Thursday, July 30, 2015

How It All Started...

Hey homies, it's Cassandra!
And I will soon be known to many strangers only as Sister Boyce!!

In just 30 days, I will be leaving Boston, where I've lived for the past 15 years, to serve an 18 month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been called to serve in the Idaho Twin Falls Mission, which is 2,518 miles away from my current home. I will be representing Jesus Christ for a year and a half, and honestly couldn't be more excited for this new chapter of my life!

Just 30 days
18 months
2,518 miles

Now, you might be asking yourself why on earth a 19 year old would leave her family and friends, sever all communication with them (besides the ancient practice of writing letters and weekly emails), put off schooling at a university she enjoyed maybe a little too much her first year, and live somewhere she's never even been, with people she's never met? Yeah I know. Sounds kind of crazy. But before you call me crazy, let me explain why I chose to serve a mission.

I always thought that I might serve a mission, but I became set on the idea about two years ago when attending a three week church history tour from Utah to Boston and back. We visited the church history sites, including the sacred sites in Palmyra, New York where the Restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began. The tour was also very missionary focused. Whenever we got off the bus (all 60 of the juniors and seniors on the tour), people would often ask us what we were doing and sometimes why we were out in the middle of nowhere. We had some amazing experiences where we were able to teach our beliefs to complete strangers that were looking for God but didn’t know where to find Him, some weren't even sure if God existed, but they had a desire to know.

I have never been happier than I was when on that tour. And almost everyone that knows me would say that I'm already a pretty happy person. Teaching those people and sharing what I believed with them filled me with pure joy. And not the kind of happiness that comes when you're hanging out with friends at a party or the happiness you feel opening presents on your birthday.  I'm talking pure joy; joy that doesn't come from the happiness of the world. The joy that I felt came from knowing that Jesus Christ lives and knows me personally. It came from living the way I know God wants me to live. And because I was living as God would have me live, I was given the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in meeting and teaching those people. I realized on that tour that I wanted to be able to help others come to know Christ personally as I do so that they can feel the same joy I felt.

After those three weeks, the thought of serving a mission turned to desire; a desire to serve and teach others so they can be as happy as I am. And I haven’t looked back since.