My name is Julie Brooks. I've been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
My road to serving a mission has been really a life long one, it definitely was not flipping on a light switch.
When I was young, I was scared of the concept of going on a mission, so I didn't want to go. Girls are not expected the same way men are to serve missions, so I didn't feel bad about it or anything.
Then, as I started to mature, I saw serving a mission differently. I think the pivotal moment was when a sister in my ward, Sister Oliphant, came home from her mission in California and gave her homecoming talk. She made me, for the first time, really want to go on a mission. I told my dad, "Now I want to go on a mission." I guess my dad told Sister Oliphant's father that because her father asked me to relay what I said to her. So I told that after I had heard her speak, I wanted to go on a mission. But I felt weird saying it, because I wasn't sure, and I was still scared.
|This is what I thought I'd be like on a mission|
but as a chance to do absolutely NOTHING but serving The Lord (El Señor). As my love for El Señor grew and I matured, I strongly desired to serve a mission, but I also really wanted to do what God wanted me to do.
I wasn't quite sure what His plan was for me. My patriarchal blessing didn't say anything specific towards serving a mission. Also, I had never felt particularly inspired that serving a mission was what I was supposed to do. So I was unsure, and I told people that I didn't know if I would, but I was leaning towards not going.
Then the Missionary Announcement happened. If you missed it, here's the video below.
I was with my sister Tiffany when it happened. Tiffany screamed and started crying, she was so excited. I was happy, and I was talking about starting my papers, but I still wasn't sure. When I prayed about it, I asked "God, do you want me to go on a mission or not?" I got a dark, subtle feeling of "No."
So I took the answer as No.
This wasn't easy for me. I really wanted to go on a mission. I saw so many friends and others putting in their papers and getting their calls and I just wanted to go too. I wanted my call to serve.
My parents weren't much of a help, or that's what I thought anyway. My mom didn't really care either way, but my dad and my stepmom were not happy I was not going on a mission. One time, Natalie, my stepmom, and I had the following conversation over a phone.
Me (really upset): This guy I have a huge crush on just got engaged!
Natalie: His fiancé is probably an RM. Guys like that.
Me: Thanks Natalie.
I knew it was her way of just trying to get me to go on a mission. After my Winter Semester of BYU, I had the opportunity to go home for a few days, and obviously the concept of a mission came up in our conversations.
I told my dad the Spirit told me not to go on a mission. My dad would then ask me, "Well, how did you ask? Did you follow the pattern in the scriptures?" He mentioned Doctrine and Covenants section 9, where it says:
|Me holding my mission call. It took a lot of pictures to finally get a good one.|