Dear Senior Girls…You Don’t Have To Serve A Mission

I was a sophomore in high school when our leader and prophet President Thomas S. Monson stood at the pulpit during General Conference and announced that the age was changing for young men and women to serve missions. I distinctly remember hearing the news, texting all of my friends, and feeling excitement and anxiety at the fact that I could have a mission call by the end of my senior year. It felt so surreal.

The announcement came with a flood of excitement from all of my friends. I went to a high school with a super high Mormon population, so everyone was constantly talking about “the age change.” From that day forward, a common topic of conversation was whether or not you were going to go on a mission.

It was a weird position to be in. The guys I was friends with were leaving a whole year earlier than they could before, and girls who probably wouldn’t have thought about serving had a very real decision to make. I had friends all around me who were praying and pondering about whether to serve a mission, and they were getting solid answers. I, on the other hand, would occasionally half-heartedly pray about whether I should go because, in all honesty, I was terrified that my answer would be “yes.”

It’s not that I didn’t want to go and serve my Savior. I love and believe in Him with my whole heart, and if He would have told me to go, I would have served in a heartbeat. The problem was that I felt uneasy, and with most of my friends preparing and planning to go, I felt serious outside pressure to start my papers.

Every time I thought about serving a mission, my stomach tied in knots. I felt so guilty for feeling that way — after all, we’re commanded to give our hearts and service to the Lord. I felt selfish, and there were times when I felt I wasn’t as adequate as some of my friends who were fearlessly moving forward with their decision to serve for a year and a half.

At this point, I was approaching my senior year. I knew I needed to sincerely kneel and pray to figure out if I should serve, but I was still terrified of that “yes.” After months of anxiety, stomach knots, and gentle promptings to “just pray about it already,” I humbled myself and said a simple, sincere prayer to know whether I should serve an 18-month mission.

I felt relief after I prayed, but my answer still wasn’t quite clear. I went about my life, and my amazing bishop counseled me to prepare to serve, even if I didn’t end up actually going on a mission. This gave me so much peace because I knew I would be prepared if I eventually did get that “yes.”

A few weeks passed, and I was reading my scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants. I stumbled across Doctrine and Covenants 11:15-17 and it says:

“Behold, I command you that you need not suppose that you are called to preach until you are called. 

Wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know a surety of my doctrine. 

And then, behold, according to your desires, yea, even according to your faith shall it be done unto you.”

I still get teary-eyed when I read those passages in my high school scriptures. Underneath the verses, I wrote, “Mission?” When I read those words as a scared 18-year-old, I felt peace. I knew that the decision was mine to make and that if I waited a little longer, I would know what I needed to do.

About four months later, I met and fell head over heels for a returned missionary, and I knew that my mission at the time was to marry him and spread light right where I was. I felt peace in knowing that I didn’t have to embark on an 18-month mission to be a missionary, and I was thrilled to finally have my answer.

I am forever grateful that I found my answer for myself and that I didn’t give into the outside pressure to go on a mission. For you high school girls trying to make this difficult decision, the choice is between YOU and the Lord. It’s no one else’s choice to make, and if you sincerely pray you WILL know what to do. He may or may not tell you not to go on a mission, and He may or may not tell you to get married. He might just tell you to stay right where you are, and that’s perfectly fine because it’s the Lord’s plan for you. If you sincerely ask and listen for your answer, you will know and be guided to where you need to be.

As I considered my options during my high school years, I came to realize one important truth — and it’s that the most important thing you can do is get to the temple. The temple brings incredible peace and comfort whether or not you’re serving a mission, and the blessings you receive from it will help you in every aspect of your life.

If you decide to serve, that is truly incredible. You’re changing lives, and serving the Lord is what we were put on this earth to do. Missionary work is a sacred responsibility that helps the church to grow. Bringing people into the gospel and giving them the knowledge of eternal life and family is absolutely priceless.

However, if you decide not to serve, you are NOT less of a person. You’re still incredible, and you can still do amazing things right where you are. Share your light and love with all you come in contact with — after all, we’re all here to share the happiness the gospel brings, whether or not we’re wearing a name badge. As long as you’re living the gospel, doing the things you’re supposed to, and keeping the Lord close, you’ll be led to where you need to be. Whether your answer is a “yes” or “no,” never forget that your answer came from the Lord, and He has a divine plan specifically for you.

 

When One Door Closes…

Being a 21-year-old girl married to a 24-year-old boy has its perks. We have tons of fun, we’re super in love, and we have a whole life ahead of us. But at the same time, it’s a little rough trying to navigate through this beautiful life we’re building. We’re in an awkward in-between stage where we know exactly what we want our future to look like, but we’ve quickly come to understand that nothing goes as planned.

When Karter and I got married, we had our future set. Karter was going to dental school, and he was taking the prerequisite classes needed to get there. He studied for hours on end, but his grades weren’t great — and lo and behold, he decided to switch his major along with half of his classmates. I worked in admissions in college, so I knew it was super typical for students to switch majors at least once, usually two or three times. Karter has a lovely, outgoing personality, and we decided together that professional sales was where he would thrive. We started to get excited. We decided he was going to sell medical devices and it would be exactly where he needed to be.

Fast forward to Summer of 2017, and Karter got his first sales internship. I bought him a bunch of darling business outfits from J. Crew and sent him off on his first day of work. From that very first day, we both felt like something was off. By the end of the summer, Karter absolutely hated the sales world, and we had no idea what was next in our future.

It was a very difficult, scary time for us, and we had to rely heavily on prayer, inspiration, and the support of our loved ones. I remember the day in October when Karter and I were sitting on the couch having a normal night, when he looked at me and said, “I want to be a doctor.” My heart sank. He was two semesters away from finishing his sales degree, we were so close to starting our life and our careers, and the possibility of a family wasn’t too far off. I immediately started to cry. I felt so many emotions, including fear and stress, but the most prominent feeling was peace. I knew it would be a long road and that we would have to sacrifice a lot, but deep down, I knew it was the right thing for him to do. After a lot of thought, prayer, and research, Karter marched into his academic advisor and changed his major once again.

I’m so proud of him for everything he has already accomplished. He’ll still graduate with a sales degree, but he’s working through the prerequisites he needs to apply to medical school. He’s so excited, and even though it hasn’t been easy all the time, we know everything will work out because we have the Lord on our side.

I want this corner of my blog to be dedicated to all wives who have husbands trying to get into med school, dental school, grad school, law school, or any other type of post-graduate education that causes a ton of stress. It’s a big deal, and no one can truly understand it unless they’re going through it or have been through it. It can feel lonely at times, so I’ll be writing about the heartaches, victories, and unexpected bumps in the road. No one should have to do this alone, so hopefully someone can find these posts and feel peace that everything will be okay. Here’s to the long, scary, exciting, and beautiful road ahead.

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Christmas is coming!!! I absolutely love the holiday season. There’s something so special about this time of year, and it’s such a magical time to spend with loved ones. One of my favorite holiday traditions is visiting Disneyland with my whole family! We’ve been going for as long as I can remember around Thanksgiving time, and it’s seriously the best.

Because we’ve been so many times, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that might help you out on your next Disney holiday adventure. I’ll probably write a lot of posts like this (because one post would be waaaaaay too long), so these are only a few of the best pieces of advice I have for you:

1. Use the MaxPass — it’s seriously worth it 

Disney MaxPass is possibly the best thing to ever happen to Disneyland (okay that might be a little extreme but hear me out). With the Disneyland app and MaxPass, you can scan your park hoppers or annual passes (we had all seven of ours on one phone), get FASTPASSES from anywhere inside the two parks (Disneyland and California Adventure), and you get unlimited Photopass downloads. Oh, and it’s only $10 extra per ticket, per day (or a one time $75 fee for annual passes). I promise it’s worth every penny, especially during the holidays when every ride has a super long wait time.

2. Stay until midnight 

It seems like everyone and their dog are at Disneyland in November and December, which means the parks are usually open a little later than normal. When we went the week of Thanksgiving, it was open until midnight every night. We were definitely tired at the end of the day, but the park practically clears out after the fireworks show at 9:30. You get two hours of empty lines, awesome photo opportunities, and a lifetime of memories. So no matter how tired you are and how bad your feet hurt, just hold out until the end of the day. You’ll walk on every ride and it’ll be so worth it!

3. Watch the seasonal shows

World of Color Season of Light, Believe … in Holiday Magic fireworks show, and the Christmas Fantasy parade are all absolutely incredible, and you definitely won’t want to miss them. They’ll put you right in the holiday spirit, and you can’t see them any other time of the year! If you want an awesome view of World of Color, go stand in the wet zone. You might get a little mist, but you’ll have an unobstructed view of the most spectacular water show in the world. If you want a life-changing view of the fireworks, hop on the Storybook ride right before the show starts. The tour guides have to stop the boats when the fireworks start, and you’ll see the show right in between the castle and It’s a Small World. I definitely cried, and it was so magical.

These are just a few of my favorite Disneyland tips, and I’ll be posting more soon. If you go on a Disney trip and use any of these tips, I would love to know! And I’m always open to hearing your favorite tips too, so let me in on all your Disney secrets in the comments!

A little about me…

Hey everyone! My name is Lindsey Chisholm, and I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a firm believer that Disneyland truly is the happiest place on earth, anyone can pull off whatever look they want, and you can find happiness and light, even in the very darkest times. This blog is a positive space, and I want you to come here and leave happier than you were before. So follow along if you would like, and feel free to direct message me at any time with questions, concerns, suggestions, or even just to chat. We’re all friends here! Happy reading!