why am I serving?

I received my call almost 3 months ago, and I am just barely writing this post... ehem...
3 weeks before I leave.
It's not that I haven't had time or that I haven't wanted to write my story; it's just that well, maybe as you read my story you'll be able to see why it's taken me so long to decide what to say.

I have wanted to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for as long as I can remember. Both of my parents served missions, and so I grew up in the church always hearing mission stories. At age 21 I knew I would begin my papers and in they'd go. Then I'd be on my way to serve the Lord. The mission was in the plan.
Well, the mission was THE plan.

and then the plan changed, sort of.

In november/december of 2011 I started dating an amazing wonderful returned missionary from the Tampico, Mexico mission. It is now March of 2013, a little over a year since we started dating, but instead of getting married, I'm going on a mission.
Am I crazy?
Everyone else has seemed to think so.
In spring of 2012 I began attending the temple weekly, praying fervently, and asking for guidance from my Heavenly Father. I needed to know what path He wanted me to follow. Everyone at BYU kept telling me to "get married" or that I was "mixing revelation with feeling" and even I knew that logically, a mission didn't make sense. At this point in my life I still had a year 1/2 before I could even begin working on my papers, since I had just turned 19 in October 2011.
But life has taught me that faith is having the courage to do things that don't stand up to reason.

One day, after weeks and weeks of temple attendance and hundreds of pleading prayers, I came across a scripture in Alma that put away all of my doubts. I was in the Provo Temple asking to know if a mission was right for me at this time in my life when I read, "and now I will ease your mind somewhat on this subject. Behold, you marvel why these things should be known so long beforehand. Behold, I say unto you, is not a soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul will be at the time of his coming?"
I knew then that the Lord needed me to serve a mission now, even if my service was a year out.
I did not anticipate the trials I would face in the next few months.

Over the next few months (end of summer/beginning of august 2012), everyone I met and talked with would question my decision, challenge the revelation I had received by telling me that I was confusing the Holy Ghost with my feminist "do what I want to do" desires, by telling me I had my priorities mixed up, or by simply dismissing my decision and saying "don't worry, you'll change your mind."
I became so frustrated because I knew I knew what the Lord wanted me to do, but I felt like good faithful people were telling me that my decision was wrong. That I needed to dismiss this revelation I had received.

By September 2012 I had had enough. On September 9, 2012 I decided to meet with my bishop. I went into my bishop's office on September 16th and had a complete break down.
And guys, I'm not the type of person who cries in front of anyone.
I told him how hurt I was by the lack of support I was receiving, the pressure I felt to make such huge decisions, and the doubts I was beginning to have. Was there something wrong with me, like everyone had said, because I wanted to serve a mission, not get married? Did I have my priorities mixed up? What was I supposed to do?!? How could I endure another year of so much pressure before I could begin my papers? Bishop, how can I have the faith?

He reached into his pocket, pulled out a pad of sticky notes, and wrote down the name of this talk, Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence. Then he said, "I need you to take a leap of faith and put away all of your fears. I want you to read this talk. Yes, the church handbook does counsel sisters to get married if they have the chance, but personal revelation is more important and significant than the church handbook. Personal revelation, however, will never go against commandments or the doctrines found in the scriptures."

I then asked him for a blessing, in which he blessed me to be able to express myself clearly to those who may not understand my decision, that I may feel the love of Christ in the depths of my soul more than I ever have before, that I may find satisfaction in my decision, though it may already be made, and that whatever I decided to do, so long as it was in compliance with the commandments and that I made my decision in righteousness, the Lord would approve of my decision.

I know there is power in the priesthood and I am so grateful that I was able to have a Bishop who was so understanding and loving.

I made the resolve then to wait out the next year in faith before I could begin my papers. I would continue to date, and just try to have the extreme faith that everything would work out for the best.

You can only imagine my surprise then, when less than one month later, President Monson made this announcement:

"Today I am pleased to announce that all, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21."

I could leave NOW.
I didn't have to wait a year, anymore.
No one could call me crazy, now :)

I began my papers in October 2012 and submitted them at the end of November. On December 8th I had dreams of the MTC and being called to Poland, and on December 26th 2012 I received my call to the Czech/Slovak mission, which is right beneath Poland.
I leave March 27, 2013, exactly three weeks from today, and I couldn't be more excited :)

My missionary service will be the single most important thing to prepare me for the rest of my life. I know God wants me to serve a mission right now, and I would be foolish not to follow the revelation I have received. Adrian Ochoa, 2nd counselor in the YM presidency, said "in thinking about full time missionary service, we often worry too much about income, schooling, or relationships. These are good & important things but still things that can wait." and Elder Nelson has said, "the decision to serve a mission will shape the spiritual destiny of the missionary, his or her spouse, and their posterity for generations to come."

Can I really give up 18 months, college, a boyfriend, friends, and family to serve the Lord?
No, the better question is, can I afford not to?

I'm not giving anything up. I'm simply putting some things on hold for a while :)

"Now is the time to serve a mission!" 

(click for a fantastic talk) 

I am going to serve a mission so that I can become the mother that says, as Elder Holland has said, "in this family we serve missions." Without a mission, I feel that I will not have the strength necessary to raise children in such trying times as these nor the spiritual preparation to uphold, maintain, and bind a family together through the love of Christ.

I so look forward to serving the people of the Czech Republic and Slovakia for the next 18 months of my life. There is nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain. I know I will have challenges, but I am not afraid or nervous because I know I will have 3 of the greatest companions any missionary could ever ask for. God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are always there for all of us, to help us and to guide us. I cannot be selfish with my knowledge of this gospel any longer. I must share it! :)

It has been a difficult journey as I have begun to prepare for my mission. Some days I freak out that I really am leaving SOOOO soon and that he (this wonderful man I'm dating) may not be here when I get back, but I know that the Lord loves me and that that if I have faith in Him, everything will work out for the best. The Lord wants me to serve right now and there are so many instances when he has testified this to me in the last few months. "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can ye have than from God?" I testify to everyone out there that I know I have received my witness and that God does hear and answer our prayers. I just know it.

These next 18 months will try my faith, possibly bring heartbreak, and I'm sure they will be beyond difficult, but I know all things are possible with the Lord's help. He asks us to do difficult things, but he never asks us to do them alone. I testify that I know the mission will bless me in ways I cannot even begin to fathom, "therefore doubt not and do a powerful work for it is the work of God." 

The Czech/Slovak mission is the right place for me right now in my life, I have no doubt. 

Soon-to-be Sister Kane
March 7, 2013

"Had I not been encouraged to be a missionary, I would not have the eternal companion or precious family I dearly love. I am confident."
"You will never regret serving a mission, but you most probably will regret not serving if that is your choice."
 - Elder Scott


Lorie said...

Beautiful testimony and beautiful story. Thank you for sharing; I'm looking forward to a heart-to-heart with you. It is no wonder that now you've served your full-time mission, you have a blossoming relationship with Ryan to nurture. Your compassionate heart and love for the Lord make you a bright light--how can others not want to bask in this glow? Warm wishes to you, Kari!

Victoria Hanson said...

Hey Kari! My name is Vicki. I joined the church almost exactly a year ago and was immediately called to serve a mission through doubtless and undeniable revelation. Of course, it was a little easier for me; I did not have a particular career path or a boy that made the decision to follow that revelation difficult, but I still had to make many sacrifices.
I have finished my paperwork and am looking forward to submitting it within the next few weeks! As everything I have learned and been preparing myself for has come to a head, I received even more wonderful revelation from Heavenly Father that I have certainly not deserved but have been thankful for. As I was baptizing in the temple with a friend a few weeks ago, I believe I received revelation that I would serve my mission in Slovakia.
At first it seemed a little too good to be true; it was exactly the area of the world I wanted to serve, in a language I craved to learn. I felt myself chalking it up to wishful thinking. But then I found you. I stumbled onto the blog quite accidentally but was happy to explore your posts; feeling like I’d hit a goldmine of useful information. When I read your first letter from Slovakia was when I felt the Spirit confirming my revelation.
You spoke about being called to Slovakia because of your courage. As I read on, I felt myself connecting to everything you were saying. Everything about you and your mission as I have read thus far has embodied so much of who I am in Christ and his plans for me. When you talked about courage, pieces of my Patriarchal Blessing started fitting in like puzzle pieces in a way only God can do. I feel with certainty that I WILL serve in Slovakia, and feel almost as clearly as you did that day that I have been called there for the same reason. Being the only member in my family, I know God will use me in so many ways there that I never could have imagined.
And then I found this post; your testimony of how you came to decide to follow your mission. You have had so much faith! It certainly took courage to follow His path for you, but you did it. You are brave. God needed you for so many reasons to serve in Slovakia, but one of those reasons is me. If you hadn’t followed God’s plan, if you hadn’t chosen to serve, and if you hadn’t treasured your experiences in writing this way, I could not have received the blessings from Heavenly Father that I have tonight.
Thank you so much for your faith, and thank you for your courage.
Thomas S. Monson believes in never denying a prompting. It’s something that I really admire about him. Thank you for following His promptings, and thank you for the help you have already given me as I prepare to serve.
S láskou,
Sestra Hanson

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Czech me Out

Hi there :)

This is me, Sister Kari Kane, and this is the story of my journey in becoming a Sister Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Love always,
Sister Kane

Write Me at:

Mailing address at the MTC is:

Sister Kari Camille Kane
MTC Mailbox #232
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793
United States

Mission Office:

Sister Kari Camille Kane
Czech/Slovak Mission
Badeniho 1
160 00 Praha 6
Czech Republic

If your family ships a package with a private courier they will need this phone number
420 224-322-215