Monday, March 16, 2015

An Answer From the Lord

Another month has gone by...can you believe it? I sure can't! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was in South Carolina as a missionary. I guess that just shows that time goes on even when you aren't apart of something anymore. But lets get to the point...right?! I'm sure there's a few people out there that would like to know if I have decided to return or not. I know I was asking myself that question every day up until a few weeks ago when I finally got the answer I have been waiting for for months. I will tell you the story of how it all came to be.....
After about two months of going back and forth I couldn't handle it... I was getting so many mixed messages and didn't know what to do. So I went to my bishop. As I told him how I was feeling and how I couldn't decide. He counseled me on how to pray about those decisions. That often we try to ask Heavenly Father, "tell me what to do" when we should really be saying "I think this is what I should do because of this, so please help me know is this what I should do." Heavenly Father wants us to use our agency, so he won't tell us what to do, he will let us know if he thinks our choice will be the one that is right for us. My bishop told me, "I'm giving you one week to decide what to do and I want you to come back and tell me what you chose, and I want you to sell it to me! You have to tell me why and what the plan is. Can you do that?" I timidly said yes, but inside I was thinking how in the world am I going to do this. The week went by and I planned for both scenarios and then prayed about both decisions, and went to the temple to confirm that decision. I made a choice and I felt at peace about it. So Sunday rolled around and I went back to my bishop, sat down, and told him the plan. He said, "That is a great plan Micaela and I feel good about it. You made the right choice for you."
So what was my answer??? I received an answer that was very clear that my mission was a success and that the Lord needed me there for that time, but now he needs me here for this time. I have decided to return back to school once my foot heals, and to find ways to be a missionary to the people around me. It is no longer my calling to be doing that every day and I have accepted that. This answer as clear as it was and as much peace that it brought me was still hard to understand and to accept, but I think every missionary does that whether they serve the full time or not. It's hard to leave a place and people you have gained so much love. People that you love more then yourself because you were never thinking about yourself as a missionary. And I'm not sure if I will ever know in this life time why my mission was only five months and why this was my trial, but right now I do know that Heavenly Father accepts and is pleased with my service and that now He wants me to do some things for myself to prepare for my next stage of life, whatever that may look like. 
There was this girl on a early returned missionary facebook page that posted something that just made it click with me what it really means to come home early. She says, "A member in my ward the other day told me this and it really helped me. He said that in the temple video God says,"Call it a day.." For the creation. He says call it a day after the things got done that needed to be accomplished. God doesn't have so say a "time". His time is when the things get done or lessons are learned, then it is called a day. So for us it doesn't matter if we served a day, week, month, year, or 18 months. Once we finished what God wanted us to, he called it a day. He sent us to the next place that needs us, for "a day". I love this. in gods eyes a mission is just as long as it takes to learn or teach what needs to be, after that he needs us to complete the next task. I find lots of comfort in this. We served a complete mission and now we are in the middle of our next mission. Isn't the plan of salvation fabulous?!"

I am truly happy with where I am right now. I love being here with my family, and I especially love spending my days with my 3 year old sister Rylee. She brings me so much happiness and makes me grateful for my call to come home. We have lots of fun together, and I think with the time we have now together will be the foundation of our relationship for the rest of our life's. 
I know that the work of the Lord will continue on and that each of us have a responsibility of helping to do that if it's by putting on a name tag and serving as a full time missionary, or if it's like what Elder Nelson said, paint a name tag on your heart and serve whenever you can. So that's what I am going to do. I'm going to be a missionary for Jesus Christ by my example and the way I live my life. I love my Savior and the things He has taught me and I will testify of Him any chance I get. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, and He lives. He lives to help us get through this thing called life. 
Thank you for all the love and support!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Feelings of An Early Returned Missionary

As a return missionary you go through so many transitions and emotions, but as a missionary who comes home early you have the same transitions but twice the emotions. There are days where you are glad to be home, days when you miss the mission, days you feel like this was part of the plan, and days where you feel guilty and like a failure.
It was hard for me to accept that this was my trial, I have always wanted to serve a mission since the day I met with the missionaries for myself. And when I was out in the mission field I loved what I was doing, every second. There was hard days of course, but overall I felt at home, like it was truly my calling and that it was something I was good at. So when I found out I was coming home I didn't understand. I kept asking why me. I was obedient, I was working hard, I loved the people, I felt I was doing everything the Lord asked of me.
But after being home for a while I realized that's just it...the Lord knew that I would go out there and give as much as myself as I could do answer my call. He knew that I would work hard and put my wants aside. He knew that my trial on my mission would be coming home early, not a companion I didn't get along with, not an area where no one was listening, not being home sick. He knew that in order for me to learn what He wanted me to on my mission it included me coming home after five months. I have come to accept that He knows best for me and that He doesn't give me anything I can't handle.
I have realized that my emotions are normal. And those moments when I get frustrated and ask why me, I should be saying thank you for having enough faith in me for this trial, and now I'm going to do everything I can to have enough faith in you to get me through it.Christ never leaves us, He is always there to help us and we have to let Him. We have to do the things to invite Him.
I like to think of my mission as a growing experience and something that I put all my energy in to. It's been a hard transition and trial but I am thankful for the things that I have learned from it. And that to me is worth every minute and every emotion I go through. Like my favorite song says right now, "And I hope that you don't suffer but take the pain
Hope when the moment comes, you'll say...
I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived" (One Republic- I Lived)

Thats how I want to look at my mission.

There have been so many things that have helped me cope with how I am feeling. From family and friends, scriptures, institute, the temple, support groups, videos, etc. I am thankful to know that I am not alone and to have so many resources to remind myself that coming home early is okay and not something to feel ashamed or guilty about. Below is a link to the latest video that has helped me: