My decision to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wasn’t exactly the easiest one to make. To be honest, it was probably one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make.
Up to this stage in my life, I’ve always had my family and friends to help me make all of the “big decisions”. However, this particular decision was a bit different. I had to figure it out myself whether I was going to serve a full-time mission. I’ve always admired and respected the missionaries growing up, and I’ve always had a desire to serve, but I just didn’t know if it was the right thing for me given the situation I was in.
So many people wanted to have a say in what they thought I should do. “You should definitely go on your mission”, “nahh, girls don’t need to go on a mission” or “you should stay and finish your education first”. Even though I know that everyone was only trying to help, I felt overwhelmed and lost with all of these different opinions coming in my direction.
Looking back now, I am grateful for their suggestions because they helped me to realise that this is a decision I had to make on my own. And I realised that the only way I could do this was to receive an answer from the Lord.
With this knowledge, I continued to do the most important things everyday – scripture study and prayer. My scripture study became more meaningful, and prayers became more sincere and desperate.
In 1 Nephi chapter 15, when Laman and Lemuel are having trouble understanding their father’s dreams – Nephi asks them “Have ye inquired of the Lord?” And their response was: “We have not, for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.
Then Nephi reminds them, “How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts? Do you not remember the things, which the Lord hath said? – If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye will receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.”
Everyday, as Nephi suggested, I inquired of the Lord to help me to know what I should do… but no answer came. I genuinely thought I was doing everything that I should be doing; yet, I was still totally confused. I continued to seek advice from family and friends, but I really needed to find out for myself.
After months of pondering and and feeling completely lost, I felt prompted to ask Dad for a priesthood blessing to help me with my decision.
When I asked him, he suggested that we should pray and read my patriarchal blessing together as a family first. As I was reading it out loud, three parts in my patriarchal blessing that never really had a special meaning to me stood out to me so clearly and stuck in my heart. I felt overpowered with the Holy Ghost and the love of my Heavenly Father. I could see this little glimpse of how I could be an instrument of the Lord and help all these people as a missionary. And I knew without a doubt that this was my answer.
I know that Heavenly Father took his time to give me a full answer – because I needed that time to prepare to receive that answer. Even though it was super hard at the time, it gave me time to search the scriptures, to soften my heart and really gain a stronger desire to receive this revelation.
3 Nephi 27:29 Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
Moroni 10:7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.