Growing up in a Mormon family I heard a lot about going on a mission. From an early age I was taught that going on a 2 year mission for my church was the thing to do. It was something that I always looked forward to and was very excited to embark on. Some of the songs sung at church by the children with titles such as "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission" instill the idea at an early age. For some reason I always looked at a mission as a future event, something that I would always have to look forward too.
I feel blessed to have grown up in the family that I did. My parents did a great job in trying to teach me and my siblings values and principles that would help us to become better people. The church and its teachings were never forced on me but were something that they made me want to have in my life. I saw the blessings that came from living the gospel of Jesus Christ and I definitely wanted to be a part of that. Many members of my family had served missions for the church. I saw the example they had set for me and wanted greatly to follow the path they had paved.
After graduating from high school I went off to college to live on my own for the first time. It was a neat experience even though it was unlike anything I had done before. I was able to meet a lot of really neat people who had a great impact on me. Being away from home also though presented an opportunity for me to have an expanded amount of freedom. I didn't have parents around to make sure I was doing what I should. Fortunately the friends I had made greatly helped me to live the standards of the gospel I had been taught since I was very young. I still though had to exercise my own will to act, especially in matters of religion.
I had always believed the church was true but a lot of that came from the borrowed light of my parents. Going out on my own caused me to rely more on myself and what I truly believed. Later in the school year it came close to the time that I could put my papers in to serve a mission. I was really excited to have the opportunity to turn them in since it was something I had looked forward to my whole life. I came to the conclusion though that I had to find out for myself if what I had been taught all my life was true. Over the course of a few weeks I read from the Book of Mormon and reflected on the things I had been taught my whole life. I prayed earnestly to know if this was the right path for me. When it came time to submit my mission papers it felt like the right thing to do. I felt a sense of peace that what I was doing was what the Lord wanted me to do.
My testimony of the Book of Mormon has been my motivation to share the gospel. The Book of Mormon has brought me a lot of peace and that is something that I want to share with others.