Monday, May 26, 2014

There and Back Again: An Elder's Tale!

So there are about 80,000 missionaries. 2% or 1600 will return home early. Of them 1% or 16 will return to their missions. So how many of them will again return home early after all of that? I feel super alone in that number! That's right, I am home again. After returning to Florida to finish out my mission, I became super sick again. After not being able to work like a missionary should, the decision was made and I returned home even again.

It is quite different coming home a second time. When I came home in January, I was pretty well filled with confidence about the future. I knew that I came home sick, was going to get well, then would return to Missionary Service. Well this time, I have no clue what's happening. I don't know what will happen next and what to do. My deferment at BYU is now void and I have to reapply for admission but the application deadline is past. I don't have a job. Most my friends are on missions. It's kinda like I just don't know where I fit in. Satan will always try to have us dwell on the negative so that our future seems dark and seemingly hopeless. While it may seem dim up ahead, the Light of Christ always continues to shine.

This surely isn't what I wanted. I have waited my whole life to go on a mission. I wanted it so bad that I returned in a second attempt to serve. Sometimes our righteous desires go unanswered so that we can learn an even greater lesson. What that lesson is, I haven't quite figured out. I just know, I have to try my hardest!

Before I returned home Saturday night, two of my dear friends from the mission, Elder and Sister Sommerfeldt came over and shared a scripture that has brought great peace to my heart during this time. In D&C 124:49 it states:
"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."
While I of course desire to be out serving the Lord, I know that He understands. He knows my heart more perfectly than anyone and He knows that I tried my best. He has accepted my offering.

There is one thing that doesn't change; one thing that I haven't lost which will not leave me and that is what I know to be true. I know that God lives. I know that He is always going to be there for us. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I know that through the Atonement, we can gain peace in this life and salvation in the life to come. I know that they appeared to Joseph Smith and through him brought forth The Book of Mormon. Through that holy scripture, we can draw closer to God than by any other book. It truly does testify of Jesus Christ and will more powerfully invite the influence of the Holy Ghost into our lives. The gospel is still true. Nothing can take this knowledge away from me.