Lost. That was the way I felt at the beginning of my Fall Semester at BYU.
I had just finished one of the best summers of my life while attending my first semester at BYU. But now I was starting on my second semester and I was in a new dorm room all by myself, while all my summer friends were in different buildings. Suddenly, all the buildings around campus were filled to the brim as BYU’s 30 thousand plus students started to move in. As I began to get lost in the crowds my mind wandered backwards…
In high school I was an All-State volleyball player among other awards and I had had an offer to a small school in Pennsylvania. The day after my senior year volleyball season ended, my dad and I hopped on a plane and went to unofficially visit the school of Lock Haven. Everything about the school felt right and I was ecstatic about my future official visit when I left, and even more excited to be a future college athlete.
Then in February I received acceptance to Brigham Young University and in the words of my favorite poet Robert Frost:
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood”
I was stumped at what to do. Deep down inside of me something was telling me that BYU was the path I should choose. I did not ignore that prompting, so I called up the coach at Lock Haven and told him the news. It was heartbreaking and one of the hardest conversations I have ever had. The day after graduation my family boarded a plane west with 6 suitcases that were all mine to get me settled into college life early.
Summer was great and I didn’t regret not going to Lock Haven. That was until I was sitting in the warm sunlight of the second week of Fall Semester, when I felt lost, confused, alone, and something I had never felt in high school—inadequate. I was sitting in the grass watching girls and guys in athletic gear walk by and I envied them, because their career had not ended in high school. I envied the people in my student ward (what LDS church congregations are called) that could play the piano and sing. My talent had always been volleyball and now I had nothing.
October 2012 was a month that changed my life. If you read my first post you know what happened. President Thomas S. Monson, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced that sister missionaries no longer had to wait until they were 21 to go on missions. Sister missionaries could now enter the field at age 19.
Everything made sense now. The reason I didn’t go to Lock Haven to play volleyball was clear. I was meant to serve a mission. If I had been at Lock Haven under a four-year commitment to play volleyball, there is no way I would be headed to Brisbane right now. Some may think it crazy to put my life on hold for 18 months to go to Australia to proselyte the teachings of Jesus Christ, but I know that it is what the Lord wants me to do.
Is this going to be an easy journey? Certainly not. Am I nervous, excited and overwhelmed? You bet. But this is my path.