Friday, June 6, 2014

Sister Missionary Feature- Sister Sarah Whiting


Sister Sarah Whiting
Edmonton, Canada Mission

Did the age change effect you?
The age change is AMAZING!! When I was getting closer to graduating high school, I knew I had to make a decision. I always wanted to serve a mission but the high school senior part of me was really excited to go to BYU and start my degree and be independent. I felt like having missions be at age 21 for girls was a big reason I wouldn't go because by then I would be ready to start a career. So I was struggling with that. When the age was changed, I was soooo excited! I spent a lot more time at the temple hoping to know serving a mission was the right decision for me. Fortunately, I got the answer I wanted and I put my papers in a few months later.
Did you always want to serve a mission? -why/why not?
Yes yes yes! I have wanted to serve a mission since before I can even remember! Serving a mission is a huge emphasis in my family as I have 3 brothers and I guess all the times my dad was telling them how important it is to serve a mission, I felt he was also addressing me. At first, when I was little, I think I just wanted to go because it meant I got to go somewhere around the world. But as my own testimony developed, I realized that there is nothing I love more than this gospel. It makes me so happy! And if it brings me so much joy, why not spend 18 months sharing that joy with others?
Where do/did you want to be called? Why?
Before I had prayed about serving a mission, I wanted to go to France or french speaking Canada. I LOVE that culture. But once I prayed and knew a mission was right for me, I felt so strongly that I would love to go anywhere in the world. Any language. Any culture. Every mission is the best mission and no matter where I go, there will be amazing people for me to teach. Now I have a call to the Edmonton Canada mission, English speaking and I absolutely know it's the perfect place for me! #CanadaHolla!
 
Share a cool missionary story or experience.
I have a coworker right now who used to be a member. She even got married to an RM in the temple! But she left the church because she didn't feel peace in the temple like everyone told her she would. She thought it was a little weird. Over the last year she and I have grown very close and it made me more and more sad that someone so special to me had to feel so negatively towards the church and the temple. When I went through the temple for my own endowments, I had the opportunity to talk to her afterwards about how I felt. I bore my testimony to her that I knew it was the house of the Lord and I felt closer to heaven there than I've felt anywhere. It helped her to feel more open minded about the gospel and it helped me really gain a testimony of the temple and the power of the spirit!
Why are you serving?
I'm serving a mission because I have seen in my life how amazing the gospel is. It has blessed me so much. I've also seen how miserable people are without the gospel. I have too many close friends who struggle with everything life has to offer because they don't understand who they are or who their Heavenly Father is. I am serving because I want everyone to know they are children of God and I want everyone to experience the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I just have so much joy and I gotta share it! #hastenthework
Any advice for other girls deciding if they want to serve?
I have a few pieces of advice. 
1. This is a gospel of JOY ladies!! Show yo beautiful smiles all around the town and don't be afraid to laugh a little! Service is straigh up FUN yo!!
2. DO NOT SERVE A MISSION JUST BECAUSE IT'S THE POPULAR THING TO DO. Also do not serve a mission just to travel the world. Do not serve a mission just because you're parents or your bf wants you to. PRAY PRAY PRAY. Pray about it and only decide to serve when you have received a confirmation from the Lord that a mission is what he has planned for you. 
3. Do NOT SERVE A MISSION JUST TO PASS THE TIME WHILE YOUR BF IS OUT ON A MISSION. I  have a missionary BF. I will admit that. And it's amazing and great. I love him to death. And yes. We will get back from our missions around the same time. But that is absolutely NOT the reason I'm serving. I am serving because I want to serve. Because the Lord wants me to serve. And because the people of Canada need me. If you're only in it to pass the time, you will not be able to effectively serve. Your heart will be focused on your BF not on the people. 
4. Tell EVERYONE about your mission. When they find out you're dedicating 18 months to service, they'll totally wanna hear more! I've had so many experiences from that!
Any other thoughts?
Even if you don't want to serve a mission, I would recommend preparing for one as if you're going to go. I have grown so close to the Lord and I've learned so much. And really, we're all member missionaries. So it's worth the effort! Love you all! Good luck!!

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