Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sister Missionary Feature-Sister Peck

Sister Sarah Peck-
Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo West

I was 19 and a month the first week of October, thinking that this college thing was where it was at. The only real reference I had previously made to serving a mission was to get my parents to stop worrying about me by reminding them that my brother had been facing down druggies with knives in the ghettos of Uruguay when he was 19, I think I can handle college. Always deeply afraid of commitment, I never planned on, verbally wished for, or stocked up on long skirts in anticipation of a mission. It was the thing to do when you finished school, found that boys still have cooties, and realized that your dream job required being fluent in a foreign language. However, my shrug-it-off/maybe-later view was violently thrown upside down the week before the announcement was made. A comment from a friend started me thinking about what it would be like to be able to leave everything I was in the middle of at the moment to serve a mission now. I thought, stewed, made up excuses, and even prayed about it the week leading up to conference. Tender mercies, right?
I was in a meeting when the actual announcement was made, but got several texts, which were confirmed. I called my mom immediately after I was done to tell her...well, I really didn’t know when I dialed what I was going to tell her. But out of my mouth came: “Hey mom, so, I guess you might have already realized this, but I’m going to serve a mission now. Like, right now.” And the tears started streaming.
Within the week, my physicals and dental work was done. I sold my apartment contract, deferred scholarships, and sent in papers the next week. I’ve never felt such overwhelming peace and confidence before. Like the thousands of other brand-new sister missionaries, I know that this change is just for me. Of course, as any girl in the same situation will attest, this whole roller-coaster process hasn’t been a complete party. I’ve never experienced such self-doubt, depression, fear, and internal attacks on my testimony. But I’ve also never experienced such joy, peace, empowerment, and love from my Savior.
The day my call was supposed to come, I was sitting in Physical Geography crying in the large auditorium. I had just heard that it hadn’t arrived, and I was devastated. An hour later, in Math, I started beaming uncontrollably when I heard that it really had come, with my name on it, no less.When the time came to open it though, I was too terrified. I couldn’t really think of a truly awful place to serve, but what if inside this envelope was the one horrific choice I’d overlooked? With shaking hands, I pulled it out, and literally hiccuped with relief when I read Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo West. Of course. Of course I would be called there; it was perfect. Remember the peace? That’s the only way to describe seeing the call. It is nowhere I would have guessed or picked for myself (I was secretly gunning for Thailand, mostly because I wanted to see elephants), but it’s the one place that I need to go. Words cannot describe the absolute certainty I have that those calls are inspired of God. It’s the most personal blessing; and once again, like thousands of others, I know that my mission will be the very best place on the entire earth for the next 18 months.
So here I am, 19 1/4, a mostly clueless teenager. I haven’t graduated, still don’t see marriage in the near future, and my boss right now doesn’t care if I know Spanish. I don’t even know what my dream job is yet. But along with every sister that serves, I’ve realized that those aren’t the reasons that we forsake family, friends, education, and all my favorite winter clothes for a year and a half. I’m serving in the hot, humid, mosquito-infested Dominican Republic all because of the love that an all-powerful God has for an ever-clueless girl. That same love has allowed me to repent countless times, overcome heartache and hurt, and now drives me to share. I know too much, have experienced too many blessings, and am touched too deeply by the joy of this gospel message not to share it. I pray that the people of this beautiful island are ready, because me and my broken Spanish are coming, along with the very powers of heaven, and we are going to change the world.
If you'd like to be featured contact me or Kira!

XXo, Mo

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