Sister Kenzie Hall
I might be a little biased, but Sister Hall has been called to the best mission ever. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania mission is awesome for two reasons:
1. Philly cheesesteaks. 'Nuff said.
2. That's my home mission, y'all!
That's right. The Philly mission actually covers a lot more ground than Philly and Pennsylvania. Pretty sure there are parts of Delaware in it and, of course, New Jersey, which is where I'm from. There's also a Morristown, New Jersey mission, but that one isn't half as cool as the Philly mission. :)
But anyway, enough about me! On to Sister Hall!
Did President Monson’s announcement affect your choice to serve a mission at all?
It did, actually. Before the announcement, I would try to picture myself as a missionary and it was like seeing the people on TV who want their faces blacked out while they're being interviewed. that position. When President Monson announced the age change, everything became clear in an instant. It was a very sudden moment of clarity and I wasn't expecting to feel such a passion for missionary work. I knew that serving a mission was for me and I knew my time was now.
Why did you decide to serve a mission?
As mentioned in the first question, my decision to serve hit me out of the blue. For me, choosing to serve a mission and discovering the reasons why I chose to do so happened in the same moment. I knew the Lord wanted me to and I had a burning desire to serve. Also, after reflecting on my decision, I realized certain things had happened in my life in the last couple of years that had all been leading to this decision. Funny how that sometimes happens, huh?
What are some things that you’ve done (so far) to prepare?I've prayed a lot while preparing for my mission and I've grown so much closer to my Heavenly Father by doing so. I've also felt that I don't know enough doctrine. I know many missionaries feel like this while they're preparing. Praying, again, helps with this insecurity, but also delving into Preach My Gospel and reading the Book of Mormon have expanded my knowledge. My best friend is currently serving a mission and I've asked him for advice, which has helped immensely. I also go to the temple as often as I can.
Best websites/talks to read:I've been reading talks on missionary work from sessions of General Conference. They're all great and very uplifting!
What is the best mission advice you’ve ever received?My best friend, who I mentioned before, has given me such great advice. Two things he's told me: 1) Satan does everything he can to lead you astray. He knows you and picks at the little things he knows will crack you. Be prepared for his whisperings. You think you feel his influence now, but it's nothing compared to when you make the decision to serve a mission. 2) Pray always. Strive to become closer to the Lord through prayer and strive to become a better missionary and by extension, a better person. As a missionary, you are entitled to the Lord's power.
The second piece of advice is also mentioned in The District. Pray for your companion and your investigators. Pray for specific things.
Favorite missionary scripture/quote?
D&C 84:88 - "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."
Tips on staying positive during the preparation process?
It's hard sometimes, to be excited for your mission after a while. I got my call in January and don't leave until May. As the days go by, time seems to drag on and on and of course, Satan is there, trying to discourage me.
Keep reading your scriptures and praying. This invites the Spirit and you seriously have much better feelings about everything. Talk to you family about what you're feeling. Discover cool things about your mission. Before you know it, the time for you to leave will come and you'll be surrounded by awesome missionaries!
What is the best mission advice you could give to someone preparing to serve?Go to the temple! My Stake President challenges everyone in my stake preparing to go on a mission to attend the temple 30 times before they leave. Obviously, not everyone can do that. So go as many times as you can! I make it a point to go at least once a week and it is so amazing. The temple gives you power, knowledge, strength, and protection as a missionary.
Anything else?Remember that as a missionary you are called to SERVE. You are serving the people in your mission, your companion, your leaders, and the Lord. The best missionaries are the ones who are always serving.
How long did it take you to complete your paperwork and submit it?I think it took me only 1 day to finish everything except my physical and dental exams but I got everything in within a week. I was pretty excited.
5 cool things about the area you will serve:
1) Philadelphia was the first capital of the United States. 2) The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed in Philadelphia. 3) The Susquehanna River (where the Priesthood was restored) is in my mission. 4) My ancestors settled the entire area and my mom grew up only a couple hours away from the mission home. 5) A new Temple is going up in Philadelphia, patterned after historic buildings like Independence Hall. It's scheduled to be finished in 2014. (Bonus: 6. DAIN LIVES THERE [almost].)
5 things you will miss about home:1) My family, of course. 2) The comfort of having my own bathroom. 3) My awesome friends. 4) Being able to wear jeans every single day. 5) Wearing fun nail polish colors, like, bright neon colors.
Thanks, Sister Hall! Meet you in Philly! ;)