Saturday, January 25, 2014

Preparing for the MTC(Missionary Training Center)

Well I am in the last stretch before I enter the MTC. I have 25 days left until I report and I couldn't be more excited! I am getting kinda nervous...actually, a lot but I know it will all be fine. It has really started to hit me that I am leaving and not just leaving but leaving for 18 months...that is a long time and yet, such a short amount of time.

The church has an awesome website that helps prepare those that are called to serve missions for the MTC. Well I have been working through all the tasks like read the Book of Mormon again, go to the Temple, read the Missionary Handbook, and a few other things. One of the things they have us do is go through and watch all the episodes of the District. If you don't know what that is, it is a show that the church made of missionaries out in the field. It is unscripted and shows the life of a missionary. In the last day I have watched almost all of them. To all my friends who are preparing to serve missions, please watch all the district episodes!!! They are amazing!! Wow, I can't think of watching anything that has made me more happy and made me cry more. Not cry from sadness but from watching people's lives change and not just the investigators but from watching the missionaries change themselves. There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing someone change their life for the better and find true happiness. I have seen it in my own life and I am beginning to see it more and more in the lives of others around me. Seeing those missionaries work so hard was truly inspiring. I can't wait to get out and work hard! One missionary said how happy he was and that it was weird. He couldn't explain the happiness he was feeling especially because he was so tired. I can't wait to work so hard that I am happy. I have had the great opportunity in the last couple of weeks to sit in on a few discussions the missionaries have given. It is amazing the spirit that can be felt in a room where truth is being spoken. The gospel of Christ is so powerful and it so joyful. I love it!! It has been really fun to see the desire and light in the eyes of those that are investigating the church in my ward. I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity to prepare more fully for my mission. I am so crazy excited to preach the gospel full-time. I always shared the gospel but not full-time. My Heavenly Father has given me this amazing opportunity to preach his gospel and I couldn't feel more humbled and excited to do his will.

I am really grateful that I had time to prepare for my mission. I truly believe that the Lord knew I needed some time to prepare so I am grateful for this time. It has been fun, I work with a lady from the Netherlands and every day that we are working together she tries to teach me a new word or phrase in Dutch. I'm not very good...but it is fun to learn. I do feel hopeful because I have been able to understand what she has said a few times. I know that learning Dutch is going to be an adventure but I am anxious to work hard at it and become fluent!! I am going to try enjoy these last few weeks with my family as much as possible! I won't get to see my brother for 3.5 years and that is a LONG time but we will both be doing good things so it is worth it. It is amazing how time flies. I will be in the MTC before I know it! I can't wait for what is in store and can't wait to share with you all my adventures as Zuster Adams!!

I will post as myself one more time to say that I am signing off and handing my blog over to my mom and sister! Can't wait!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Called to Serve

Hi, my name is Allison Adams. I will be serving an 18 month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission.

I will start off with a little introduction of who I am. I was born in Idaho to my wonderful parents. I was their first and I would say they have done a pretty good job in raising me. Soon after I was born, we moved to Oregon and I spent the next 14.5 years of my life there. We moved around a lot when I was little but never left Oregon. When I was 7, we moved to a small town in central Oregon and lived there until I was 15. I had a marvelous childhood, full of many adventures and fun with my 4 younger siblings. When I was 15, my Dad surprised us, he had accepted a job offer in Germany. Within 6 weeks, I had moved from my childhood home and moved to a foreign country. Moving to Germany was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but one of the most rewarding things. Germany gave me an opportunity to figure out who I was and truly develop my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I had the amazing opportunity to travel all over Europe and be introduced to so many different cultures and people. After I graduated high school, I went to school at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Because of my exposure to the world and travel, I have decided to study International Relations. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with my degree and not sure if I will stick with it but for right now it is perfect! I have almost finished my freshmen year in college and will return to school when I finish my mission.

Since this is all leading up to my mission, I will share why I decided to serve a mission. I never really planned on serving a mission. My mother hadn't served a mission so I never really thought about it. When I was 14, I began to ponder the idea of a mission because of some special experiences I had. Even though I was pondering the idea, the sister missionary age was still 21 and that was a long ways off so I didn't put too much thought into the idea. At the beginning of my senior year that all changed. The church announced that the missionary age would be changed to 18 yrs old for young men and 19 yrs old for young women. I was shocked!! I don't think I will ever forget that moment when I heard the Prophet(the leader of my church) say that the age had been changed. I knew from that moment that I was meant to serve a mission. I was incredibly excited, scared, and a little overwhelmed. I had planned to attend college and figure out the mission later but my future changed in one moment. I knew that I needed to serve soon after I turned 19 but I wasn't quite sure how soon. About 6 months after the "announcement," I prayed for inspiration as I was reading my scriptures one night. The first words I read as I was reading my scriptures were "Ye are Called to Serve." I knew that I was meant to serve as soon as possible. When I got to college, I started my mission papers as soon as I could. About 3 months after starting my papers, I received my mission call to the Belgium/Netherlands mission.

I am excited, to say the least!!! I have been called to the Netherlands mission region so I may or may not get to serve in Belgium. I am so excited to learn Dutch and to love the Dutch people. I have been to the Netherlands before and it is so BEAUTIFUL!! I am also happy that I don't have to give up some of my favorite European food obsessions quite yet. I can't wait for Stroopwafel, which are delicious flat waffle like cookies with caramel on the inside. They are famous in the Netherlands. I am also really excited for the beautiful tulips in the spring. Besides all the selfish reasons for being excited to serve in the Netherlands, I am incredibly excited to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Dutch people. I know I have been called of God to serve those people. It will not always be easy, but what in life is?? I am ready for this next challenge and opportunity in my life. I want everyone to know that I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know with every fiber of my being that it is true. I know that the atonement is real and that it works. I have a testimony of the scriptures and that they truly carry power and strength when we prayerfully study them. I know that my Savior supports me in all my endeavors. I am a daughter of God and my Father in Heaven loves me. I hope that I can share my testimony with those waiting for the gospel in the Netherlands.

This blog will be updated(hopefully) every week of my mission with the letters I write back to my family. My mother will be updating it. I would also love to receive emails and letters on my mission and the addresses will be under the "Current Address" tab of this blog. I report to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on the 19th of February. I'm anxiously awaiting that date and all that will follow afterwards!