Sunday, February 26, 2017

I am a believer in promptings. Not just promptings from anyone or anything but promptings that shake you to such a degree that you know it is God speaking to you. There have been many times in my life that I have felt these type of promptings. Most of the time these shake you to the core type of promptings come when I am least expecting it. I remember the first time I received one of the type of promptings. It was New Years day of 2015. I read a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 88 within this chapter there is a particular scripture that changed my life. When I say that it changed my life I really mean that it changed everything for me. It was the first time where I remember so vividly that I knew what Heavenly Father required of me. I read verse 68 in this particular chapter; "Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will." That was the minute that I knew that the Lord needed me to serve a mission. This was the first time in my life where I felt that God was speaking so clearly and in such a distinct way that there was no way that I could deny the power of God. A short 4 months later I received the magical white envelope in the mail that would tell me where I would be serving for the next 18 months of my life. I opened that envelope and read out loud " Dear Sister Camilleri, you have been called to serve in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission" At that moment I received another prompting that was very distinct. However, it was very different from the first prompting that I described. This time the prompting came as a feeling of peace. In that moment I knew that I needed to serve a mission but more importantly I knew that I was needed in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission. The mission needed me but I also felt very clearly that I needed Vegas. There were people and experiences there that were going to change my life. A short two months later I found myself on a plane flying to Vegas. I was scared for what I was about to do. I knew I was making the right decision but I didn't really know what was ahead of me. This was the first time in my life where I truly felt like I was walking by faith. I've been walking by faith ever since that day and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I served in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission in various areas for 10 months. Those were some of the best ten months of my life; not because it was 10 months of bliss and ease but because in those 10 months I learned so much about myself, my Savior, my loving Heavenly Father and I learned of the importance of the gospel in my life. I needed it. There was no other way that I could possibly get the most out of this life than with the gospel. Six months into the mission I got sick. I spent about 5 months in the mission field consistently nauseous and consistently throwing up. In the field I visited doctors and received a diagnosis that I was hoping could be resolved so that one I could feel better but two so that I could be the missionary that I knew i needed to be. As time went on the medication that I was on was not being effective and there wasn't much that we could do about it. I either had to choose to work through the sickness and try my best or I had to choose to return home  and receive more medical treatment. I am a fighter. Fighting through things is one of those gifts that I feel I was blessed with. So, I fought. I decided to stay in the mission and continue on with my mission with hopes that I would get better and the issue would go away. I fought for about 3 months. I did not want to go back home. I wanted to stay and there were many days and nights where I was on my knees or where I was in a constant conversation with Heavenly Father pleading for Him to let me stay and to continue to fight and overcome. I wanted it so badly. As time went on things got worse. One day I was having a really hard day with this illness and I started feel like it was not fair to me, God  or my companion for me to stay in the missionary field anymore especially since I could not work the way that I knew I needed to. I pondered this thought for awhile without praying about it. I tend to be one of those really ponder and think about the decision and try to come to some conclusion before I take it to Heavenly Father. That is exactly what I did. I knew that I was at a crossroads in my life. I had to make a decision and it was only a decision that I could make. No one could make it for me. It was at this time that I received another one of those shake you to the core type of promptings. I knelt in prayer on a Saturday morning feeling more nauseous than I had ever felt and in tears. I took my decision to the Lord and I received a very clear prompting that I was making the right decision. I was going home. Often times the Lord requires us to do hard things sometimes even things that we don't want to do. We have to do these things so that we can grow. I again found myself feeling like I was taking a step into the darkness and like I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I felt like I was walking by faith. It is one of those bittersweet feelings. I found joy in the fact that I was following what Heavenly Father had planned for me and that I was being as faithful as I could but I also found sadness in the thought of returning home and leaving the missionary field. I felt complete when I was serving the Lord. Heartwarming happiness became real and I finally felt like I understood what happiness was. In some ways I felt like my happiness was being taken away from me because I was leaving the field and I was going to have to take my tag off. As I made this decision I also found another prompting of peace a long the way. I know that in those 10 months that I served the Lord and the people of Las Vegas that I did exactly what was required of me. I know that the work that I performed was acceptable to the Lord. This taught me that it is possible to feel peace in times that are hard. Just because I was following the plan that Heavenly Father had for me does not mean that it was easy for me. Leaving the mission took a lot more faith than coming to the mission did and it was one of the hardest things that I had ever done. A short and long days later I found myself on a plane once again with the feeling of being scared creeping back in because I had no idea what I was getting myself into. When I got home I decided to fight once again. Doctors appointments came quickly and a proper diagnosis became clear within a couple of months. I began medication to help with the illness and I started to feel better for the most part. I didn't know what I was supposed to do next. I wanted to return the field but I knew that was not what Heavenly Father needed me to do. At that moment in time it was not in the cards and even though it was disappointing I again found myself walking by faith. I received another prompting that I needed to go to college. I was enrolled at BYU-Idaho and I decided that I would go there in the fall. It felt right and I knew that I needed to be there. While in Idaho I met amazing people and made amazing friends that have changed my life in more ways than I could explain. My experience at BYU-Idaho changed my life and I am so grateful for the time that I spent there. I needed it and I have a feeling that Idaho needed me too. Now, it was January of 2017 and I found myself in Idaho trying to figure out my next step. BYU-Idaho did not have the major that I wanted to study so I was trying hard to know where I needed to go in order to receive an education in that particular field of study. I had options and as I pondered them nothing was lining up. I didn't know what to do and I was frustrated. This is when the prompting repeatedly occurred to me that I needed to rethink the idea of returning to the mission field. I had been home for about 8 months at the time and even though the desire to go back had always remained with me I had always felt that it just wasn't what I needed to do. These promptings came as one of those shake you to the core type of promptings. It surprised me and I felt like it had totally come out of left field. I had been home for so long and felt like I was just starting to fully adjust again and life was good in Idaho. My friends and I were closer than ever and I knew that if I was going to try to return to the mission field that I was going to have to leave them and to sacrifice everything again. I had a whole lot of mixed emotions and trust me any one of them can testify to that. I could not deny the prompting that I received and I had made a promise earlier on in my life that I would try my hardest to follow what Heavenly Father needed from me. I did not want to go back on my mission. I did not want to sacrifice everything again. I did not want to return home to Washington where my spirituality severely was in trouble every time I came back. I did not want to lose everything that I felt like I had worked so hard for.  Now a month later I have found myself back in Washington and working on the process of being able to return to the mission field. I don't know how I got here. Its been hard emotionally the past month. I have a lot of feelings but once again I have the prompting of peace that inspires me to continue to move forward and to continue to follow my Heavenly Father's will. Sometimes Heavenly Father asks us to do things that are hard and that we don't want to do but he does this so that we can grow. I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have to grow. There is peace in following Heavenly Father's plan even when things are hard. I don't know if I will be able to return to the mission field but I know that I need to try. This last week I received medical clearance to be able to return. My doctor feels confident in my ability to return and that is a huge blessing. Next week I will be turning in my approval letter along with a letter from myself to the missionary department stating why I want to return to the mission field and why I feel that I can. Two weeks later I should hopefully have an answer. I don't want is going to happen. I'm walking by faith and its is beautiful. 

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