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THE MISSION QUESTION
The Christmas break gave me time to think about my future. I decided to step away from football and serve a two-year mission. It wasn’t a snap decision. I’d been mulling it over all semester. My father had served a mission after his freshman year at BYU, and I had always aspired to do the same. LaVell’s decision to make me into a defensive back spurred me to go sooner rather than later.
I completed the necessary paperwork and notified my bishop. The plan was set. I would leave in the spring, right after I completed my freshman year.
My parents were pleased. But as soon as I committed, I started to feel anxious. A mission is a great opportunity. But I knew myself too well. There was no way I’d survive being away for two years. The thought of total separation overwhelmed me. I didn’t understand the source of my fears. But I knew they were real.
There’s no way, I told myself. I’ll never make it.
I was barely hanging on at BYU. I was calling home a few times a week. The dresser drawers in my dorm room were empty because I never bothered to unpack for the entire fall semester.
The more I thought about a mission the sicker I became.