While we were waiting for our mission assignment to come, I spent a great deal of time praying--and even fasting--to have a confirmation when we opened the envelope that where we were called, was the right place for us to go. Often while praying, I would have a sense of peace and even excitement come over me--which made me think that we might go to Costa Rica since that is where my father served and I lived as a child--and it was where I hoped we would go.
However, when we opened the call and saw it was to Guadalajara,--as you know --I was a bit disappointed. However, I also knew that it was the right place for us--and that I had known that for over 30 years.
While getting ready to turn in my mission papers as a young college student, I was sitting in sacrament meeting when I heard a voice very clearly say to me, "You are going on a mission to Guadalajara." I had never even heard of Guadalajara and didn't know where it was or if there were even a mission there. I leaned over and asked my roommate if she knew where it was and she said, "I think it is in Mexico. Why?" I answered, "Because that is where I am going on my mission."
About a month later I received my call to Ecuador. I was a little puzzled, but since my father was familiar with Ecuador and loved it, I was excited to go there. And when I arrived in the country I had several experiences that verified to me that I was in the right place.
But I have always remembered the impression about Guadalajara. I never thought I would go there, I just thought it was funny I once thought I would.
And then we opened this mission assignment. After things calmed down, I went in to another room to call my daughter in Colorado. As I began to tell her about the assignment, I was overcome by the Spirit testifying to me that Guadalajara is exactly where we are supposed to serve and that I had known that for 30 years. Even writing about it now, after a couple weeks have passed, still makes me cry. I find it so interesting that a prayer I offered just recently (to receive a confirmation that we were going to the right place) was answered long before I even knew to offer the prayer.
And quickly . . . my second story--an interesting coincidence.
When I was twenty years old, I went with a friend to the Mormon Colonies in Mexico. While there, I met a young woman, "PJ" who was eagerly waiting for her missionary to return so they could marry.
So here is my series of interesting coincidences with "PJ". First of all, our fathers served missions together in Argentina. Then our husbands served missions together in Mexico, Merida. And now she and I will serve as mission moms together in Mexico.
Do you ever get the feeling that there are some people you were just meant to be your friend? And I am really glad we have kept in touch over the years. Thank goodness for the annual Christmas card! :-)
Truthfully, I don't believe in coincidences. I think God has His hand in our lives much more often than we may give Him credit for.
And that thought brings great . . . . joy to my journey.