Now that we're done talking about the abstract, since I'm a selfish butt sometimes, let's talk about me.
(The last part maybe? If you haven't read the first two parts please scroll down to the beginning of this story 2 posts ago.)
How does one know whether or not to serve a mission? The answer is actually quite simple. You pray about it.
In the last few weeks I’ve been praying
consistently to whether or not I should serve a mission. When I started praying
I felt a lot of nothing. As I kept going days went by, soon a few weeks went by
and I started to become angry and cynical. I’m at a loss for words, I felt like
Heavenly Father was my friend and he left. I cried unto him and I felt like
I’ve committed mistakes to the point where I didn’t deserve him in my life. I
wanted to ask him where is he? And why wasn’t he answering my question? For a
few days I felt lost. I didn’t pray I started to think that prayer didn’t help
and it was selfish of me. It wasn’t until I started this assignment that I felt
like I found my answer. When I prayed to him one more time I believed I
received an answer. I prayed the way that was honest and simple. I spoke informally. I asked him directly and in a moment of sheer silence I felt a calm like he was
there embracing me. That same night I prayed again and I asked whether or not I
should serve a mission and again I felt nothing. Confused, I decided to ponder
that night and sleep to find out what this nothingness might mean in the
morning. I woke up, refreshed, prayed one more time and I received an answer.
The same one, but this time it was more than that. It’s hard to explain that
there was something out of nothingness (the same way Jesus created the world)
however at that moment I felt like it wasn’t the right time, and that’s what
he’s been telling me the whole time. It’s not that I shouldn’t serve a mission,
but right now it is not in the Lord’s plan for me to go. The next day (today),
I decided to change my question to something more, “if it is not my mission to
preach the Gospel in other places, what do you want me to do? What do you
expect of me? What do you want me to pray for?” Fortunately my answer came
immediately. I started doing my homework and instantly I felt joy (strange I
know). It was at that moment, I felt like he wanted me to better the world in
other ways through education by educating myself, and more importantly, helping
others through what I’ve learned. From this answer I decided to change my majors/minors I know can benefit others. It
won’t be an easy class benefitting just me, it won’t be a class that sacrifices
talents for convenience, it’ll challenge me a lot and I’m scared. It’s not
going to be easy but I know it’s what Heavenly Father wants me to do, and
through him I will find strength to persevere and succeed.
Now this doesn't mean I'll never serve a mission because it may happen if I feel prompted to go, but what it does mean is that for right now it is not part of Heavenly Father's plan for me to go.
Oh also I fasted about it today and I think it reaffirmed this answer. If anything, I think this can also be interpreted as trying to spread my roots deeper in the Gospel.
Let me explain.
In the Book of Mormon there is one original allegory, which is the allegory of the Olive Tree (Jacob 5). In it contains an image that can be seen as a prophecy that in the restoration the tops of the trees are outgrowing its roots. Meaning though we are baptizing a lot, it is meaningless if they don't develop their own testimonies. Saying that spirituality and intellect should be the church's dominant feature, not a membership count. It is no wonder why we currently have the lowest growth rate in the last 70 years at 1.7%, we are sending young boys who may not have experience to teach strangers about things that seems stranger because they may not even understand it. This is why motivation is important. Because regardless of one's knowledge, their motivation can define how it'll shape the lives of others and themselves.
Huh... Maybe that is my mission. To better help the world, maybe I'm here to strengthen other people's roots and my own. Though not as a formal mission, this place seems as good a place as any to just cultivate our roots.