Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hello everyone!

I'm sorry I have not blogged in a long time but every time I thought about blogging, I never felt the need to do it. Anywho. A lot has happened since the last time I blogged. I'm pretty sure my last post was the first day of school at BYU-I... Haha whoops. It would take many pages to even scratch the surface of my experiences up in Rexburg. In a nutshell, I love BYU-Idaho. I know I'm supposed to be up here and I have met some incredible people. My roommates are awesome, I seriously could not have picked better ones. They are so funny and easy to be with. I absolutely love my classes, they are definitely my style of learning and I am learning so much. My favorite is my Social Problems class. No, it's not for people who are socially awkward. It's about prevalent issues and conflicts in our society such as prostitution, pornography, rape and poverty. I love it. My professor is awesome and the class is graded solely on tests. The only homework we have to do is reading. In all honesty, it reminds me of Mrs. Van Orden's class where there is a promotion of free-thinking and not busy-work. Plus the guy who sits next to me is pretty dang cute. Whoop there it is.

To get down to the point, I am going on a mission. This all happened about a month and a half ago where I kept having the word "mission" cross my mind. On October 6th I talked to my Bishop about going on a mission and an hour later I was starting my papers. Two weeks later I came down to do all of my medical stuff, thankfully I only had to get one shot. Then one week later I met with my Bishop and then my Stake President. In my mind everything was going perfectly, I had put my availability date on April 30th since I was planning on going to winter semester. I didn't realize that I wouldn't have been able to officially turn my papers in til the end of January and then get my call in February. I was disappointed and it felt wrong. I wanted to know where I was going so bad. During sacrament meeting, I was writing in my journal about my internal conflicts. I felt so discouraged, why didn't this feel good? I prayed and I asked myself what was so wrong with going in February or March. Inevitably, I felt that I should change my availability date to my birthday. What better way to surrender to God then putting my availability date on my 19th birthday? My mom and I drove back to the stake center and had the secretary change my availability date to February 7th. It was a leap of faith. Two and a half weeks later, I got my call. Except I had to wait two whole days to open it. I could not concentrate on anything and I kept having spurts of hysteria. Finally, thirty of my close friends and family witnessed my reaction.

Dear Sister Ratto:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language.

Oklahoma was definitely not my first guess, but it felt right. I knew that I was going state-side. However, I still cannot fathom it and I am a little overwhelmed with everything. Despite everything that is going through the left side of my brain, I am excited. The mission boundaries cover Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas. The cute guy I mentioned earlier served his mission in that exact same mission. Which is so crazy. He told me that the culture down there is awesome. The people are down to earth and very blunt. I love people who are real so I think I am going to fit in well or stand out in a positive way. I can't way to connect with them on a deep level and serve them. The mission presidents seem really nice and they are from Pleasant Grove, Utah! How cool.

God never ceases to amaze me. It's crazy to me how fast things happen when it's right and when it's meant to be or how quickly it falls apart when it is not right. But I feel that is contingent on personal faith, obedience to the commandments and an absolute surrender to God's will. I have always wanted to facilitate others to changing their lives by changing their perspective on life. What a wonderful opportunity that has been placed before me. Life is so beautiful.

Well that's what is new with me. I hope you are doing well. If you ever want/need to talk to someone about personal issues please call me or text me. I love talking to people about their lives. I love you all and I am grateful for your existence in my life. I do, authentically, think highly of you.


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  2. I think highly of you to Emily! You are such an amazing person! Just think, we'll be serving our missions at the same time!!!! :D