"After much thought and prayer, I've come to the conclusion that a mission is not in my plans. The MTC was a trying, yet beautiful experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I met some amazing missionaries, my companions were wonderful sisters, and the language was easy to pick up. But I've come home and am at peace with my decision. The testimony I have for mission work, for families, and for the scriptures have grown tremendously. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I am so grateful for my experience. If you're preparing to serve or thinking about serving, please earnestly pray about your decision, and go! It'll change your life. My time as a missionary may have been short, but I'm still excited to teach others about this beautiful gospel and I know my mission on earth is not over. I appreciate the sacrifice missionaries make, it is not easy. But it's worth it. I am proud to be a Mormon, and I know this gospel is meant to bring people to God and create happiness in their lives."-Sister Sierra Jorgensen
My daughter posted this status on her Facebook last Friday to let everyone know of her returning home early from the MTC. All i have to say is that I'm so proud of her for having the desire to serve the Lord, and for taking it as far as she did. Heavenly Father certainly knows His children, and if you knew my daughter, and I mean really knew her, you would come to know that she is an amazing girl, a true sweetheart, and someone who would literally be there for you at the drop of a hat whenever someone is in need.
The few weeks that she spent at the MTC was all the time she needed to focus, learn, and to spiritually grow. To truly know that the scriptures are to never be taken for granted, that families are forever, and to never take family for granted either. She needed to be there for that short time to prove to the Lord that after all her praying, and preparation for a mission that all she needed was to make it all the way to the MTC to learn the language, but after much thought and prayer in the temple, realized from the divine that she is destined for something else, but not to serve an 18 month mission in the Philippines.
But most of all...to listen to her answer.
In the church I attend we are all considered a missionary, and when it comes to serving a mission, it is not a priesthood responsibility for our daughters. I was so excited knowing that she was willing to serve, but even more at peace knowing that she's is happy, and at peace too. Sure I was a bit in shock when I received that phone call because of how excited she was when she got her mission call, but when she told us what prompted her to pray about coming home, our main focus was making sure she was alright, and that she did everything correct while making her decision.
I was very impressed hearing as to how she came about her answer, and knowing that she prayed to Heavenly Father about the feelings she was experiencing while in the MTC, and to actually feel that burning in her bosom when she received her answer is a testament to how in tune she was in listening to her response coming from the divine. And no matter how much she wanted it to be a different answer, and how wonderful serving in the Philippines sounded, she knew she couldn't go against that prompting. She was honest, and brave, and we are so pleased with her in obeying that answer, and not going against it. That's true discipleship if you ask me.
A few days after she came home I asked her what she missed most about the MTC. Her response, "I mostly miss the classes because they helped me grow spiritually, and my missionary companions because they all brought something in my life that I needed." She still continues to keep in touch with them through emails, and is happy to hear how well they're doing...without any regret.
I have no doubt that things will work out for her. She has goals, and is very ambitious, and who knows what the future has in store for her, but for now she is at peace with herself, and is happy where she's at, and that's all that matters.
As a parent it's important to support our children in all that they do...especially when a missionary comes home early. She is certainly not the first, and won't be the last. I have various friends who have had missionaries come home early, and for different reasons, but what is most relevant to the situation is not the "why's", the "how could you's", the stares, or the whisperings we may get behind our backs, but the "it's okay's", the smiles, and the true fellowshipping. The Lord is in charge, and knows exactly what is best for all of us. Missionaries coming home early is becoming more common these days, and what they need first and foremost is unconditional love, and support.
I'm grateful for the gospel, and that Sierra has a testimony of it, and that she's not afraid to share it with others. Even if it will be in her community, at school, or at work. She will always be a first class sister no matter what!
Welcome home mama! (I can call you that now!)
We love you girlie! (i can call you that too!)