The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Members of the church have the opportunity to serve missions for 18 months (girls) to 2 years (guys). Now, until a little over a year ago, girls had to be 21 to serve a mission. As such, I never even considered serving one because I had always figured by the time I was 21 I would be getting ready to get married, graduate college, and start a career. When the mission age changed, and girls were allowed to begin serving at the age of 19, I realized that serving a mission was something I could very easily fit into my so-called life plan.
But guys, I was so scared. I think I ignored promptings and instructions from the Holy Ghost and my Heavenly Father for almost a year before I finally realized they weren't going away and I needed to serve a mission. (I'm not proud of that. At all.)
Last July, my stake went on a youth pioneer trek across Wyoming. The second day, we did a river crossing, and after we crossed the river, my stake president gave a little fireside on the importance of missionary work. The fireside was mostly directed at the young men, but I felt like he was speaking directly to me. After he finished speaking, he encouraged us to write in our journals about the feelings we were having. I pulled mine out and started writing about how I thought it was so cool that all of my guy friends were preparing to serve missions, and how proud I was of them. But, by the end of my journal entry, I was writing "It's not fair that I get to have all the blessings and promises that being a member of this church bring when so many of my brothers and sisters don't get those same opportunities. I know I need to serve a mission because I need to share my happiness with others, and if I don't, I'll never be content with the way I lived my life."
Two days after we got back from trek, I met with my bishop to open my mission papers. It was hands down the best decision I have ever made. There are two months until I get to begin serving the people of Jamaica, and my heart is already overflowing with love for them. I cannot wait to start my mission!
I know this church is the true church more than anything I have ever known in my life. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and without Him and His atonement I would be nothing. I am so grateful that I have been blessed to have the true gospel in my life, and I am even more grateful that I've been blessed with the opportunity to share my beliefs with the people of Jamaica. I love this gospel. So much.