January 22, 2018
“Growing up I always knew I was going to go on a mission. It just seemed like something I needed to do. I never doubted it. But then senior year hit. I was overwhelmed with all these options for college and careers – a mission became somewhat of an afterthought.
That December, I was attending a funeral of a family member and my mother’s cousin was there. He’s a professor at BYU, a stake president – simply one of the most in-tune and Christ-like people I have ever met. He was asking me the typical question every senior in high school gets asked a million times – “So what are your plans after graduation?” I explained to him where I had applied and what I planned on majoring in. I didn’t say a word about going on a mission. Suddenly he looked me square in the eyes and said, “You are going on a mission. I can just see it in your eyes.” That caught me completely off guard. I had no idea how to respond but I became overwhelmed with a confirming spirit that he was right, I WAS going to go on a mission.
From that point forward, I made that my goal. But I also felt that I needed to move away for a little while and learn how to live on my own. Luckily, I was presented with the opportunity to spend Fall semester at BYU-Hawaii. So, I took it. I spent Fall in Hawaii and had the time of my life. My testimony grew immensely and I felt more than ever that a mission was up next.
I submitted my papers in October and after a few setbacks, I finally received my call. I was lucky enough to have my entire family in Hawaii when I opened it. “You are assigned to labor in the Japan Sendai mission.” I was shocked but also not shocked when I read that and here is why… I always knew I was going to Japan.
I have a pretty vivid memory of being about six years old, sitting on the floor of my sister’s bathroom and telling her that I was going to go to Japan on my mission. I remember her saying, “Yeah whatever you say em.” From then on, I would have dreams where I would be on my mission and every single dream I had, I was in Japan. After I submitted my papers, people would frequently ask me where I thought I was going. Sometimes I would relay my experiences but for the most part I would just say that I wasn’t sure. Those who knew about those experiences, would constantly joke that it would be INSANE if I was ACTUALLY called to Japan. We would laugh about it but I always said that there was no way. Jokes on me I guess!
I always knew in my heart that I was going there but I would constantly label what had happened to me as “a coincidence”. Well I am here to tell you that nothing is a coincidence. His plan is divine and now I know more than ever that the Lord needs me in Japan for the next 18 months. I honestly cannot wait to find out why Heavenly Father wants me there and what He has in store for me! I AM GOING TO JAPAN AND I CANNOT WAIT!” -Emily
Taking Emily’s mission photos was such a pleasure! She was radiating and I could tell that she was going to do amazing things in Japan and thrive teaching others and treating them with kindness! We also had a super tight bond over Kate Spade and Hawaii haha! I wish you the best of luck on your next adventure!