I think I need a new rule. No more reading awesome news at work.
I pulled up Deseret News today and saw something amazing. 58 new missions will be created. My own mission, the Brazil Curitiba mission, is being split to create the Brazil Curitiba South Mission. Seven new missions total in my heartland of Brazil. I couldn't stop crying. Just another one of those moments where I am grateful my office is right smack dab in the middle of the floor and has a hallway to get to it, where no one ever goes. And I haven't stopped tearing up every time I think of it.
And then to find out my roommate's parents are going to be the new mission president and mission mom in Chicago. Paul and Katy Woodbury are going to rock Illinois!
All of this hearkens back to so many thoughts, feelings and emotions.
In October 2012, when President Thomas S. Monson announced the lowering of the missionary age, I cried for an hour straight with extreme joy! The Lord is hastening His work. I still cry every time I watch it.
So many implications to this change. More sisters will serve and hopefully there will be a lot fewer "sister haters" in the world. I could handle that. More youth will serve in general, and they will learn and grow and stay faithful. More people will join the Church and enjoy the great blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
The announcement also changed my perspective. Sometimes I get a little worried about how on earth I will ever raise children in such a wicked, wicked world. But this gave me something to hope for. Sometimes I get scared that some day I will have to serve in the Young Women program. Teenage girls frighten me! But of late, I have seen an increase in the dedication to strengthening our youth. And now I want to serve with them. I hope to be able to prepare more young women to serve missions, if they choose.
I just love missionary service. Last night I read a note in my scriptures from Preach My Gospel, "As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase. You will feel, as Lehi did, the 'great . . . importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth' (2 Nephi 2:8)." This reaffirmed in me the desire to take the gospel to all the world.
I can honestly say that since coming home from my mission, I can point almost every blessing to my decision to serve. And the blessings continue to come. Every day I think about some aspect of my mission. It shaped me. It continues to shape me. In just the last while, I received word that a convert who subsequently married in the temple is now expecting a baby. I got another email from a convert the other day. And another from a dear member who used to do splits with us. And another from a member whose husband we taught, and whose granddaughter just decided to be baptized. Received an awesome email from my mission president. Ate lunch with a mission companion. Became good friends with the wife of an elder from my mission. Found a Curitibano in Salt Lake who did not know much about the Church and invited him to learn more. Saw him change and be baptized. An opportunity to bless the Church as a Portuguese-speaking notary. Wonders and miracles upon miracles.
So it is little wonder that today's news filled my heart with excitement. And what better way to end this post than the same way I ended every letter home from my mission. "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" Hurrah for Israel!!!!