called to serve

four months ago i received a letter that changed my life.  no really.  i know i’m dramatic, but everything i do, everything i feel, everything i can even think about now is because of this letter.  to be honest, i got caught up in the hype of it all.  i mean, i had been waiting for this letter for seven months and i finally had it in my hands.  i’d dreamed of this moment for so long and all of a sudden it was real.  as a youngster i had sung about this moment, i had longed for it, and after listening to general conference in october 2012 i knew that this moment would come.  well here’s what it said (my thoughts are in parenthesis),

dear sister bain: (that’s usually what they call mom..this is too cool!!)

you are hereby called to serve as a missionary (finally!!!) of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.  you are assigned to labor in the washington everett mission. (what??!)  it is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

you should report to the mexico missionary training center (say that one more time please…) on wednesday, october 9, 2013 (that’s in forevvvvverrrrrrrr).  you will prepare to preach the gospel in the spanish language… (i should have paid attention in school.)

that letter was signed by the prophet of God.  it actually took me awhile to appreciate that.  for the next four months i would struggle with my assignment to washington.  it’s not where i wanted to go and it’s not where i thought i would go.  i have learned a few things since then.

first of all, it doesn’t matter where you want to go because you will be sent where the Lord wants you to go.  i have friends serving in australia, russia, germany, africa, south america, parts of asia…basically all over the world.  why of all places was i chosen to go to washington??  that was the last place that would have crossed my mind.  sure… i prayed that i would have the faith to go where the Lord would call me.  there was never any doubt that i would serve -but when i opened that call i was disappointed.  i lost sight of why i was going to serve.

then i kinda panicked.  missionaries aren’t supposed to feel like this..they know the second they get their call it’s for them..what’s wrong with me??!  why didn’t i have that warm, fuzzy feeling??  did this mean that i wasn’t supposed to serve??  long story short- my head wasn’t on straight… so i prayed.  i prayed that God would fix me.

there is beauty in the atonement.  it cleanses.  it purifies.  it heals.  we can come to God, progress, and the Lord can make us more than we are.  i thought i needed fixing, but what i needed was understanding.  i needed faith.  the Lord taught me to trust.  He taught me that i have to be my own missionary.

if you are struggling with some of the same feelings that i felt or you are not sure why you were called to a certain area, do two things for me.  get out a piece of paper and physically write down every reason that you first turned in your papers and signed up to serve.  then, pray.  pray with every thought and emotion that stirs within you.  pray knowing that you are speaking with the perfect God who created you and loves you perfectly.

i’ve always heard that it’s not where you serve but why you serve.  it’s just taken me 19 years to finally understand that.

second, i’ve learned that the Lord knows what’s best.  i can only see a small portion of what the Lord can see and quite frankly, my plans stink.  even when i think i know what i am doing and what i want, the Lord has shown me that He’s got a better plan.  i may not have all of the answers but i do have a stronger faith in my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

so folks, i’ve been assigned to labor in washington state.  i plan on storming the far northwest with so much love they won’t know how to handle it!!  i have absolutely no idea what i am doing or what to expect and i have loads to learn but i do know that i am going to serve because i have felt God’s love and want others to feel it and know it.  i am going to teach the gospel and help as many people as i can to find Christ.

the gospel is very important to me.  it makes me who i am today.  i was taught that when i got a good thing i needed to share it.  the thing about sharing is that it was always rough-i mean, it was my polly pocket- …but what i’ve noticed about the gospel, which means “good news”, is that it’s so good -so wonderful, so inspiring, so liberating – that you don’t want to keep it to yourself.  there’s no better way to show that you understand and appreciate the atonement and Jesus Christ than to spread the word.  to live it.

wherever you are and whatever you are doing i hope that you know that God loves you.  He is very aware of what you are going through. let Him in and let Him love you.  you are worth it to Him.

I know that Jesus Christ lives.

God be with you



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