The dorms, London, DC, and every apartment complex under the sun (except you, Liberty Square! You were seriously the worst!) Every person I've had the pleasure of knowing or serving or loving these past few years. Always, always, the privilege has been mine.

Thanks for being so wonderful, people of Provo. You are truly as good as they come. 


  1. This is post is so wonderful, Lauren!

    Get it, girl.

  2. There is a selfish part of me that's sad you're not going with the job searching in Seattle/Boston plan anymore. But mostly because I wanted you to choose Seattle and come play with me.

    You'll be a fabulous missionary. I can't wait to hear about it.

  3. Crying. Yep, you brought me to tears. I love what you said about how no matter what it will all be worth it. You will be an amazing missionary. I can't wait to hear of your adventures in the mission field and see where that leads you later in life. The privilege of having you in so many of the best parts of my life here in Provo, has been mine. From Helaman, the dreaded lib square, to London, Italy, and all the moments in between I have been so lucky to always have you there. Love you girl.

  4. This is was beautifully written. I love you so much Lauren. You will be a fabulous missionary and you are gonna be missed terribly (by me the most). And the people of San Fernando, California are going to have an awesome year and a half because they will be spending it with you.

  5. First, I love the picture you posted. Second, I'm thrilled for you and that you are following your path. Congrats again on your brave and beautiful decision!

  6. I am so happy for you hermanita Simpson! you will be a fantastic misionera y se vera muy bonita aun con zapatos feos.