Five years ago this week, I walked into the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. Anxious, excited, a little sad, I was ready to take on the challenges and trials that the Lord put before me. First and foremost, I was ready to take on the Spanish language. I was ready to learn it, inside and out, understand it, eat it, sleep it, BREATHE the very essence of spanish. It wasn't easy. In fact I would say there were times in the following few months that I really struggled. It was so difficult to feel like I couldn't express all the feelings in my heart. It was so trying to have the words on the tip of my tongue but not have them come out. There were times when I felt so alone, but I learned so much from that experience.
Flash forward two years. I'm back at BYU and I am trying to decide what on earth to do with my life. Do I try to go back to Music Education? Do I pursue other career paths? Something urged me to not turn my back on what I had spent the year and half doing. So I entertained the thought of Spanish Education. I said to myself, 'I'll apply. If I get in, then that's what Heavenly Father wants me to do.' Much to my surprise, I was accepted on my first application...something that had NOT happened with Music Ed at all.
Skip forward to a classroom in Houston, Texas. I am speaking, in fluent Spanish to a bunch of kids who probably don't have the SLIGHTEST clue what I'm talking about. I'm modeling what I'm asking of them as I speak, I'm using the most simple words possible and a student finally cannot handle it anymore. She exclaims in frustration, 'THIS IS NOT HOW I LEARN!' To which I reply, 'YEs, it is.'
So many times in life, we have experiences, and we don't really know why we have them. Years later we are brought to the realization of how important those experiences were to us. This week, I realized just how important that simple decision to go on a mission has been for me.