Almost There--an Update
Phase One: Decide to go
Phase Two: Talk to your bishop and get him to set you up with mission papers.
Phase Three: Fill out papers
Phase Four: Doctors and Immunizations.
If you're in the U.S. and immunizations aren't covered by your insurance, check with your local health department. It was cheaper for me to pay for them out of pocket at the health department than to pay for a doctor to give them to me. I'm told this is usually the case.
Phase Five: Dentist/ Oral surgery
If you're in the Provo area and you want a good dentist to do your dental exam, I recommend Dr. Corbin Matthews at Cougar Dental. I haven't been paid in any way to say that. It's a suggestion I make because of the superb experience I had with him. My wisdom teeth removal was not a typical procedure, and he went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure I was cared for properly and promptly. It made my experience and recovery less painful and stressful than it otherwise would have been.
Phase Six: Facebook group
It's a tradition at this phase of the mission call process to start a Facebook group and have everyone you know guess where you'll be serving your mission. You then track the guesses on a map, and usually give a prize to the person who comes the closest.
I have a map, but it's occupied with tracking all of the temples. So I decided to make one online with Google Maps instead.
View Mission Guesses Map in a larger map
As soon as I get the interviews I need with my bishop and stake president, the papers will be submitted to Salt Lake City. The goal is to have them submitted
Phase Eight: Practice Practice Practice
Preach My Gospel has become my new best friend. I've been out teaching with the Sisters once already, and Preach My Gospel is a large contributing factor to the confidence I have in presenting the gospel effectively. We placed a Book of Mormon the first night I went out with them, and it was the most amazing experience. And it wasn't because the people we found wanted to be baptized on the spot or anything. It was because of the feelings of love I had for them as we offered them what means so much to us. It was because I made a significant contribution to what we presented, and I see that I'm ready to do this for 18 months. It was awesome to see Preach My Gospel at work. I loved it, and I can't wait for the next opportunity to teach with them.
Preparing to serve a mission is without a doubt the hardest thing I've ever done. It has required all the faith, patience, and courage I have--and a lot I didn't have. I wouldn't have made it through this process if I wasn't already living the way I'm supposed to, becoming every day the person I know Jesus Christ wants me to be. If I wasn't able to cleave to God while everything else falls apart around me, putting my life in His hands time and time again, if I didn't have a long history of trusting Him and relying on His miracles, I would've failed. I genuinely believe that I only survived it because of Him, because there were a couple of times I actually could've died and probably should have.
Being a missionary in this Church is something I'm willing to give my life to become. Not just 18 months of my time--my life. I can say that because that is nearly what it has cost me. I say it with all the fervor of my soul because I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the the true and living church of the true and living God. I want to live my life in such a way that for Jesus to be the Christ, for this Church to be true, is the only explanation for it. That certainty comes by how well I prepare my testimony for the challenges I face, and how I use it to overcome them.
I want a testimony I can use to change the world, and I know that Jesus Christ has paid the price for me to be able to put in the work and reap that reward. His Atonement is the supernal gift to all mankind, and the fullness of His gospel is how we claim the fullest endowment of His grace, the promise of His help. There is no other name under heaven whereby man can be saved, and I bear you that witness in praise of His holy name, Jesus Christ. Amen