I know I said in my last post that I won't be posting until my first preparation day. But I just want to grab this final opportunity (pre-mission) to post something...
First and foremost, being a missionary isn't easy, as some others who didn't go on a mission would think. Being a Full-Time Missionary requires a lot of preparation and sacrifice in order to be effective. To be honest, the theories I've learned in my nursing school days may also apply in my preparation for full-time missionary work. In order to prepare, you must focus on your Physical, Emotional, Spiritual and Mental self and evaluate how prepared you are to serve and do the Lord's errand. It also requires such strength to put some priorities on hold, plans altered and goals changed.
As a 23 year-old (22 by the time I passed my missionary application), some people would expect me to get married, have a job, start a family and such. But that's not the case for me. Lucky are those who were 19 years old when President Monson announced the lowering of age requirement of missionaries especially for the Sisters. 21 to 19. When I was young, I have thought to follow my mother's legacy of being a missionary at 21... but growing up and bad decisions made it difficult for me to do so that I've finally regretted the delay two years later after turning 21.
To be honest, life wasn't easy for me and during the past years, I have not prepared myself for this purpose because as I grew and became a teenager, the desire just kept on diminishing and that I became to focused on practicality and worldly expectations rather than following the decisions based on spiritual growth. I guess I wasn't spiritually strong enough by then.
After graduating college, I had doubts of serving on a mission. Honestly, it was just out of my mind. I thought of getting a job at a hospital, supporting my family and everything and I pushed through with it, quite unsuccessfully. A lot of people were asking me if I had plans to go. I shook my head and they would ask why. I told them I wasn't prepared and deep inside I thought that I would never be. A year after, I wanted to have a family. My boyfriend at the time was not a member of the church and because of the differences of beliefs (and because of being blinded by so-called love), marrying in the temple wasn't also part of my plan then.
I suddenly came to wake up from my worldly fantasies and blindness when I thought the Lord had taken away EVERYTHING from me. (Yes, I had blamed the Lord then for my misfortunes). My boyfriend broke up with me, I had lost my job and my spirituality began to waiver. I was spiritually and emotionally weak, let alone mentally. I never realized that I had succumbed to spiritual darkness when all this time I was just blinded and thought that I was holding on to the light, which in reality, was not.
After much pondering, prayer and scripture reading, I had realized what was missing and what the Lord's purpose was for me. I finally made my decision to go on a mission, to focus on a goal of being married in the temple and if possibly, with a returned missionary. And I knew it would take me a lot of preparation to do so. The supposedly 20-year preparation was done in a period of 6 months to a year. I didn't look for a job, I worked with the missionaries as I could. I dedicated all my time to scripture study, preparation, repentance and everything. And in the end, I felt good.
During my preparation and decision of remaining single, some latter-day saint men (and some nonmembers of the church) also made the attempts to ask me out. There are times I accepted, and there are times I declined. And I reminded myself that I needed to focus on my mission and the thought of being married in the temple would come afterwards. I asked the guys I've dated if they would either support me or hold me back but whatever their answer was, my decision has been final and would never back out from the opportunity and things I would learn once I serve my mission. I was grateful that they respected that.
Being missionary requires putting things on hold: Love and Career, in order to serve the Lord eye single and with all heart, might, mind and strength. It requires understanding the gospel doctrines and applying it.
I am quite excited and anxious of my mission. What would it be like? I know it would be a wonderful experience for me. I know that the Lord loves me and He has chosen me to become an instrument to invite others to come unto Him. I am not perfect. I have made mistakes. But whom He chose, he qualifies. He does not call the qualified. Just like the Apostle Paul who once persecuted the church, converted when he saw a vision on his way to Damascus; or, like Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah with the same story.
Heavenly Father loves us. We, as your brothers and sisters in faith, love you. I love you. I know that everything has a purpose and I know that the Lord never leaves us alone. He wants us to grow, He wants us to be happy. We may not know His purpose but if we learn to trust Him and in His will, we would soon understand all things.
I know these things to be true. Until then...
♥ Sister Ngo