I’ve always tried to have a clear and stable plan about my future. I guess I imagined the “perfect” future for myself – that I would go to university, study hard, graduate from university in 2016, get an internship, travel, work and have a family.
Deciding to serve a mission was definitely a big change of plan for me and there were a LOT doubts and uncertainties along the way. Major aspects of my life were about to change including relationships, education, financial support and most importantly, my purpose; and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to face it all.
To be honest, the things that worried me the most were temporal matters. I was fortunate enough to receive The University of Auckland Scholarship, which has supported me financially for the first two years of my university education. However now that I am going on a mission, I will be foregoing the last year of my scholarship. The thought of not having that source of financial support when I come back off my mission really freaks me out.
Also because I was saving up for my mission this year, it means I will have to work a lot more to be able to support myself when I come back. And I guess the fact that I will be coming back a week before Semester Two 2017 starts is even more scary because I have absolutely no idea where I’m going to live in Auckland or how I’m even going to afford to live in Auckland when I come back.. 😮
Midst all of these feelings of doubt and uncertainty, one of the most important things I personally learnt this year is reconising the Spirit and the feeling of peace after receiving an answer. Even after I received my answer about serving a mission from the Lord, I would still doubt myself and doubt the answer I received. But whenever I start freaking myself out, something would ALWAYS happen that would remind me of the feelings of peace I felt that night. I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk blindly without having the answer from the Lord; an iron rod that I can hold onto.
In Elder Martino’s talk ‘Turn to Him and Answers Will Come’ in the last October General Conference, he says “If you have been tempted to murmur, if you have had doubt that leads to unbelief, if trials seem more than you can bear, turn to Him… If you are one who has turned away or rationalized your behavior, turn to Him. Can you remember when He did “speak peace to your mind? What greater witness can you have than from God?””
I have a very simple but firm testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. As promised in 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.”
I know that turning to God and putting our trust in Him can change us. As we act in faith through scripture study and learning from trials; and ask in faith through sincere prayer, believing that we will receive – we will receive so much guidance and love from our Heavenly Father.
Even though, I don’t know the exact details of how my future is going to roll out, I’m putting my trust in the Lord and his plan for me. My purpose for the next 18 months isn’t all about myself anymore. It’s about serving the Lord, serving others and learning from those experiences. I’m going to work hard and be the BEST missionary I can be and I know that as I do this, the Lord will allow me to achieve my full potential both temporally and spiritually.