In my previous blog post, I briefly explained my religion and the fact that I'll be serving a mission. So let me go into further detail.
It's a custom and a tradition for young men at the age of 18-21 to serve a mission for two years. They spend this year walking all over the cities they're assigned to, knocking on doors, asking you if they can come in and talk to you about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. They're friendly fellows, they might ask if there's anything they can do for you (they're big fans of yard work, BTW). They'll talk to you about a man named Joseph Smith, ask if they can come back and teach you more. If you listen, you'll find that there's something special about these boys. They might ask you to make changes in your life, but rest assured, you'll be much happier if you give up the smokes and alcohol, and they can help you make those changes. These guys are called "Elders."
Young women, starting at 19, can also serve a mission. However, we serve for 18 months (a year and a half). We basically do the same thing, except we're better. Maybe we're cuter. Maybe we talk better. Nobody really knows. But we definitely make better brownies and cookies. We're referred to as "Sisters."
We come in pairs, missionaries go marching on two by two. And if you pick up the phone and call 'em, they'd be ECSTATIC to answer any and all questions! We just ask that you be kind and not yell at us or violently argue with us. Debates are... not the best forums. We'd rather you ask us as many questions as you want!
During these 18-24 months, we don't have much contact with the "real world." We skype our families on Mother's Day and Christmas, and we email them once a week. We don't have facebooks (although I think the sister missionaries in New York are allowed facebooks for contacting!) we don't have our cell phones, we don't have much. We're out here to serve, you see. So we drop our education and jobs for a bit, say goodbye to our friends and families, boyfriends or girlfriends, and teach. We don't get payed-- we're given enough money to live though. We don't date or socialize while on the mission. We're just there to serve. We have a song about it too. It's called "Called to Serve," shockingly enough.
This is the life I'll be living for just a bit. Is it hard? Hardest thing I've ever done in my life so far! Will I cry? All the freaking time! Am I still excited to go? YES! I've been looking forward to serving my mission since I was 14! That's FIVE WHOLE YEARS OF WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT!!
So look for the white shirts and ties! Look for the long skirts and sensible shoes! LOOK FOR THE NAME TAGS! Flag us down in the streets! We'd love to stop and talk! What have you got to lose?