Since Walker was little he’s talked about serving a mission for our church. He’s always said, “When I go on my mission.” ….not just when I go on a mission…by MY mission…. I think there is power in our words and meaning. That he’s always seen it as “his” and what he wants to do is important.
Walker has one of the biggest, kindest, most loving hearts of anyone I know. When I think of an example in my life of one who is Christlike, I immediately think of him. He’s always the first to love, support, and forgive. He always puts others before himself. He is an incredible example to me. Charity is one of his greatest spiritual gifts.
In October 2012 General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson announced a BIG change for young men and young women who want to serve a mission:
“I am pleased to announce that effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will—or should—serve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available.
As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. 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 age 21.
We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.”
After this announcement was made there was a lot of excitement and the mission field grew exponentially! But the part that Pres. Monson said that stood out to me was, “I am not suggesting that all young men will-or should-serve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available.”
Missions are voluntary. The Lord wants us to prayerfully decide for ourselves what He would have us do. Not everyone is able financially, mentally, or physically to serve a full-time mission for 2 years. Some young men/ young women aren’t ready to leave home at such an early age. Every individual is different and the Lord knows that because He is our Father and He created us. All He really asks of us is to “prepare” to be worthy to serve. If you serve or not…is between you and Him.
A lot of Walker’s friends went right after they graduated High School last year. It was hard for him as he saw them leave one by one and he was one of the few that hadn’t left yet. But he knew it wasn’t his time. He’d been planning and preparing. He’d been praying and fasting. The answer for him was, “not yet.”
Sometimes it takes greater faith to wait then not to. It can be difficult to hear, “not yet”, when you want so much to follow the counsel of the Prophet. It takes a great deal of maturity and humility to wait upon the Lord.
With all of that being said, the time has come. Walker has been working on his mission papers, getting his dental and doctor appointments finished up and last night met with the Bishop. He came home and we sat together going over the check-list one last time and then Walker submitted it.
We’ve been “talking” about it for so long I thought I was ready. When he hit the button and the screen said, “Recommendation has been submitted”, it hit me like a ton of bricks. My stomach sort of fell and lump grew in my throat. This just got REAL!
Now I feel like my Momma heart needs a minute. It’s all happening so fast! But I also couldn’t be more proud of Walker for making the decision to serve a mission.❤️ It’s been humbling to watch him go through this process. It’s been a very personal journey and a decision he’s made on his own and in his own timing with the Lord’s guiding hand. He is an incredible example to me. 💞
There are a few more steps and then everything will get sent to Salt Lake. We’ll keep you posted with the details when we get them!