I wish I could say that this summer of preparing to serve has been the best and happiest time of my life and that it has been full of excitement and anticipation. However, if I were to say that, I would be lying. I have felt every single kind of emotion that you could ever imagine. Mainly though, I have been feeling a lot of doubt. "What if I am making the wrong choice?".... "What if I get there and I hate it?"..."What if I am bad at it?" and the "what if's" just came tumbling out. Unfortunately, I think a lot of my worry has made me feel more secluded and lonely than I need to be. I have pushing away the people that I love because of how anxious I have been feeling. Everything from clothes to learning Spanish has been stressing me out and making me cranky. I have felt so confused and frustrated! Why wasn't I happy? What was I doing wrong? Tonight a prayer of mine has been answered. I have been yearning for someone, anyone to tell me that they had felt the same way. I just needed someone to tell me that I am not crazy for feeling this way! That it was normal. Well, just like I wrote about in a previous post. God. does. answer. prayers.
Tonight a sister who used to serve in our ward, named Sister Dodds came back to visit my family and I. Honestly, I expected a low key evening not an answered prayer. As we were busy making food, she simply asked "So are you nervous?". I took a deep breath and thought, should I respond honestly or should I just say that I am so excited?. Within an instant I heard myself say, "Ya I am really nervous." Did I just admit to that? Yes, the answer is yes I did. She then asked, "What are you most nervous about?" to which I replied, "I am so scared that I am making the wrong choice. I mean I got my answer and I felt strongly that I needed to go but what if I am wrong? What if I am messing up my whole life by going?". The advice that she gave me will probably stick with me for the entirety of my mission.
The first thing that she pointed out was that Satan knows which one of us he needs to work on. He knows who is going to change the most on a mission and who is going to change people's lives the most. The fact that I am feeling down in the dumps and very discouraged is because he knows that I am supposed to be there and that I am going to do great things. That fact makes him so angry and so he is working as hard and as fast as he can to change my mind and give up! I can't give him the satisfaction of throwing in the towel! She then went through some statistics at me which go as follows: the earth has about 7 billion people on it, members of the church are a small 15 million percent. About half of the membership is active, meaning they attend at least two sacrament meetings a month. Out of the half a million, 10% pay a full tithe and therefore 10% are worthy to enter the temple. Out of the ten percent about 8,000 are missionaries. About half of those are consecrated and are focused on their mission. She then said, you are part of that small percentage and that makes Satan worried. He doesn't want you to be successful, he wants you to quit. This hit me SO hard! I wasn't weird to have worries about serving, that is simply Satan holding tightly onto me and trying to drag me down! The relief that I felt was so incredibly strong. I was on the right path. God had heard my unsung prayer. To end what she was saying Sister Dodds said that in the pre-earth life we were each handed a mission call, so to speak, for life. There were some of us who were so happy to receive on that said we were going to be in a family that belonged to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Others, however, wept as they read that they were going to grow up without the gospel and struggle without knowledge. As they kept reading they came across the name of a person who would bring to them the gospel. They ran to the missionary and pleaded for them to stay faithful and to listen to the spirit and to find them. We promised that we would do those things. We have to stay true to that promise. We have to find those who need us and who are yearning for our love.
I know that I am supposed to serve and that as we put faith before fear miracles happen. I know that God does care. He wants us to be happy. I know that happiness is found through service to others. I want to find my brothers and sisters that I promised to find and I want to offer to them the truthfulness of the gospel. I love them. Please remember, God does hear your hearts pleas and he will comfort them.