Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Saturday, April 8, 2017

"Why I Don't Kneel for Prayers"


 This was said to me by a dear sister missionary that I was living with as I served in the Australia Sydney South mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

When a missionary receives their call it states that "It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 (or 24) months." While many missionaries have the opportunity and means to serve for that time, some do not. I am one of the few. 

April 8th, 2015 I entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. And November 16th, 2015 I returned home to Charleston, West Virginia as I ended my time as a full time missionary in the California Anaheim and Australia Sydney South missions. 

Many of you know that while serving, I suffered two injuries to my knee. After the second, it was decided that I travel home to recuperate. Seeing friends and family was great, but I still felt out of place. I missed my mission so much that I spent those months studying and praying. As I did, I kept asking Heavenly Father the same question; “Should I stay home or should I return to my mission?” I had faith that I would receive an answer from God, but I had made the assumption that the righteous and correct choice would be to go back to the mission field. While reading a talk about trusting the Lord, I received an immediate and overwhelming feeling that I needed to stay home. Honestly, I was rather disappointed by this prompting. I decided to start reading the talk from the beginning again, hoping that the answer would change. The first sentence said, “It is so hard when sincere prayer about something we desire very much is not answered the way we want.” 

I knew what the Lord wanted me to do. 

Please understand. Although this was not what I wanted, I wanted to do what HE wanted me to do. 

Even though I had been home for months, I began to fall apart inside. I knew that God loved me. I knew that I was not a failure. But during that time, those thoughts sometimes crept in. I wondered "Why couldn't I just finish? Is it too late to change my mind? Could I still go back? Am I failure?" I didn't finish my mission and EVERYONE knew it. 

But when I was in the Missionary Training Center, I learned something that has changed the way that I view trials and difficulties. My MTC teacher said, "SOMETIMES WE FALL APART SO THAT HEAVENLY FATHER CAN PUT US BACK TOGETHER THE WAY THAT HE WANTS US."

My time at home was the ultimate trial of faith. I needed to put my trust in God. If I stayed home, like He wanted me to then I would show Him that I truly loved Him and had full confidence and faith in Him and what He wanted for me. 

I am certainly not perfect, but I know that my Heavenly Father is. I know that He is constantly putting myself, and everyone else, back together so that we can become what He wants us to become. 

I know that HIS way is ALWAYS better than OUR way.

Staying home from my mission has been the hardest thing that I have had to do.
Many days are filled with fond and loving memories of my time as a missionary.

Some are heartbreaking and difficult. 

Now you're probably wondering why this post is titled, "Why I Don't Kneel for Prayers." Because of my knee problems, it is simply too painful for me to do so. So, when I pray, I sit up. My legs are stretched out in front of me as I sit on my bed. Sometimes I even stand. 

 The Lord  knows that, for me, kneeling is difficult. But I LOVE The Lord and He knows it.

I am writing this for TWO REASONS.

#1. I hope that by expressing my feelings in this way I can continue to cope with what has happened to me. I'm hoping this will become therapeutic for me.  

#2. I hope that I can help others understand what happened to me. 

I want everyone reading this to know- ALL MISSIONARIES SERVE. IT DOES NOT MATTER FOR HOW LONG. Elder Jeffrey R Holland of the 12 apostles said, "The important thing is that you served." 
That is ALL that matters. 

To those missionaries who have had to return sooner than expected- THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DEDICATING YOUR TIME, NO MATTER HOW MUCH, TO THE LORD. HE LOVES YOU AND IS PROUD OF YOU.
In my final email home I wrote, "While it pains me to leave Australia and this great work for a time, I wouldn't trade the last 7 months for a thing."
I meant it.
I absolutely LOVED my time as a missionary.

I want to thank missionaries currently serving. They are doing The Lord's work and they are doing a wonderful job. 

I want to thank the missionaries that I served with. Thank you so very much for each of your examples to me. 

I want to thank my family and friends who have supported me always. I love each of you very much. 

I know that serving a mission was not a mistake. I know that The Lord was not punishing me by having me return early. I know that "NOTHING BAD CAN EVER COME FROM SERVING A MISSION." 

I know that I was called to be a missionary by The Lord. I know that He needed in me in Anaheim, California and Sydney, Australia at the time that I was there. And I know that He needs me here now. 

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ that I was called to share. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. And I know that They love me. 

"My Lord will have need of me. 
But if by a still, small voice He calls To paths that I do not know, 
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine; 
I'll go where you want me to go." 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

"If O'er See Or Land I Roam Still I Think Of Happy Home And My Friends Among Those West Virginia Hills "


Hello my beautiful friends and family!

First of all, THIS HAPPENED! It's official, I AM IN AUSTRALIA!!!!!

Now the biggest news of all-
As many of you know, my knee has been giving me some trouble. It was recommended by the dotor and confirmed on Friday that I will be going home to recieve treatment. They have recommended at least 6 weeks of physical therapy and possibly surgery. I will leave a week from Wednesday, but THIS WILL BE MY FINAL EMAIL FOR NOW.
When my mission president told me, I was devastated. I knew that it could be an option, but I was hoping that I could stay in this great place with these beautiful people. I definitely cried but I also felt peace. "Learn of me, listen to my words, walk in the meekness of my Spirit and you shall have peace in me." That is what came to my mind. Over and over again.
While it pains me to leave Australia and this great work for a time, I wouldn't trade the last 7 months for a thing.
I want to thank each and every one of you for all of the love, prayers, encouragement and support.
Australia, God be with you till we meet again.

Sister A

P.S. Also, last night was the musical fireside that I had been putting together. It was BEAUTIFUL! Everyone did SO well and I felt the stronget Spirirt so far on my mission.
And- JACK IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY. He has asked me to sing and I feel so privileged to be able to do that. I am so excited for him and I know that Heavenly Father is SO proud of him for making this decision and step in his life.

"Oh This Would Never Happen In Idaho!"


Hello everyone!
Apologies for not writing last week. It has been the busiest and craziest week yet! ANd here is why:
My knee was playing up again last week and I was having a hard time getting around. So Sister Salts and I were given a third sister, Sister Toame. She's from Vanuatu, an island near Fiji and she is just darling! Wonderful missionary and the sweetest thing. We became a trio so that they could continue to teach and so that I could rest my knee with members. However, President and Sister Back (my mission president and his wife) decided that it would be better for me to be transfered into an area that had a car available. So I have now been emergency transfered- again- back to Liverpool 1st!!!! This was my first area that I was emergency transfered out of. If that weren't crazy enough, I am in a trio with Sister MacMillan, my MTC companion and Sister Tau, my third companion in Liverpool 1st before I got emergency transfered! Like I said, craziest week yet!!!
With all of these changes, I've been doing a lot of thinking. Mostly I've been thinking of how much God loves us. Each and every one of us. One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Nephi 11:16-17. Nephi is asked "Knowest thou the condescenion of God?" Or in other words "Do you know or understand God?" And Nephi answers by saying "I know that He loveth His children, nevertheless I do not know the meaning of all things." I also know that God loves His children. I know that we don't know or understand everything and we don't have to. If we cling to that eternal and unchanging truth that God loves evry single one of us, then we can find hope, comfort and peace in this life and in every circumstance, whatever it may be.
Thank you ALL for your continued love, prayers, support and encouragement.
Peace be your journey,
Sister A

"Shall We Not Go On In So Great A Cause?" Doctrine and Covenants 128:22

Hello everyone!
This week was a slow one. Although we set a goal to teach two lessons a day and were able to come very close to reaching that goal, we found many investigators and less actives unavailable. Many were either not home or did not have time to see us. Although we were saddened, we kept our chins up and were still able to teach those lessons. This week we are shooting for three lessons a day. Sister Salts and I are very excited to keep working and stretching ourselves.
We are also putting together a ward musical fireside and are extremely excited about it! It will be about the life of the Savior as told through scripture and song. We were struggling to get people involved at first, but things are picking up and we couldn't be happier! We are excited for this opportunity to have the ward involved and to invite members and non members alike to feel the Spirit and to learn of the Savior.
Each day I am learning more and more about the gospel and what The Lord wants for me. One of my FAVORITE scriptures is "for whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." I can't say that I have completely lost myself in this work, but I feel myself coming closer to that point everyday.
The gospel is great! It brings happiness, peace, comfort and direction in an ever changing world. It is true and I love it! For those members out there, keep living and loving it! For the non members, check it out at or
Peace be your journey,
Sister A

"Count Your Blessings More Than You Count Your Challenges" Larry R Lawrence

Hello everyone!
This week has been crazy . . . crazy awesome!
Sister Salts is still amazing and I'm learning SO much from her everyday. We got to watch General Conference this weekend and the Women's Session, too.
Our investigator, Jack was able to come to THREE sessions of conference AND took notes! We are so happy with all of the progress he is making.I absolutely LOVED conference! I had a few questions on my mind and conference was able to answer them all and more. I received answers to questions that I didn't even know that I had. Oh how blessed we all are to have living prophets, apostles and general authorities of the church. I think of the scripture in Hebrews that talks about how our leaders "Watch for our souls." I feel so blessed to have so many people watching for my individual soul.

I know that God has called a living prophet on the earth to guide us today. I know that He has also called very single leader in the church; either a member of the seventy or a beehive president. I know that His hand is everything and that He is looking out for us.
Thank you all for the prayers, encouragement and support.
Peace be your journey,
Sister A

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lord Of All, To Thee We Raise This Our Hymn Of Grateful Praise

Hello everyone!
Yesterday was transfers and I have good news- I'm staying in Green Valley with Sister Salts!! Although, we moved out of the flat(apartment) that we were in and are now in a different flat by ourselves. It's a pretty nice one and slightly closer to those that we visit and teach.
Just some random thoughts I wanted to share:
- McDonald's here is the equivalent to a Starbucks in New York City. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. But they are REALLY nice! They have something called "Create Your Taste" where you basically create your own burger. Everyone, it is SO good I don't think I will ever go back. Haha They NEED these in the states! Attached below is what my meal looked like.
- right now it's spring and about 30/35 degrees Celsius. That's about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. And it feels more humid than West Virginia. This is spring in Australia. Not summer. Spring.
- On Thursday I will have been serving as a missionary for 6 MONTHS! I cannot believe that I will be a third done with my mission. Seriously, time FLIES when you're sharing the gospel!
- General Conference will air here this weekend and I am SO EXCITED! Of course we are inviting ALL of the investigators and less actives that we have been working with to watch it. It is going to be AMAZING!
And in other news, our investigator, Jack came to all three hours of church, a YSA fireside and has now made friends with our Stake President!! They are going to ride their bikes together sometime this week. Sister Salts and I are OVER THE MOON about the progress Jack is making.
Although I haven't seen it yet, here is a great quote I received from conference by Larry Lawrence "To him our direction is more important than our speed."
How reassuring and wonderful to know that the Lord is seeing our efforts, however small they may be. I know that it does not matter how fast or slow we are moving. As long as we are moving forward to Him.

Thank you all for your prayers, love, encouragement and support.
Peace be your journey,
Sister A

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Elder, You Probably Shouldn't Sleep In Your Suit

Hello everyone!
It's been yet another long, trying, wonderful and exhausting week down under!
Although many days were difficult, we saw many miracles as well.
Our investigator, Jack is doing really well. He keeps reading the Book of Mormon and is praying. We are extremely proud of him. We also got a call this morning from an investigator that we had not ben able to get a hold of. She called us and told us that she hasn't forgotten about us and that she wants to meet us tomorrow! Honestly, it's the little blessings and miracles of everyday that make all of this worth it.
I am constantly striving to remember that "all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. . . therefore, HOLD ON . . . God shall be with you forever and ever." Doctrine and Covenants 122: 8-9
I know that the atonement has power to bless our lives every single day. I know that we can continually call upon the atonement to give us the strength and patience that we need to persevere. I know that The Lord keeps His promises to us. I know that there are people that are prepared to hear the gospel. I know that those people will receive it. I know that if we can "hold on" those miracles are truly just around the corner.
Thank you all for your love, prayers, encouragement and support!
Peace be your journey!
Sister A