Well, my MTC date is coming up...one week before I go! I'm nervous, but I survived the scared stiff stage. A couple weeks ago I was really struggling and having a hard time...I was stressed and nervous and honestly just plain terrified. I was so anxious and stressed about everything I kind of had a mental shutdown, and didn't have the motivation to get any of the things done that I needed to. So, after I told to my mom how scared I was, she looked me in the eye and said "Then don't go!"
Harsh, right? Well, it was actually very wise of her, and exactly what I needed to hear. It reminded me that I made the decision to serve, and that I am agreeing to this. I haven't been forced into it, and I am perfectly capable of turning down the call and saying that I don't want to go anymore. But you want to know the main reason I didn't agree with her? I'm just too darn stubborn. As soon as she said that to me I got irritated (like, really irritated) and told myself that I had committed to this and nothing was going to make me back down. So, here I am finalizing shopping and packing and all that last minute stressful stuff.
I've been through the temple a couple of times (which was awesome), had my farewell (which was terrifying--I despise public speaking), and said goodbye to a couple of people I won't get to see again before I leave (which was really sad, but at least they'll be here when I get back). I have most of my sister missionary outfits bought (and they're adorable), a really heavy-duty scripture bag (emphasis on the heavy), and enough mosquito repellent to (hopefully) protect me from all the crazy bug diseases in the Philippines. I told my best-friend-basically-sister that she and her husband are not allowed to start their family until I get back (and I mean it, Bekah and Tyler!!).
I took a great mission prep class at BYU last semester, I have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and its power to bring joy and comfort. I love my Savior, and that I have the opportunity to learn and teach His gospel. I am excited to share the joy it has brought to me with the Filipinos. And I can tell you right now, I really don't know squat about them. But I have already started to feel a love for the people that I will get to meet, and I am so genuinely excited!!
Every time I talk about my mission, I get crazy butterflies in my stomach. It's kind of like the kind you get when your crush looks at you, but like 10x better :) I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to serve, and that I get to experience something that is so different from what I'm used to. Between the culture, the weather, the giant city, and the jungle, I will definitely be learning a lot. And I just can't wait :)
Sister Payton Pectol
P.S. And Mom, I'm really actually going ;)