As a 19-year-old sophomore at Brigham Young University, I roomed with a group of strong, intelligent women. We had watched virtually the entire male half of our freshman cohort leave to serve as Mormon missionaries. We women had the same ambition — most of us had plans to serve a mission — but because it wasn’t our time, we saw the world a different way. We took off to study abroad: in the Middle East, England, Mexico and Russia.
In that group of 12 women, nearly all of us studied in a foreign country, but only one of us made it on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it wasn't me, even though I had worn future-missionary as a title since I was 8 years old. Life circumstances took me on a different course.
But I would have served, and so would most of that sophomore group, if we could have gone at 19.