About a year ago I started my mission papers: appointments with the doctors, medical exams and interviews with local church leaders. My decision was all made and I felt ready. I served a mini mission for about a month and my urge to go on a mission increased in a way I can not describe. As many times as I would kneel down to pray about serving a full-time mission, my heart would bump with happiness. But, somewhere in the middle of all the warm and comfort feelings, I let fear take place in my heart. I assumed I would have plenty of time to decide and there was nothing wrong with postpone my final decision. That was when my family went through a very difficult time which made me realize I don't really own anything in this life, that everything could be taken away from me in a small fraction of time. I was by my little self in this world. Fortunately, I have been blessed with friends that are not only there for me through the good and cheerful moments. They have sheltered me in their homes, shared their food, jokes, family secrets and even their own heartbreaks. I went through so many things with them. My gratitude will never be complete for those Heavenly Father has allowed me to share this life with and most of all: I'll never be able to thank them enough for all the good they have shown me. In the midst of all this, the desire to serve a full-time mission came back to my heart and that was when I knew for a certain what my duty was: to spread goodness, kindness and selfless love everywhere I could possibly be sent to. That was when the prophetic promise touched my heart so deeply I couldn't deny it anymore.
"I promise you that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the Gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears and set you and your families free. That is my missionary promise to you and your missionary message to the world." Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Last February 4th I sent my papers and on March 6th I opened my call to serve at the Utah Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission. There are 406 missions in the world and the Lord knows exactly where I am supposed to be serving for eighteen months. I'll be assigned to another mission within the United States area for about 3 months (two transfers) to experience missionary work beyond tours and some online teaching, but I'll start and finish my mission at temple square. What a great privilege! I still have 3 months until I report to the Provo MTC and in the mean time I have thought to myself:"Why am I going on a mission? Why am really doing this?"
I am going out there to be the kind of missionary in whom the Lord and my mission president can count on. I'm doing this because Jesus has done so much for me, including setting me free through His sacrifice and rescued me from sorrow as I want my fellow friends to be. Every single person I meet in the way should know that there is happiness, love, comfort and sure guidance ahead. They are not alone as once I let myself think I was. They are not lost for Heavenly Father has found them through me. And they can continue count on Him joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints through Baptism. They need this message of light and I will be a proclaimer. This is the Lord's marvelous work which I'll be blessed to be a part of. My heart is full!
I'll have one of my friends update this blog once I'm on the mission field, but I'll do my best to be worthy of all the assistance you all have given me, including Heavenly assistance. Now is the time to prepare everything, including a strongest spiritual foundation of faith and trust in Jesus Christ, for He is my Leader in all the work I'll be involved with. He is my favorite Teacher of the Gospel and I will look up to Him more and more everyday so that I can teach just like He did.
"Sometimes God brings us low before He can lift us higher." Joseph Smith Junior.
With Love, Sister Ribeiro-to-be. ;)