"Dear Sister Cannon,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Brazil, São Paulo West Mission. You should report to the Brazil MTC on Wednesday October 7th 2015. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Portuguese language. "
My head is spinning and my heart is full. I am excited to give 18 months to serve the people of São Paulo. Sometimes I wonder how it is possible to have so much love for a people that you do not yet know.
I don't know if I can recall a moment when I "decided" that I wanted to go on a mission. All my life I just wanted to. I grew up singing "I hope they call me on a mission", teaching my friends about the gospel, and serving with the missionaries in my ward when I had the opportunity. I had developed an even greater desire to serve especially after President Monson announced the missionary age change in the Oct. 2012 General Conference.
"Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of 21."
That General Conference session was life changing. Soon after, I served a mini mission with Sister missionaries in a neighboring ward. I was blown away by their dedication, hard work, and the eloquence in which they taught others the gospel. I wanted to be like them.
Fast forward 2 years later. While attending BYU, I was surrounded by many other people deciding to serve missions. Their examples and faith in the Lord helped me take my next step in serving a mission. In March of 2015, I opened my mission papers and after much blood, sweat and tears (literally) on April 22, 2015 I clicked the 'Submit' button in the Stake President's office. It was one of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced.
Eleven short days later, after moving out of my dorm, saying goodbye to all my friends, getting my wisdom teeth removed, and driving across the country I had (finally) received my mission call.
Opening my call was probably one of the most overwhelming days of my life. That small envelope held the next chapter in my life, the place that I would be serving the Lord for 18 months and I was nervous to find out where that place would be. Before opening my call, I asked the Lord to help me know that wherever I was called is where I am supposed to go. I asked for peace in my heart.
I received that peace. I know that the Lord has called me to labor in São Paulo for a reason. I don't know what that reason is, but I do know that God has a plan for me and for the people of São Paulo. I can't wait to share the message that brings me the most happiness in this life with the people of Brazil.