LDS Voices: Same Question, Personalized Answers

Deciding to go on a mission can be challenging for young women. Learn from the experiences of two women who received different answers about the choice to serve.

I Decided to Go

I had never desired or planned to go on a mission because I am shy. My patriarchal blessing speaks about sharing the gospel, but I didn't think that meant I would be called on a mission. For a while, I’ve had recurring questions for God: Am I at the right school? Is this the right degree? Should I apply to an academic program? Why am I not dating anyone? And so on. I had been praying about my questions since high school without receiving any apparent answers from God.

However, when President Monson announced the change in the missionary age requirement, I knew I was meant to serve a mission. All of the eleven questions I had written down, hoping to be answered as I watched conference, were answered with that one announcement. The answer to all of them was for me to serve a mission. I have never had a more clear or powerful prompting.

After general conference, I decided to pray for confirmation. Sure enough, as I read the scriptures, I felt Heavenly Father confirm in my heart that going on a mission soon was the right thing to do. I reread my patriarchal blessing, and it made so much sense in terms of a mission. I also realized that God had been preparing me for the call through experiences I’d had at school that semester.

I texted the good news to my bishop, and he said I was the first one that popped into his head after President Monson’s announcement. I talked to my parents, started my papers, and finished them as fast as I could. Meanwhile, my brother was doing the same.

Soon, I will leave for the Massachusetts Boston Spanish-Speaking Mission, and my brother will go to the North Carolina Charlotte Mission. Even though I had never planned on a mission and was even afraid to go, the Lord filled my heart with a desire to serve and a peace knowing that although it won't be easy, He will help me. Everything fell into place and made complete sense.

—Nicole Laudie

An Unexpected Answer

When I was nearing 21 years old, I very much wanted to serve a mission. I expected the Lord wanted me to go because my older sister had served, and there appeared to be nothing holding me back.

As I began to pray about the decision, I received a distinct feeling that the Lord didn’t intend for me to go on a mission. I was surprised because such an answer was unexpected. I began to wonder if the answer I had received was actually an unspoken anxiety I was personally feeling, rather than the Holy Ghost speaking to me. I decided to pray about the decision more. Again, I received a “no” answer. I couldn’t wrap my head around such an answer, so I kept asking—probably about 10 different times.

Finally, about three months before my 21st birthday, I received the answer one more time that I was not to go on a mission and that I should stop asking. This was the only time in my life when a prompting became actual words in my mind. Normally the answers to my prayers from the Holy Ghost would either leave me with an uplifted feeling if the answer was “yes” and an empty feeling if the answer was “no.” But this was different.

Six months later, I met the man who is now my husband.

As strange as it may seem, not every sister is supposed to serve a mission. I know the Lord has a plan for me, and that did not include serving a mission as a young woman. Looking back, I realize the Lord knew a lot better than I on this matter. My life has worked out incredibly for me and my family. I have four beautiful children and a loving husband. I will be forever grateful I followed the Lord’s counsel on this matter and now look forward to serving a mission with my husband later on.

—Sandra Turner Zeigler