Growing up, I always thought going on a mission was a good thing. I didn’t plan on going on one- but I also wasn’t opposed to it.
My mindset was always “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there”.
When I was a senior in high school, the announcement that the mission age was going to change from 21 to 19 for girls, and 19 to 18 for boys happened. It seemed like everyone and their brother, sister, cousins, aunties were getting mission calls and going out on the mission field. My thinking was that I am going to college, I am young. I didn’t want to be behind 2 years in life.
At that time in my life I was like “a mission is not for me”. So I went to school.
At BYU we have to take religion classes that are required for graduation. Fall Semester of 2015 I decided to register for a mission prep course because I heard that it was an “easy A”, and nothing sounds better to a college freshman; so I decided to take the course.
I was very hesitant because I knew the purpose of this course was to convince me to go on a mission. But I was convinced that it was just a class and I needed it to graduate.
Classes were cool. Many people got their mission calls over the course of the semester and everyone was so excited to go.
Honestly it was weird. It was always the “older kids” who went on missions. But when people younger than you start going out, it really makes you re-evaluate your life.
BYU in general is its own pill to swallow. (see BYeeeeeeU post) Everyone is getting married, going on missions, having children, dealing with honor code, figuring out life on their own. I kind of was doing my own thing and at the time I really was anti-mission.
Towards the end of my freshman year, my dad got sick and I had to go home. I completed the semester in Hawaii. It was tough but through that experience my testimony of the plan of Salvation grew and I really had the drive to be more spiritual.
Fast forward to my sophomore year back in school. I remember one night I was really tired, but I was going to go out with some friends. I decided to take a nap before we went out so that I would be okay. They weren’t going to come for another hour, so I figured I had enough time to rest and fix myself before going out.
I laid down and closed my eyes, and had a dream that changed my life. I remember this like it was night and day:
In my dream, I was outside during the day time. The sun was out and there were no clouds. As I was walking up a sidewalk with houses to my right and the road on my left I looked down at my feet.
When I looked down at my feet I saw a black name tag on the right side of my chest and it said “Sister Tafua”. I immediately woke up and rushed outside. It felt like I had been sleeping for hours because I was so well rested.
When I yelled at my cousin because I thought my friends had left me, he said that I had only been asleep for ten minutes. I just stood there, walked back into the room and just started crying. I knew then, in that moment that:
I was going on a mission.
I started putting my papers in and SO many obstacles came in my way. The day that I decided to turn my medical papers in I almost drowned at the beach and then I got in a car accident. Completely NOT my fault but the car was totaled, my friend’s rib was cracked, and we both went to the hospital in an ambulance.
What an adventure.
Eventually, I got called to serve in the Kansas Wichita Mission.
It was amazing! I met so many wonderful and not so wonderful people. I had so many experiences that I could have only had on my mission.
One of my most memorable memories:
Me and my companion walking in our area on the mission.
As I was walking I remember being so tired because it was so hot outside. Quickly, I looked down at my feet and saw my name tag on my chest. I remember just crying because I knew that was from my dream and I could feel like that is exactly where I was supposed to be.
Going on a mission I believe has changed my life for the better. It helped me gain an understanding of my spirituality, what I believe and how I want to live my life. It gave me a glimpse of seeing others potentials and wanting the best for them. I would not have changed it for the world.
There were definitely times when I was so exhausted, but there were also so many times where I had so much joy.
Kansas was wild. Even though it was in the same country, it was a foreign mission.
I am definitely not perfect but I am grateful for the adventure and for it helping me become the person I am today.
I came home on Feb. 9, 2017 to my family and friends were waiting for me at the airport. Gave my homecoming talk in my home ward, and it was time to get back to reality. I was NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE.