Long before I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I wanted to serve the Lord. I always said to myself that I would devote all of my time to Him no matter what. Serving Him throughout my life was my dream. And joining the Church of Jesus Christ gave me an even better chance at following my dream.
In December 2017, I was baptized. That was the greatest day of my life. The gospel taught me how to think differently, how to inspire others, how to overcome my fears, and how to reinforce my talents and discover new ones. Eventually I also learned about the opportunity to serve a full-time mission. I immediately knew that was something I wanted to do. So day by day, I worked to prepare. I read the scriptures, attended institute, and magnified my calling. However, there was one problem in my family that made me so uncertain about the future.
When I turned 18, poverty struck my family. We could barely eat, go to school, or even pay for transportation to church. The only thing we had left to hold onto was our faith. This situation really slowed down my process of serving a mission. I opened up to mom about my desire, but she repeated something she had often told me: “Finish school, then follow your dreams.” Because of our financial situation, I didn’t have much of a choice. So I worked hard to get through school.
Eventually I graduated and was finally ready to go out and serve the Lord. But poverty was still affecting us.
I was frustrated.
I thought, “I’ve finished school, and I’ve done everything I can. Why is this still not working out?” I didn’t want to wait for my dream any longer, but despite being discouraged, I trusted that things would work out with time.
I decided to work extra hard to earn all the money for my mission expenses. I prayed every day, visited with the missionaries as much as possible, and strengthened my testimony by studying Church materials.
A lot of my relatives were against my dream to serve a mission. They would tell me that serving a mission would only make things worse for me and my family. But I stood my ground. I knew that I wanted to serve a mission and that Heavenly Father would provide a way.
After a long while of working and saving money, I finally submitted my mission papers. When my bishop called me and told me my call had arrived, I shouted and jumped for joy! I immediately went to the stake office and got the letter. That evening, I opened my mission call and announced to my family that I was called to serve in the Philippines Cabanatuan Mission.
I cried tears of joy that night. Despite all that had happened, with faith and hard work and trust in the Lord, I finished everything I needed to do to serve a mission and fulfill my dream. I realized that if I hadn’t experienced that hardship before my mission, I might not have been completely physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and financially prepared. But because of my circumstances, I was able to grow in so many ways.
I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. Everything you’re going through might not make sense at times, and you might want things to happen sooner rather than later, but trust in His timing rather than your own. If we trust in Him and exercise faith and work hard, He will lead us to our righteous desires at the right time and help us grow along the way (see Enos 1:12 and Alma 29:4).