I have been having these urges lately to write. Unfortunately, since coming home from my mission I have been slack as with keeping up on my journal! But there are just some days where I just wanna let my feelings flow. Have you ever experienced that?
So, here I am. I am going to try and convey my jumbled thoughts.
I can't believe it's been over a year and a half since I last wrote here. My, how time flies. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was anxiously awaiting my time to leave and serve my full-time mission in the Australia Perth Mission. I remember those feelings like it was yesterday! Here are a few I will share:
I had no idea what I was really getting myself into. Everyone who has
ever served a mission has said, "My mission is the hardest thing I have
ever had to do in my life! But it was so worth it." I was excited about the latter part,
but scared about the former. What did 'hard' consist of anyway?
I wondered if I was cut out for the whole sister missionary business.
I wondered if my testimony was strong enough or even if I was strong enough
to leave everything I knew behind and walk into the unknown. Would I be
able to answer the deepest questions of others' souls? Did I really have all
the answers because I have the Gospel?
Despite my moments of uncertainty, this experience was something I
sincerely wanted for myself.... I was anxious to go and help God's precious
children and to also grow myself.
I was anxious to be on my own and learn to become a little more independent
(let's be honest....I am a pretty big home-body and have
always heavily relied on my parents and their opinions or help).
I knew this would be something that would
change my life
completely, but for the best.
I was going to Australia! A place I had only ever dreamed to go.
I was going to be serving the Lord and I knew that my decision to go was a good one.
The right one.
The spirit worked with me, and even though I was scared outta my mind, I
knew that the Lord would be beside me and I trusted Him.
As I put my trust in the Lord, I came to realise how much He loved me.
(and still loves me!)
When I made the decision to go on a mission and potentially lose
my spots in the 2 nursing programs I was accepted to,
miracles began to happen. I began to truly believe that the Lord honestly cares
about what I care about, and He loves me wholly and wants
me to be happy. He has always wanted to bless me with my desires, but could only
do so when I put my trust in Him and let Him direct my paths.
I experienced these emotions over and over again while on my mission. Sometimes I experienced them myself, and other times I experienced them through those I taught. Time and time again I witnessed my investigators go through this same process, feeling:
Knowing little to nothing about the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints caused them fear of becoming a part of it let alone even
investigating it. They were almost always hesitant to take a step into the unknown.
Plus when they did decide to learn...they were scared of the changes
they were going to have to make.
Those I taught would always express how they didn't feel good enough
or worthy enough to: come to church, pray, get baptised, etc.
They didn't know if they were strong enough to give up their addictions
and continue to keep the commandments after baptism. They simply
didn't feel good enough.
Once they began to gain their own little testimony and experience bits of
the Gospel for themselves, they began wanting the blessings
of it in their own lives. They saw how it affected every aspect of their existence,
and they started to realise that this was going to change them
forever, for the best. They began to see that they could be good enough.
My investigators started to become excited as they were making changes and
progressing. They were headed in a direction that days, month, even
years ago they had only dreamed of heading! Even though at
times they didn't understand everything and were scared outta their minds, the
Spirit worked with them and helped them to continue on and put their
trust in the Lord.
Throughout the process they began to believe that the Lord loved them. No
matter what poor decisions they had made in their lives, the Lord
was merciful and He loved them, too.
He sincerely cared about what was important to them; He would
help them to realise that as they kept His commandments and
made the changes for good in their lives.
I see that this is a pattern that can frequently be seen throughout our lives in different situations. I am currently a nursing student in Southern Utah University's nursing program. It has been quite the ride! I have had these same feelings since being home and attending uni:
I am grateful that I have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life that helps to keep me grounded each day, no matter how I may be feeling. It can always point me back to where I should be and pushes me to be better.
I am again anxiously awaiting to go (back) to Perth, Australia. My mum and I get to take a 2 week holiday there for the sealing of a very special family. I am so grateful that I chose to serve a mission and for the people I got to meet while doing so. I am grateful for the deeper understanding I gained and that I continue to gain each day as I try my best to follow Christ. I am grateful that I know I'm not perfect, and that right now: I'm NOT supposed to be! Whenever I am scared or feeling inadequate and I fall, I am grateful that I can still feel the love of my Saviour, Jesus Christ, who always has He hand reaching out waiting for me to be brave and take it again.
This life is never easy. Christ never said it would be easy...... but He has always said it will be worth it.
I anxiously await the day that I get to meet Him again.
And I know that He is anxiously awaiting to meet me, too.