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Plot Twist: I’m Not Going On a Mission

Let’s Start From the Beginning.

When I was sixteen years old, I decided that I would start preparing for a mission. I knew that I loved the gospel and I loved the life I was living and I wanted everyone around me to feel the joy I was feeling so I knew I needed to prepare.

So I started to do what every person who decides to go on a mission does. I went to mission prep classes, I read my scriptures and prayed often and I went to the temple regularly.

This became my routine throughout my remaining years of high school and into my first year of college, and I loved it. I took a mission prep class at BYU and I finished and completed my papers. And then I waited.

I received word from the church that I needed to do a pre-mission assessment (PMA) because of my anxiety. They wanted to do a mental screening to check and see that I would be mentally capable enough to get through the hard things that missionaries are expected to do.

I went through the PMA, did the things I was told to do, and sent off my papers again. So then I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited.

My Choice.

A few weeks ago, I received a prompting that the answer I was looking for was the lack of a mission call, and I was taken aback. I had started my papers almost a year and a half previous and I had been waiting for almost four months.

Because I wasn’t ready to accept it yet, I decided to wait and pray about it, hoping my call would come so I wouldn’t have to do what I was realizing that the Lord wanted me to do. I received another prompting: this time to go back to school and switch my major to elementary education.

It seemed to me that the Lord was telling me what to do, even if I wasn’t willing to accept it yet. I decided to follow the second prompting first. I switched my major, and I’m so excited to start studying it.

Then I started asking questions. “What was the worst thing that could happen if I don’t go on a mission?” “Why am I being prompted to stay?” “How long have I been on this path?” “What could I learn from this experience?”

I still don’t know the answer to these questions, even though I know the Lord does.

While I was asking these questions, I came across a scripture that instantly brought peace into my heart.

“And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.”

Alma 7: 24

This scripture was a message that told me that no matter what I did, if I had faith in God’s plan, hope in His guidance in my life, and charity for those around me, then He would lead me exactly where I needed to go.

I counseled with my parents, my bishop, and my boyfriend’s family, and I found peace and love. So I followed my promptings and cancelled my mission.

Clarification Because I Know You’re Thinking It.

I know many of you are wondering: “Is this because of Tim? Are you staying because of your missionary?”

No, I’m not staying because of Tim. Like many people in college, I met a boy, I fell in love, and I sent him on his mission. I’m so proud of him, and I can’t wait to see how he grows and progresses over these next two years. But he was not the one who influenced my decision.

My choice to cancel my mission was a choice made between God and I. I was going to cancel my mission whether I had support from him and his family or not. I’m just incredibly lucky that I do have support and love from them and my family.

The choice to go on a mission is one that should only be between the individual and God, and that’s how it was for me.

Another question you may ask: “Are you still going to wait for him? What if someone else comes your way?”

I am going to wait for him. I was taught that anything that’s worth having is worth waiting for, and to me, Tim is worth waiting an eternity for. Tim is the one that I have chosen, and I will keep choosing him.

I know that this may bring judgment and skepticism, but I have faith in my relationship with him, and I’m not going to give that up, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Hopefully that clarifies things for you.

So What Happens Next?

While I’m not sure why God led me here, I know that everything will be brought to light eventually. For now, I’m going to keep praying, keep trusting, and keep following His guidance. At this point, that means going back to school and starting a new major.

I don’t know what God’s plan for me is, but I have faith in Him, and I know that wherever I am guided is where I’m meant to be.

So until I learn everything, I’m going to keep learning, keep growing, and keep trying to become the person that God wants me to be, in every aspect that I can.

Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.

Jeffrey R. Holland

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

Love, Rachel Marie

Rachel is currently at BYU working on her degree in Elementary Education. She’s a strong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and loves to share the joy it brings her with those around her.

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