For the last six short months, I served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Washington Everett Mission with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. I dearly and deeply loved each and every moment. My mission was the hardest thing that I have ever done and I couldn’t ask for it any other way. I learned more in those 6 months about myself, my relationship with the savior, how to work hard and leave it all on the field than I ever have. I wouldn’t change one moment, one person, one companion, one lesson for the world or anything it could offer. My mission was perfect. I dearly loved it with a part of my soul that I did not knew existed and Washington will always have a special part in my heart that can never be filled.
When I had been out for 2 and a half, 3 months, I got sick. I pressed forward, determined to serve God as hard as I could, sick or not. The symptoms continued to get worse and worse. For 3 additional months, I did everything I could to stay healthy and to stay out in the field because I loved it so much. The symptoms continued to worsen and worsen despite medication and various treatment. Ultimately, I met with my mission president and together with my home stake president, we reached a decision that it would be best for me to come back and receive more direct medical attention and recover from the illness.
I would love to say that I got home and got better. That was the original plan. However, I have not. I have been discouraged and disheartened because I thought that I had the faith to be healed and if I would show God that faith by working with every ounce of energy and effort I had, I would be healed in the mission. I would recover and be able to continue my service.
What I have come to learn since that day is this trial of my faith was not to prove to God that I had the faith to be healed. I know God can and would heal me in a moment and I have faith that he could, but the real trial of my faith was to prove that I would submit to the will of the father, no matter what. It would be too simple to be healed. I need to show God that I will follow him regardless of the blessings that naturally come. My obedience has to be more than a “bank account transaction.” It is because I love God that I follow him. I love him and so I will continue to serve him.
Before I left, my mission president showed me a scripture that has carried me through the last month of my life. It reads “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.” I know that I served with all my might and all that I had. I ceased not my diligence. I tried as hard as I could to offer my sacrifice to the Lord and ultimately he had another plan for me.
Later in this same section I found another scripture that has brought so much peace to my soul concerning the plan that God has for me. “And again, verily I say unto you, I command you again to build a house to my name, even in this place, that you may prove yourselves unto me that ye are faithful in all things whatsoever I command you, that I may bless you, and crown you with honor, immortality, and eternal life.” I have been called yet again to serve God, in THIS place, in Tomball, Texas. I will build up a house unto him to prove my faithfulness and to serve him because I love my Heavenly Father.
I know that God is aware of me. Everyday, I see this in ways that can’t even be described. I know that he wants me to be stronger and to grow spiritually. This experience has made me strong in ways that I would have never believed before this and I couldn’t be more grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves me and esteems me high enough to try my faith. Thank you for the support that I have received since I have been home from community members, church friends, and all others.