Throughout life, there are been many defining moments for me. Moments that have tried me to my core and ones that have helped shaped me to who I am today. I'd like to share a few of those with you.
I made the decision that I wanted to be a missionary when I was a kid. It was one of my greatest desires in life. However, when the time came for me to make the decision to go, it became a very serious manner. I remember numerous conversations with family and friends as I tried to decide. My dad gave me some advice that made sense. He told me to fast, pray and act. He encouraged me to talk to the Bishop, even if I hadn't made a decision, so he could help me. The day of the appointment, I remember fasting, praying, studying and making every effort to make a choice. The answer did not come until I was sitting in the Bishop's office and he started offering a prayer. I knew then what needed to happen. Not only that, but my testimony of fasting and prayer was strengthened.
The mission, of course, was a refiners fire, and there was lots to refine. There were so many moments when you just trusted what you felt and went and did. One such occurred in my fourth area. My companion and I had just finished Spanish study time and were preparing to go knock doors. We got into the car and prayed. As we prayed, the car was filled and we both knew that there was a very specific place that we needed to go, we just didn't know where. We drove for a bit and stopped to look at a map. As we looked at the map, my companion started to cry and pointed to a street saying that's where we needed to go. So we went. I don't remember the particulars, but we decided to start at one end. There were no answers, but we kept going, feeling like there was a reason why. At the last door we knocked on, someone answered and immediately went to get someone. We were let in and met an extremely special woman and her amazing little daughter. This taught me to go and do as directed, even if you are not sure why. There is something beautiful that awaits.
It's no secret that I have struggled with my physical health. It has definitely been one the greatest trials for me. While trying to get my stomach under control, it was very easy to become discourage or frustrated. Many days, I didn't have energy to care. One day, I was trying some tomato soup to see if that would be good. I had a little and then had a couple visitors. While they were visiting, the pain in my body became intense, but I tried to hide it. After they left, I got upset because even soup wasn't going to work. (I later learned that other soups work but tomato does not). This whole health thing was a wild roller coaster ride. Finally, one day, a point came when I knew that I needed to get and stay in a good place. Thankfully, I received the help needed from a loving Heavenly Father. This struggle in my life and turned in to the greatest blessing because I know there is a reason that I have it, I can see who is in control of my life and have been able to learn and know that whatever happens is His will. It has given me the chance to help and lift others. I have learned more about trust and hope. It's made me, me!
I could keep going, but I really don't want to bore you with all the crazy details of my life. All these experiences have at least one thing in common, and that is faith. Faith to make decisions, to allow myself to be lead, to overcome, to learn, to act, to share, and so many more.
Elder Holland has said "In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. ...When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes."
These past couple weeks, I have made a few decisions that will require me to walk by faith and not sight. I know that I will be guided but will need to rely on my faith and hope that what I'm doing is what is right. It's not always the easiest thing. This is easier said than done. As we exercise faith and act upon what we feel is right, than blue skies will come and the storms will fade. We will be able to understand the why and these experiences will become defining moments for us.