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Friday, September 21, 2012

She Wants to Go on a Mission

Dear Bro Jo, 

I'm a 20 year old girl with an immense desire to serve the Lord for a full 18 month mission.

Here's the thing:  because I have such a strong desire to serve, my desire to date or get into a relationship has decreased....a lot.

 Is this a bad thing?

 I'm afraid of getting into anything serious.

Not that I haven't been dating because I have still been socializing a dating with guys. I guess i'm more afraid of any relationships developing. I have had so many people tell me that I am way out of line for not wanting to date seriously at my age and go on a mission instead.

My way of thinking is that the Lord isn't going to withhold me from something as important as marriage just because I am a female and decided to serve a mission. Some people also feel like I am doing this because they think I am "waiting" for my old boyfriend who I recently sent on a mission. This is not at all the case. I don't even believe in the waiting game.

Am I being ridiculous to just want to focus on my studies and making money and preparing for a mission instead of looking for a husband?


A wannabe RM

Dear Wannabe,

 Is this your response to my question to your last letter, asking how everything went with your first kiss? 

Seriously, if you want to serve a mission, then serve a mission. In my opinion, I wouldn't call that "out of line" . . . but then, to be honest, I question if that's what people are really saying to you, because it doesn't seem to fit.

I just can't hear "Mom, Dad, I want to serve a mission" followed with "Daughter, we think you're totally out of line!"


My guess is that what you're really hearing is that you shouldn't be closed to any romantic possibilities during this time. Sorry to sound old fashioned, but there's a big difference between being an 18-year old guy and a 20-year old woman when it comes to marriage. 

So I think that if a nice guy asks you out, you should go. Keep preparing for a mission; save your money, keep studying hard, and when its time, if you feel so inspired, by All Means, Go!

Don't actively look for a husband (I don't really like that point of view for any woman, anyway), but don't live like a nun, either.

Oh, and while I agree with you that you shouldn't "wait", I also think there's nothing wrong with a young woman serving a full-time mission at the same time a guy she likes also happens to be serving.

May the Lord guide you in all of your decisions,

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

Of course if the parents and other people are saying she's out of line, they don't mean that what she wants to do is illegal or immoral, but they do mean, because they do think, that she's not in line with what they want her to do. I have had the same problem with people saying words that strong when I wanted to do something different but good like this sister, and when I tell others, they always say they don't believe anyone would say that, like BroJo said he didn't believe it. When are all of you going to start believing? We don't go around exaggerating what people say and mean; we're the ones asking you older folks why they said it, because they really did. We figure maybe one of their peers would have a guess, because it doesn't make sense to us younger ones.

Anonymous said...

We all have different priorities in life. Some young women desire to serve missions and if that is in their patriarchal blessing or an answer to their personal prayers they should go. But if a great guy comes along there is nothing wrong with marrying young and focusing on family. I wanted to serve a mission really badly but a great guy came into my life and I had to pray about what was right for me. I felt peaceful when I prayed about getting married. Only God can help us discover our personal plan of happiness. Best of luck! All us OLD FOLKS just give advice based on our own life experience. Ask the adults what they are worried about and maybe they will tell you.

Karen said...

You should totally serve a mission! Your life will be richly blessed because of your decision to serve a mission as a sister, I know mine was!I loved it! It was alot of hard work but totally loved the people I met, they changed my life. Good luck on figuring out the dating thing. I agree that there is nothing wrong with getting married and focusing on a family BUT you can go on a mission & have a family. Good luck!

Christopher Cunningham said...

I agree with the first Anonymous author, I have heard much worse things said about women who prioritized serving a mission above dating. I completely disagree with this sentiment. And while Bro. Jo's advice is sound, the bottom line is you have every right to want to serve a mission, and no obligation to date anyone. In 2006 Elder Scott quoted a First Presidency letter on sister's serving missions. In it the only time that romantic possibilities was mentioned as a deterrent to missionary service is if they are "imminent marriage prospects." You have no imminent marriage prospects, so you should feel no need to prioritize romance ahead of missionary service, or vise verse for that matter. The Lord trusts you to make your own decision about missionary service.

Stacie said...

As typical of social media, I came across this blog post from a friend of mine who shared it on facebook. Considering I was in this exact same situation several years ago, I thought I'd add my two cents worth to the conversation. Just like you, I had a strong desire to serve a full-time mission, it was something I had always wanted to do. I was at BYU the semester I turned in my papers and I decided that I'd still go out with guys if they were nice (like Bro Jo suggested). I had been at BYU for three years and never had a really serious relationship, so I figured the odds of me finding THE guy were slim to none :) Well I ended up meeting a pretty fantastic guy and a few weeks after we started dating I got called to serve in the Texas, Forth Worth mission. Long story short, said guy and I got engaged the week before I was supposed to enter the MTC, and we have been married for almost 4 years now. I'm definitely all for you serving a mission if that's what is right for you, but I also want to let you know that getting married is pretty awesome too. I have never regretted my decision to get married instead of going a mission. Yes, my life (and those I might have served) would have been blessed from serving a full time mission. But I can't tell you how many blessings I've received since getting married: people I've met, callings I've had, opportunities gained that have positively impacted my career etc. because I was still at BYU during those months I should have been serving in Texas. I just thought I'd share my story because I was where you were at and would have never guessed that my life would take such a crazy turn, especially after receiving a call! Anyway, I'm guessing the announcement in conference this weekend was a huge answer to your prayers and that you'll soon be serving a full time mission. If so, good luck! :) And if not, I know that the Lord will guide you in ways that you are still able to achieve the potential you have been blessed with, I know because that's what happened with me.