Dear Women of the 100 Hour Board Who Did Not Choose to Serve Missions,
All my life, I never felt like a mission was the right path for me. When Alta left on her mission, however, it spurred me to pray to get a more definite answer than just a vague feeling. After praying, I still felt like--while missions are wonderful opportunities--I shouldn't serve. Being the type of person who likes multiple confirmations that I'm doing the right thing, I prayed about this several other times, and each time the answer was no. So I haven't served a mission.
I had a desire to serve a mission once, so I started my papers. I very quickly felt like it was the wrong thing, so I stopped. Then I proceeded to have the best (most meaningful, heart-changing, inspiring, edifying, transforming - are there even words?) 18 months in the time I would have been serving a mission. During that time, I figured out a lot about my life's mission and started on a path that has been full of amazing confirmations that I am going in a good direction. I've never felt the same desire to serve a mission since.
Obviously I could have potentially learned the things I did in another way, or at a different time, but I really feel like my life unfolded in the best possible way. I am glad for the sake of all of the many profoundly life-changing experiences I have had since choosing not to submit my papers that I did not serve a mission. I hope that I can be of more service to God's children for it.
-Sheebs, who regrets nothing
To be honest, a mission has never appealed to me. I had a fairly strong testimony as a teenager, so when the age change happened I thought about it briefly, but quickly decided a mission wasn't for me.
The reason for that is largely because I'm not a particularly friendly person. The idea of knocking on a stranger's door and initiating any kind of conversation sounds terrible, let alone discussing doctrine and deep religious feelings. I don't like talking about my innermost feelings with anyone, and I consider religion a deeply personal thing. I've bared my testimony in Sacrament meeting exactly once in my life, and I'm not sure I'll ever do it again. I have great admiration for the people who are able to spend so many months serving missions, but I knew from a young age that I could never be one of them.