"No. Not right now. Maybe later?"
That is the polite answer I have had to formulate after being asked THE question hundreds of times. The conversation usually goes like this:
Stranger: "Isn't the age change great! Are you going on a mission?'
Me: "No, not right now, Maybe later."
Stranger: "Are you not 19 yet?"
Me: "No. I've actually been 21 for almost a year now. So the age change doesn't really affect me."
Stranger: " Oh. Well, are you dating someone then?"
Me: "No. I'm single."
Stranger: "Do you still have a lot of school left then?"
Me: "Not really. I'm graduating this year."
Stranger: "Why aren't you going on a mission?"
And then we do the same pony song and dance again.
Listen, I am fully supportive about the missionary age change. I think it is great. For the men I think that it will allow for more of them to focus their priorities and for the women I think it is a great opportunity for those girls to go out and serve knowing that it is something that they have always wanted to do. In the end I think more sheep won't be lost because of it. Member and investigator alike.
However, I feel like now a days if you are of age, single, and not in a serious commitment like school then people look at you like you should have no other option but to go on a mission. It has become somewhat of a fad to put in your papers since the age change. But hey, at least the work is progressing.
My best friend, Sarah Singleton is currently serving in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania mission. I couldn't be more proud or happier for her. She is a great person and a fantastic missionary and is doing wonderful things for the Lord and for those in her area.
I've prayed about going on a mission. My answer was no, not yet. And I take comfort in that answer and the Lord's plan for me. A decision to go on an mission should not be taken lightly. And I haven't taken it lightly at all. So my answer is and will be for quite some time:
"No. Not right now. Maybe later."
Welcome to my life.