Yesterday, I learned a very important lesson.
Back story: have you ever had a question about something, and prayed and prayed to know the answer, and while waiting for that answer, you just accept what you think the answer to your question is on faith?
I'm gonna give you the condensed version of what happened. The full, 5 page story is currently sitting in my journal, where you will never, ever read it. Actually, when I write in my journal, I just like to ramble. So whatever is written in there isn't much different than what I'm about to tell you.
I've had a question about like that. I have, for the past several months, been accepting something on complete faith. Something I know next to nothing about:
I'm not going to go into much detail about why, other than that I can basically count on one hand how many farewells I've been to, and how many people I know well who are currently serving. I have only ever watched two guys open their mission calls, and it was at the same time. I have only received one letter from a missionary. None of my siblings have served a mission, yet. My most memorable experience with the missionaries was when I drove past the MTC wearing a heinous wig and about 20 of them walked past and laughed at me. I don't blame them. But essentially, it's just an area I know nothing about.
I'm not saying I've been thinking that missionary work is bad. It's just something I don't know a whole lot about, but have been accepting, on faith, the importance of it.
I didn't know why it was important, I had just been accepting, on faith, that it was.
But, remember the whole "witness comes after the trial of your faith?"
Sometimes, the trial of your faith takes a long time. But the Lord really does have a time and a place for everything. And my prayers were eventually answered.
I was working at Spicy Thai (my last day there, thank heavens), when two missionaries walked in. So I walked over and greeted then and sat them down at a table, and went to get their waters. When I came back, they started talking to me, asking where I was from, how long I had been working there, etc. They were the only people who I ever served who asked what my name was, and asked about, well, me. So we had a pretty good conversation, and I learned that the senior companion was from England (not gonna lie, he had a pretty awesome accent), and the other was from Minnesota.
I left to go seat another customer, but the minute I sat down again to start folding napkins I realized that the Spirit was like, overwhelmingly strong, for a reason I can't possibly explain. I was experiencing some major spiritual heartburn, which actually doesn't happen to me all that often. At that point, the voice in my head said, simply, "Those missionaries will answer any question you have." And I realized that this just might be the answer to my prayers.
At that point, it got busy, so I didn't get much of a chance to talk to them. But I racked my brain through every single question I had about missionary work and narrowed it down to one, which I asked while I was ringing them up: Why? Why did you choose to serve a mission? Why is it so important?
The British elder explained to me that there are people in the world who don't know who they are, or why they are here, and they (the missionaries) are sent to them to help them, essentially. He told me he chose to serve a mission because he knew the Lord expected him to, and he wanted to as well.
This part is about to get pretty confusing, so hold onto your hats, and I'll try to keep this in English.
It wasn't him answering my question that answered my question. It was the fact that they not only willingly answered my questions, but were eager to answer them. Largely, it was their example. They wanted to know who I was. They wanted to know about my life. They were easily the nicest people I ever served. And they had nothing on them except their wallets and a Book of Mormon.
Essentially, they were perfect examples of what the Lord's servants would look like.
So it hit me, that's what a mission is. Being the Lord's servant 24/7 for two years, where literally your main purpose is to serve others and bring them the gospel. For two years, you are sent into people's lives to change them. You get to be the answer to other people's prayers, daily. Knowing you are the answer to somebody's prayer is one of the greatest feelings in the world. So to be the answer to people's prayers, daily? Wow. That is pretty cool.
So I finally understand. I understand that the Lord will always answer your prayers, even if it does take months and months of faith and lots and lots of praying. He will answer your prayers when they are meant to be answered. No sooner, no later. I understand why people serve missions, and why they are so blessed for doing so. I finally understand why they are called the Lord's servants. They literally are. I had been praying for months, and he literally sent two of his servants into a restaurant simply to answer my prayers, and then leave to go change somebody else's life. That is what they do. They go where the Lord wants them to go.
I know running into the missionaries at work really isn't that big of an event, but I still feel so amazed that it happened. It's basically just a witness to me that Heavenly Father really does hear my prayers, and a witness that missionary work is basically the coolest thing ever.
You guys, the church is true. Seriously. And I know that I mess up, a lot, enough to come off as somebody who seems like she doesn't really care about the church, but I promise, those days are over.
Prayer is real, faith is real, the church is true. I promise. You guys are great. Thanks for reading the awkward novels I churn out every Sunday.
Have a great day!