Monday, December 15, 2014

Turning Down My First Mission Call Was the Best Decision

In March of 2009 I received my first mission call. "Elder Hansen you have hereby been called to the Tennessee Nashville Mission... Reporting July 22, 2009." Now I was truly excited for this. My mail went to my parents house as I was attending BYU Idaho. I had my dad fax me down my mission call. The lady there let me pull it off so I would be first to see. In excitement I read the previous words. I was grateful for the opportunity to be stateside so after my mission I could visit frequently.

My semester had ended and I went back to work and saving money. Not even a month of being home my excitement had changed. I called my Stake President to inform him I was cancelling my mission. After a discussion he did so. What I didn't know was that the next few months were gonna become one of the most difficult times of my life to this point. I was very unhappy. Struggling to stay active, because of my decision. Scared I was gonna be judged. Well I was judged. My closest friends helped me stay aboard and semi-active. The day I was supposed to be in utah I was picking up my new car. Life was good, but truthfully it sucked. My attitude had changed my life was on a down hill slope. I wasn't a very social person and this made it even worse because of the judgements put on me. I was fortunate to work with and see my mom everyday. One day she told me if I want to go on my mission she will take over my car so I can do so.

After a while I secretly decided it was time to go. In October of 2009 I called my Stake President and all I said was, "I am ready to go." He inquired who this was. When I told him it was me he said,"I was hoping it was you!" in an interview he said,"I hope you are seriously ready because I am not calling and cancelling your mission again. You will be making that phone call." I assured him there wouldn't be a phone call. After a few weeks I received a phone call from him saying, "Eric, your call has been re-issued. You will be going to The Tennessee Nashville Mission, reporting March 31, 2010." For months I prepared seemed I had 5 months to wait.

At work one day I asked my mom, "Will you take over my car for me?" She asked if I was going back to school? I liked at her and said, "Mom, I am going on a mission. I am heading to Nashville March 31." Instantly I saw the tears streaming down her face in joy. It finally came time to be set apart. 7 days before I reported I was set apart as my stake president was leaving on vacation. The time came that we headed down to Utah to get my missionary attire.

Saying goodbye to my family was not hard at all. I was ready to go. After the welcoming I looked at my family, gave them all hugs and said goodbye without a tear in my eye. I was so scared and excited. I had waited for this time to come. After goodbyes I walked out the door with a smile on my face. My brother Bryan and cousins Brad and Richard we're currently on their missions. Bryan in Baltimore, brad in Boise and Richard in South Carolina. I was joining them in the field. They had encouraged me to do whatever I wanted throughout this whole time.

After flying into Nashville I knew that me waiting was gonna make the difference of my mission. Hard to turn a call down, but it was so worth it. I was more ready to go in every manner. And I knew this was my time to serve. I fell upon hard medical times 2 weeks after getting to Nashville. If I had went the first time I would've been gone home in a flash. My mission president encouraged me stay for months until one day the Apostle Elder Ballard solidified my stay.

The reasons why I say Turning Down My First Mission Call Was the Best Decision are
1. I was not ready is the biggest
2. I matured in that time at home
3. Because it wasn't my time to serve yet

I am thankful I had the courage to turn down a call from The Savior and His Prophet Thomas S. Monson. I had no intentions of going after that, but the Lord changed my mind. It made my mission worth more to me because of the wait and hardship I put myself through. Don't be afraid to turn down a call, but you better have a time already planned when you want to serve because life will go down hill quick. Waiting and then going on my mission was the best decision I made.