“It’s my birthday and I’m going to party like it’s my birthday.”
That ladies and gentlemen is the song that rang through my head when I woke up this morning at an eerie hour of 6:00am. Yuck! But being 19 means you go to work on your birthday.
19. The new age that holds so much meaning for LDS girls all around the world. I use to think the only difference between 18 and 19 was that I was a teenager for one more year. Nothing special really happens when you’re 19…that is unless you are a Mormon girl who wishes to go on a mission. Lucky me! 19 now has meaning that has changed my life course quite a bit.
Now this change in mission age did not make me wake up with the song “Scripture Power, keeps me safe from sin” running through my head. No, I am still a normal girl who loves her music with a heavy beat when it comes to “breakin’ it down” on her birthday. While I am still the same, my birthday presents this year are a little different. No new spring shorts and sandals for presents, rather my parents got me a gift card to start buying sister missionary clothing. YAY!
But really, I am so excited to start shopping for clothes to wear on my mission. Just last night my roommate gave her parents (who were on Skype) and me a fashion show of all her new mission clothes. For those of you who are thinking “wow you’re weird,” might be right but I loved it. Missionary dresses are a lot longer than normal. The hem hits around mid-calf and all dresses must have full sleeves. Doesn’t sound very cute right? But you’d be surprised. It’s kind of an Audrey Hepburn look, what with the flowing A-line dresses—or at least that is what I am telling myself. So needless to say, my roommate and I have had to reconsider our style when looking at clothes. No longer am I looking for anything cute, but my vision has narrowed to look for things that are both cute and super duper modest. Talk about hard to find.
The other weird thing about a mission is that we are only given two big suitcases and a small carry-on bag to fit all our stuff in for 18 months. Shampoo, straightener, blow dryer, curling iron, shoes, feminine hygiene stuff, nail polish, scarfs, underwear, jewelry, mousse, hair spray, toothbrush/paste, razor, books, notebooks, planner, journal, paper and envelopes for letters, coats, umbrella, and whatever else you might need to survive for 18 months in Australia. I’ve been in college for 11 months and I had almost two cars filled with my stuff. How in the world am I going to fit 18 months worth of living into three suitcases? I’m convinced it will be the first miracle—among many—that I witness on my journey to Brisbane.