Sunday, June 9, 2013

What you didn't know!

So... I think I have struck a nerve. What do you think?

Anyway, I thought a follow-up post might be appropriate.

While I have very strong opinions about dating, engagements, and missions, there are some things that you may not have known, so let me enlighten you.

Are you sitting? Because this first item may be surprising to you!

Guess who dated a guy before his mission and wrote him the WHOLE 2 years?!?!?

In fact we dated a whole year before he left and we had every intention of getting married when he returned from serving his full time mission. He left in May 2011 to serve the Lord in Ethiopia.

                                                     (me and him going to a dance before he left)

And that's what he did, he served the Lord! Although we had strong feelings for one another while he was gone he was never "MY MISSIONARY." He was the Lords missionary. And he was not my boyfriend either, he was my friend, my best friend who was serving a mission for the Lord.

                                         (He is the really crouched one if you couldn't tell)

Before he left we had a serious discussion about us and our relationship. We decided to just be friends, because there was not really another option. He told me he expected me to go on dates with other guys, to hold other guys' hands, and he said, "let's face it, I think your pretty, and if I think your pretty some other guy will, too, and he will probably want to kiss you." He told me that he didn't expect me to be a nun for two years; he wanted me to learn and grow and really discover what I wanted in a spouse.

... any who... I wrote him every week - I believe I can count on one hand how many times I didn't write him an e-mail on a Sunday night, and those times were usually due to travels (I competed for a college debate team, and we traveled a lot for competitions!).

He wrote me back, and yes our letters did include the words "I love you" because we did love each other. I never told him how much I missed him, and I tried not to be distracting.

Just because a girl writes a missionary does not automatically make her distracting. However, in my last post I was addressing girls who I have watched with my own two eyes be distracting. If you don't know me in person I probably was not calling you out, but if you feel guilty because of my post, maybe it's time for a self-evaluation. (In specific I was calling-out a friend who sent her friend a package to celebrate their one year anniversary of dating.)

But back to my story. Standing at the beginning of the two years we thought if we were diligent then the Lord would bless us, and the relationship would work out.

We were blessed!
But we changed.
We grew up.

We didn't even necessarily grow apart, we just became two different people than the people we were two years ago. It was not a bad thing, either.

I decided to serve a mission because the Lord prompted me to. I know that it is ABSOLUTELY the BEST thing I could be doing in my life right now, and the Lord is so pleased with my decision.

We talked and realized that we had changed, for the better, and decided that when I return home, if he is not dating anyone, then we can go on a few dates and identify where to go from there.

We try to be realistic about our future together. Maybe we will end up together, maybe not, and I'm ok with that.

SOOO... I'd like to thank you for the comments and views on my page, I had an overwhelming amount of feedback, and I believe it was all valuable. But hopefully now you see I am not trying to be biased in my views. I have experienced both sides and believe I can see the pros and cons of each. I hope this has been enlightening, and enjoyable.

So for those of you who have missionary boyfriends, my plea is for you to be open minded and realistic!

Trust in the Lord and his timing!

Know that it is called the plan of happiness, and you will be happy with whom you end up with, whether it be the guy on a mission, or someone you have not even met yet!

Good luck!
Afton Michelle

p.s. Everyone is different, every relationship is different, I probably don't know you and your situation, but I do know the gospel is true and THE LORD LOVES YOU!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

So I'm going on a mission...

After hearing those words most guys these days are rolling their eyes.
Ok yes I know it may seem like everyone and their dogs are going on missions, but hey, at least the word of God is spreading rapidly!

Truth is... I'm going on a mission!

No, I'm not going because I can't get a boyfriend.
No, I'm not going because I don't want to go to school.
No, I'm not going because all of my friends are going.

Yes, I am going because I KNOW it is the right thing for me to do with my life right now! :)

But since I have uttered these words things seem to be a bit different in my life....

For starters I have noticed a TON more of way cute guys!

But once I tell these cute guys that I'm going on a mission I suddenly receive a really short hair cut and change genders. I become one of the guys, not that guys are bad or anything, it's just that I'm kind of a girl if they didn't notice, and I still like going on dates and getting to know guys.

If that doesn't happen, I just become invisible all together.

But now we get to the part of this post where I decide to stand on my soap box about dating and engagements, and of all things missions!

1. DO NOT call him or her YOUR MISSIONARY!!!!!!!
They are not out there serving you, they are the Lords missionary, and that is who they are serving! They for the duration of their missions are your friend, nothing more, nothing less. Which leads me to...

2. YOU are NOT ENGAGED and on a MISSION!!!!
I think the first presidency would have a heart attack if they heard this, I'm sure even stake presidents would have heart attacks if they heard this!!!!
If you are engaged, get married. As women we have the obligation to begin families if the opportunity presents itself. A mission is not a saving ordinance, Marriage is. Missions are not bad, but if you are engaged and really think that you will end up with that person, just get married and begin that eternal mission together, if not then c'est la vie.

3. 3%
That is the percentage of couples who write each other through the mission and get married. I know it sounds like a nice happy dream fantasy land, but that's all it is. This does not mean that your feelings right now are not real for each other, they are real, but let's be more realistic.

If you are reminding a missionary of you, and how much you miss them all the time that takes their focus off the Lord and what they are out there to really do. If you guys are supposed to be together it will happen, don't force it!

5. Don't post it on Facebook
Yay you have dated the guy for a long time and you are so happy, don't put it on Facebook. Write it in your journal. He broke your heart, write it in your journal. Facebook does NOT equal Journal. Sorry if that is too blunt for you, but think about if it doesn't work out, you don't want to see all those post later down the road.

6. For the Guys
You can still take out girls on dates even though they are going on missions. Think about what if you guys are really supposed to end up together and you are going to receive this revelation on that date, but you didn't because you thought it was a waste of time and money.... shame.

Ok enough ranting, now for a few interesting statistics about marriage and missions!

So you may know that the divorce rate in America is right around 50%. Then you may think... I'm LDS, we believe in eternal marriages, so the divorce rate must be less among the LDS community, right? WRONG, it's actually the same 50%. SO now you may be in shock... breathe because I have another shocker. The divorce rate among men and women who have both served full time LDS missions is... 2%. So if you are afraid of the possibility of getting a divorce in your life time serve a mission, and marry someone who has as well.

- Side note, all the boys who are belly aching that all the girls are leaving them, just think of all the future prospects in about a year from now. Your chances of divorce are less, and happy eternal marriages will thrive longer!!!

But really think about it, missions teach you how to work with a companion, and the Lord. IT'S PERFECT MARRIAGE PREP!

So now you can be happy that more girls are going on missions and such!
Good luck!

Afton Michelle

oh, p.s. I'm sorry if I offended you in any way, it's just my personal opinions and you don't have to agree with them.

P.P.S Check out the next post  What you didn't know, for more info!