While listening to Conference Saturday morning, as President Monson began talking about the 18 year old missionaries currently serving I felt the anticipation I'm sure many felt, wondering what he was going to say, and when he started talking about changing the age to 18, the only thing on my mind was "WHAT IS HE GOING TO SAY ABOUT SISTERS!!!! GET TO THE PART ABOUT THE SISTERS!!!!" I was hardly listening to what he was talking about because I knew it was coming.
When he announced that the age of the sisters would be moved up to 19 years old I started sobbing. Imagine a crazy person....that was me. I couldn't even control myself. Hannah kept asking me what was wrong but I couldn't even catch my breath. I was so overcome and overwhelmed.
I was so GRATEFUL that they changed the missionary age for sisters. I've been DREAMING of my girls going on missions. It is one of my greatest desires for them. Had I not met my future husband at 19, and been married just months shy of my 21st birthday I am certain I would have served a mission. I always had it in the back of my mind, but it was always more "If I'm not married, or seriously dating someone then for sure I'll go on a mission." I remember dropping Sean off at the MTC and feeling a twinge of regret, having missed that opportunity to serve as a full time missionary in my youth. I encouraged several of my Young Women to serve missions if they had that opportunity. One of the girls even said that I put it in her mind to serve when I said "If I could do my life over again and end up in the same place I am now I would have served a mission." She just got called to Romania.
This changes everything. It changes the whole mindset of the sisters. It changes the mindset of parents. I can't believe the instant responsibility I felt to begin saving and planning and preparing my girls to serve. I've spent several hours contemplating the implications of this change. It almost feels like an equal opportunity now. Sure, there has always been the opportunity to serve, but how would missionary service had been affected had it been reversed, that the sisters leave at 19 and the elders leave at 21? I am so, so grateful for this change. I can't say it enough.
Now, this doesn't mean that my daughters will serve. I realize that. I realize that it will be up to them whether or not they chose to pursue a missionary calling. I do however want to do everything in my power to encourage and prepare, not only for a mission but for the temple. So now while I save money for my children's futures I'll add that to the College/Mission/Wedding fund (yeah, being a mom of a girl just got more expensive lol).