This week, I was able to interview another incredible returned sister missionary for my research project. Sister H. was called to serve in Denmark, but was transferred to Scotland after only a few months in the field because of some violence that had been exhibited toward the sisters in Scandinavian countries. She wasn't happy about going to Scotland at first, but she ended up having some success there. She came home from her mission in August of 1974 and got right back into the swing of things at BYU. Everything fell together perfectly for Sister H. She was able to get a job right away in Heleman Halls. She moved right back in with her room mates that she'd had before her mission. And although she'd changed her major, things were going really well.
A couple weeks into the semester, Sister H. found herself at home alone one night. She was reading the Ensign, and had the strongest impression that she should get down on her knees and pray. As she prayed, she became overwhelmed with the feeling that she needed to return home to Colorado. Right then. There was no finishing the semester. She just felt she needed to pack her bags and go back home. That would mean losing all of her tuition money, and the perfect situation that she had found herself in that semester. So she prayed and fasted, and still felt that she needed to return home. So she did.
Before Sister H. returned home from her mission, a family from the last ward she served in, gave her the address of an Elder who had served in their ward several years before who also lived in Colorado. Sister H. didn't think anything of it, and returned home without thinking about the Elder at all.
But back to our story. It was a week before the semester would have ended at BYU. And Sister H. was feeling like she'd made the wrong decision. Everything about her situation had been perfect at school. And she gave it all up to come home, and nothing had happened. She felt at a loss. Did she receive false revelation? Was she just kidding herself? She didn't know why she was supposed to come home, but she had, for seemingly no reason. But that week, the Elder from her mission showed up at her door, wanting to meet her. She hadn't known, but the family from the last ward she served in, had contacted him as well. Sister H. and this Elder ended up getting married. 36 years and 10 kids later, Sister H. knows with unequivocal doubt why she was supposed to come home that semester.
As I sat there, listening to this story, the thought occurred to me that I still have so much to learn about what it means to be faithful.
For me, it's always been easy to be faithful in times of uncertainty. But when it comes down to it, wouldn't it be so much more difficult to leave a perfect situation, based on personal revelation, without knowing why? I think so. As I face important forks in the road during these next few months, I will keep this story in mind. Thank you Sister H.
"As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise. With even your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you, when it will yield the greatest advantage. Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow."
-Elder Richard G. Scott (click here to read more)