I wish with my whole heart that I could remember what was said in the conversation that night. It was the night that changed the course of my life, but it wasn't the deciding factor. Just the final nudge to send me over the edge, and onto a decision that will alter the very details of my eternity.
As I've come to realize, it was the plan all along. And He knew I was going to need a good push. So set one up, He did.

As I found myself in the living room of a complete stranger in California, ready to spend the night while on my "Disneyland Sister Trip", the conversation turned more serious. She looked deep into my eyes and asked if I would be serving a mission for the LDS church. It was the thousandth time I'd been asked, and the second time within a few hours. What was I to expect, being 21? I stared at her for a while. More like stared past her. Immediately my mind rushed to three days prior, where I was in the room of the Christus in Salt Lake City. I was approached by two young women with tags, and was asked the same question. There was something different about that time. It was like I was hit by a sudden jolt of electricity, and my eyes filled with tears before I could even think twice. It felt like I was on the edge of a high dive, and getting ready to jump. Before I was able to rattle off my normal, "Ahh, you know. We'll see. I'm not really planning on it, but I'd love to go....",
I said, "I really don't know."
Reality set in, and I was back in the living room, and found myself using the same answer.
She kept her intent stare, and quietly whispered, "But you know you need to."
Before the words left her mouth, I was in tears. These weren't your friendly tears. It was a battleground of teardrops that were just waiting for this moment. They billowed from my eyes, and I was in sobs before I realized what was happening.
I could remember back to Primary when the bishopric member would say, "Okay, now who wants to serve a mission?!" And all the kids would jump up with their hands waving in the air, and I'd be sitting down with my friend and would exchange looks, "HECK NO."
When I was a young girl, no more than ten years old, my father asked our home teacher to help him with a blessing because I was so sick. Afterward, the two of them went out to the porch to talk. When my dad came back in and told me that my home teacher said, "When we were giving her that blessing, the only thing on my mind was that this girl is going to be a great missionary someday."
For whatever reason, that has never left me.
Through the years, through the heartache, through the trials, it's always been in the back of my mind.
Last August on one of the hardest nights I've had to swallow, I collapsed on my couch at 1am and bawled. I read from a page of personal scripture, and the words had never been more clear.
You will serve a mission.
I wrote down many impressions that came that night, but it shocked me so much that the next day I wrote another entry, basically overriding everything I'd felt the night before. Justification is a tricky thing. I wrote how it could mean many different things, how maybe it was my "Mission in Life" that I was talking about.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's done this.

Once I regained my composure to a "stable" level, all I was able to do was nod my head and keep the tears to a minimum. This woman told me that from the moment I walked through her door, she had the distinct impression that I would be a missionary.
Few discussions have ever impacted me more than the one that followed her original question. It was as if the Spirit of the Lord was whispering into her ear all the things that He needed me to hear. My spiritual ears were listening, and there was no denying the feeling that engulfed me as I sat on her couch, sobbing up a storm.
Three weeks later, I was sitting on my parent's couch, finally ready to tell them the news. I made a special trip up just to talk to them, and was more than emotional. I began crying before the words even came out, and as they exchanged anxious looks I finally disclosed,

"I think I'm going to go on a mission."

The look of relief that came over their faces was enough to frame. Don't ask me what was going through their mind when they knew I wanted to talk, but you can bet they were more than thrilled to hear about my decision.

I'd been preparing from a young age for the day that this would happen. The idea has always been there, and the Lord always knew I would go one day. I had a hard time trusting in the Plan that has been set out for me, and the amount of nudging it took for me to finally wrap my mind around the idea is less than something to be proud of. Being set in your ways is not always the greatest.
It's always a good idea to be prepared.  I never really expected to make the decision to serve, but my entire life has been leading up to this point. I know that it's what I need to be doing at this time. However hard it is, and will be, the Lord is with me every step of the way.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” 
― Joseph Campbell

17 days.
It's coming fast.


Sense: This makes none.

As I've said before, sometimes I write just so I can capture my emotions of the day.
Don't try to really understand this, because you'd have to know, to know. Ya know?

Just had a lot on my mind all the time.

too much shopping to do. 3 weeks from today. a week from sunday. last saturday. prepare talk. read a hundred pamphlets. listen to the language of my people. alphabet looks like spam emails. immunizations make my jugular hurt. is that normal? I wish I would've been more awake. scratch that. too fun. get through this week. don't want time to go fast. can I just go already. why can't I wrap my head around this thing. letters from friends make me hurt. my favorite makes me cry too often. Take showers when you're sad. and bring popsicles to the shower party. too relaxing. keep thinking about change. no one's going to be the same when I get back. don't complain about me leaving. I'm leaving everyone I know. Am I happy that it won't be hot? Will I even be safe there. in denial about goodbyes. so stoked to be in the mtc. can't wait to have mission friends. excited to see matt and phil daily. the temple is too good for words. highly recommend it to anyone who's ready. gonna miss music. looking forward to my long coat. I'm never hungry anymore. Is that a problem? i'm in like. my nerves won't calm down. I'm chopping my hair. farewell to long hair, finally. letters will probably get me through this. my room is a disaster area. overwhelmed with sentiments. canteen. get $1 tip from same old man daily. love 'almond guy'. feel weird around everyone. people treat me like I have cancer. too many photo shoots left. not enough time to edit. not enough motivation, either. shouldn't have got a pinterest. I miss friends from hs. only 5 more shifts at day job. psyched to be done stirring yogurt. can't wait to wear a name tag. bilingual in 1.5 years. love my frumperstilskin outfits. chunky shoes, I will rock you. noni bought me boots. so cute. laser tagging. i'm gonna miss jamba juice. and cafe rio. of course.
phew. if you read that and understood any of it. you best leave a comment, lovers.


Thinking of you.

I already miss Madi's abrupt laugh when she cracks herself up.
I already miss Tiana's squeezes where she burys her head in my shoulder.
I already miss the delightful voice my dad uses to speak to my puppy.
I already miss how my mom makes every excuse to plan a lunch date with me.
I already miss the way Janae ends every sentence with, "sooo...".
I'm going to miss seeing Quincy's brace-free stunner smile.
I'm going to miss Harrison's voice changing octaves, and his awkward stage.
I already miss cousin hugs with Keen, Mad, and Chy.
I already miss Cafe Rio dates with Lace, Kace, and Jaz.
I already miss the hugs from every young man.
I going to miss speaking English.
I'm going to miss my puppy following me around the house all day.
I already miss talking like Craig with Nico.
I already miss talking like the Target lady with Carlie.
I already miss having the hot sun beat down on me.
I'm going to miss getting early (by my def.) morning calls from Trevor.
I'm going to miss seeing all my friends get married.
I'm going to miss seeing my best friends have little ones.
I already miss telling Madi every single thing.
I already miss not having to be in a chair all day.
I already miss Christmas music.
I'm definitely going to miss everything about my current life.
But I'm more than ready to start this next adventure in my life.
Let's get this thing started already.
Less than a month.


Just a snapshot.

This is just for me. I'm not going to convince you to click "Play". Sometimes I like having a snapshot of my exact feelings, which is why I blog, journal, etc.
This beautiful video is that snapshot for this moment in time.

--hugs and loves,


OH the irony...

March of 2011, I wrote this short blog entry.


Go ahead, click on it.

The last line? It's like I KNEW.

March of 2011, I also wrote a journal entry,

"Next summer, I just know that I'm going to go to Europe. I just know it."

So great. I love it.

kate. europe. 2012. 


There are certain things in life that you anticipate for years. They often don't go as planned, or they pleasantly surprise you. Young girls fantasize about their first date, first kiss, first time falling in love, and their future husbands. 

My first date was with a boy that I had a crush on for 6 months, and due to a missed curfew, my dad forbade me to ever go on a date with him again.

My first kiss definitely did not happen the way I thought it would, or with the person I thought it would happen with.

The first time I thought I was falling in love, I had to say goodbye the same day. We haven't seen each other since.

The day I heard "I love you" for the first time, was the day he broke my heart.

And the first boy I thought would be my future husband, is now happily married.

None of these scenarios went the way I was expecting.
Often, girls dream of these experiences coming from the same boy. Our grandparents have romantic stories that happened that way, but if you're like me, they all came from separate young men.

Our expectations can lead to heartache, and heart break, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. Each person comes into our life for a reason to teach us how to cope with certain things, and to teach us that we have the capacity to love a variety of people. I don't feel like I've missed out on any experiences, and I don't feel like I've waited too long. If anything, I'm so grateful that I've been able to be influenced by so many different people. It has stretched me, humbled me, strengthened me, and lifted me up. 

In this particular culture, it isn't unheard of - or even surprising - for young girls to venture off to college and meet the love of their life within minutes of arriving on University soil. In fact, it happens so often, people don't think twice about it. I have absolutely no problem with anyone who's ever done that, and I'm happy that those people have been able to find their eternal companion. However, I'm so glad that I've had to wait a little longer for that to happen. I definitely wouldn't be half the person I am today if I didn't have those experiences. I've matured emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. When I was a freshman in college I was immature, impulsive, abrasive, judgmental, overly-sensitive, and impatient. Someone would've been in for a rough surprise if they had asked for my hand in marriage at 18 years old. 

I don't pretend that I'm some expert on love. In fact, I'm much more inexperienced in the Love Department than my fellow 21-year-olds. I'm not ashamed of this in the least bit. I'm actually pretty okay with it. I've known for years that I was going to be a late-bloomer in this area of my life, and haven't had a problem with it so far. I don't base my self-worth on having a boyfriend, or a husband, or something close to that. The quote, "If you're not happy without it, you'll never be happy with it" has always applied to this subject for me.

There have been a few personal questions directed toward me about this topic, and I've had it on my mind for some time now. Hence why I'm writing on it. I feel like I've been able to give valuable advice to people close to me regarding relationships, only because I've been through a spectrum of unique situations throughout the years. 

I never expected to feel such a deep love for so many different types of men. When I was 17, I thought I knew for sure who I was going to end up with. For quite some time I refused to open my heart up to anyone else. That ended well. It taught me that even when we THINK we know what's best for us....we really have no idea. 

Someone once described life as a big puzzle, without having the picture on the box cover. The Lord only shows us a corner of the puzzle at a time, and we're so busy finding the pieces to that small aspect of the puzzle. Even when we think we know what the rest of the puzzle looks like in the beginning, it turns out to be something completely different than what we were expecting. We couldn't see the big picture. 
It never ceases to blow my mind how things turn out in life.

Is there a point to any of this? Probably. 

I just wanted to make it clear that life never goes as expected. Between the agency you have, and the agency of others, life's a mystery. It will always be a surprise. I'm more than grateful for that. Sometimes life is difficult, and people break your heart. Sometimes you get your hopes up, and your expectations are high...and the disappointment sets in. 

But time always has a way of moving forward. 

I can't tell you how happy I am with the way things HAVEN'T turned out in that aspect. I get to be a missionary for my Father in Heaven, and I get to meet so many people that will fill my heart with joy and glory. The Lord is watching out for each of us. He loves us. He knows what will make us the BEST possible person in the world. Never doubt that He's on our side, and wants to place opportunities and even heart break in our paths so we can grow and come closer to Him. The Lord will always hold our hearts and lift our burdens if we go to Him. Always have faith in that beautiful truth.

I love my Savior, and I love the life He has given me. I could never thank Him enough. 

"Come what may, and love it."



Myth vs Fact

Myth: Future sister missionaries no longer have no feelings for boys.
Fact: Um. Yes, yes we do.
Myth: Boys steer clear of girls with mission calls
Fact: Um, no. No they don't.
Myth: If you are female, 21, and unmarried, you should serve a mission.
Fact: If you are female, 21, and unmarried, cool. Doesn't mean you should serve one.
Myth: Time flies with a mission call.
Fact: Actually, it's dragging on. Like, a lot.
Myth: "I WANT to serve a mission, but I just haven't felt the NEED to."
Fact: "If ye have a desire, ye are called to serve."
Myth: All sister missionaries are the same-- emotional, distracted, unmotivated girls who couldn't get married.
Fact: I can tell you right now, anyone who says that is ignorant. I want to get so upset when any returned missionary bashes on sisters.
Myth: I totally am learning Ukrainian.
Fact: Heaven help me. Небесний Отець (pronounced)= Nebesnyy Otets' = Heavenly Father.

I'm learning that saying goodbye to people physically is not going to be the hardest thing. I'm coming to terms with it, at least.
But saying goodbye to those that know things will be different--that's the real challenge.
Sometimes I wish life would be put on pause so my little heart doesn't ache this much. Life keeps moving forward though, and I'm more than excited to get out there and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
50 days and counting.

Ps. I'm going to miss these people.