I would have loved to stay in So Flo and teach the gospel! I prayed very fervently to stay and I couldn't imagine doing anything else during that time. However, the experiences I have had being home is something I never could have gained in the field. I wouldn't be the person I am today if I
didn't come home.
A very real feeling that I and many other missions who return home early due to illness experience is that we didn't have the faith to be healed. I mentioned in an earlier post how it wasn't faith to be healed that I needed, but the faith not to be healed. I needed the faith to be able to continue forward, doing the will of the Lord no matter what happened. Having that faith is what helped me come home. Now, my view is a little different. While I strive to "have the faith not to be healed," I also now seek to have the faith to see how God has answered my prayers. There were three things that I specifically prayed for over and over on my mission. I always thought that those prayers went unanswered. Now, as I continue to strive to have that faith, I understand how he has answered those prayers.
1. Please bless me to be whole. -- Well it's safe to say that I'm not infected anymore! While my body still has a hard time every now and then, I'm still able to get up and go! I'm even training for a half marathon on Halloween. (I guess now that it's public, I can't back out right???)
2. Let me be able to work -- Oh I'm working, probably too much! I'm involved with campus service groups, research projects, sound engineering, volunteering at the hospital, callings, musical groups! I wouldn't mind a little break now!
3. Let me stay and serve -- Well, I didn't get to stay, but at least He let me keep serving. This past semester, I was able to serve as the Elder's Quorum President. I can honestly say that some of my most amazing experiences this year have been as a result of that calling. Because of that calling, I have learned things I couldn't have learned in the field.
Nearly 25 years ago, Elder Richard G. Scott said, "If you feel that God has not answered your prayers...carefully look for evidence in your own life of His having already answered you." (Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayers). I now understand that truly, God does answer our prayers, just in ways different than that which we imagined. As we open our eyes in faith to the miracles that surround us, we will recognize the responses to our private pleas; we will come to recognize just how present God's hand is in our life.