Sister Kelsie Hadlock
Guess what, guys? Sister Hadlock is really, officially a sister now! Yesterday, Sister Hadlock reported to the MTC before she heads off to her next one year and six months of awesomeness in the Perth, Australia mission! I took an excerpt from a post on her personal blog, Pocketful of Sunshine, titled "How it All Unfolded" with her permission right before she left.
It is so cool that, while Sister Hadlock spends her first twenty-four hours in the MTC, we can look back at her life and see how she got to where she is now.
Excerpt from Sister Hadlock's blog:"I have wanted to serve a mission (off and on) since I was about 15 years of age. Sometimes I felt it was the thing for me, other times I wasn't so sure.
In May of 2012, I finished my second year at Southern Utah University where I received my Associates of Science degree. I have all of my pre-reqs and generals done for the nursing program, so of course, I readily applied! I have wanted to pursue a career in nursing for a long time, so by the time the decision letter came in the mail...I was SO anxious! Would I be starting nursing school at SUU the upcoming fall? Would my nursing dreams slowly start to come true?
I was rejected from the program.
But, surprisingly, I wasn't heart broken. Even though I was bummed because I really wanted to continue on with my education, I knew that it was gonna be okay because I believe the Lord has a plan for me. Proverbs 3:5-6 had a new meaning for me, and I clung to that scripture dearly. I was trusting in my Lord, my God with all of my heart. I didn't understand why things were happening the way they were, but I acknowledged Him and knew that He would direct me where I needed to be.
On Saturday, October 6, 2012, my life changed for the better. After getting home in the nick of time from my brother's cross country meet, we turned on general conference. I was not prepared for what the Prophet had to say. He stood up at the beginning of the meeting, and made the biggest announcement in church history that I have ever been a part of. He said, and I quote:
Brothers and sisters, I now turn to another matter—namely, missionary service.
...As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21.
I could not believe what I was hearing! I could serve a mission NOW if I wanted to instead of having to wait six months. Oh my heavens. At first I wasn't sure what to do; I had just finished and turned in my applications for 2 wonderful nursing schools and was patiently awaiting their replies.
At first I decided I would wait to hear back from BYU and SUU and see if I was accepted into nursing school, and if I wasn't, I would start working on my papers. But then it hit me: I WANT to serve a mission. I have wanted to for a long, long, time. Looking back at my initial reaction to the announcement and how emotional I was, I knew that deep down, I really wanted to serve a mission. Right then, I knew that I was going to.
So, with that said, I met with my Bishop and started my papers the next day in between conference sessions. I filled out the paper work and made my appointments for the dentist and doctor....it was all coming together so fast, but I was anxious and excited.
The weekend before I got my call, I received the email from BYU and letter from SUU letting me know I had been accepted. I felt absolutely torn! Course, I was proud of myself and excited, but not as excited as I should have been. "Am I supposed to stay here and go to school instead of going on a mission? Was the Lord just wanting me to show Him my willingness to serve, but want me to stay here after all?" --These are the questions that flooded my mind.
I was a complete mess, to say the least, that Friday and Saturday. My parents were out Friday night so my dad wasn't home to give me a blessing. I called a few young men from my ward to come and give me a blessing of comfort and counsel because I was home alone and couldn't stay calm. The blessing was absolutely beautiful! In it, I was told that the Lord would be happy with whatever decision I made and walk down whatever path I chose alongside me. But later it also said that I needed to remember the previous counsel the Lord has already given me and that I KNOW my answer....
I am supposed to go on a mission.
I am pleased to inform you that I have been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been assigned to labor in the Australia Perth Mission and I will report to the Provo, Utah MTC on Wednesday, March 13, 2013!! This past month has been an absolute roller coaster; it's been terrifying, exhilarating and magnificent all at the same time! But I believe that I am doing what I am meant to do. Actually, I know it's what I am meant to do. I have been SO blessed since I made the final decision to still go on a mission; I talked to both BYU and SUU about the fact that I am going, and they recently just changed their policies; they will defer and hold my spot in the program until after I return home from my mission! It used to be where I would have to at least attend one semester in the program before they would consider holding my spot.
I have a testimony that if we all strive to put/acknowledge the Lord first in our lives, that He will pour blessings upon us. I love this gospel and am so grateful for the marvelous blessing it is in my life. This gospel is meant to be shared with others. I cannot possibly keep it to myself; it makes me happy and gives me purpose in life...and that is something I want to share! I cannot wait to share it with the people of Australia. I hope I am able to help them realize the love their Heavenly Father has for them and how they can come unto Him and be together for eternity."
(To read the full post, go to Sister Hadlock's blog.)