I want to add my testimony that both parts of the call - to serve and the assignment - are inspired and important. A month ago when Elder Bednar stopped to address the MTC Missionaries he spoke on this subject and changed the lives of many who were there. (See March 2 post)
As to the importance of the assignment, I had read in the Doctrine and Covenants about going East, West...it mattereth not... before my mission and was determined not to be disappointed wherever I served because I felt it really didn't matter where I went. I just hoped it wouldn't be Taiwan or somewhere I'd stick out too much. In my heart of hearts I felt I went to a random mission that needed a missionary.
Going to Canada was cool because my dad went there, although I went to the West and he went to the East.
It was about 20 years later while I was writing to my own missionary children that I was hit with the realization that my missionary assignment wasn't random. I wrote to my missionaries about one of the tracting success stories of my mission where a lady let us in because her husband was a member though not active. While she was talking about her family and husband I felt a similarity with an uncle's family and asked her what his name was. We found they were the same family and an instant bond was created. She invited us to supper and we helped just a little on a painting project. My companion Sister Littler told them at supper that we could come back if we were able to teach some practice lessons. They readily agreed. I got transferred the next month and was surprised one evening to get a call from Sister Littler that when they taught the baptism challenge lesson the mother and oldest daughter had never been baptized and accepted the challenge.
I happened to be visiting Arizona when Rachel was 3 months old and told my uncle about meeting his brother's family. He asked if I knew the rest of the story. The oldest daughter had just gone on her own mission!
While writing to my missionaries a few years later, I looked back analyzing, and realized I was the first missionary from our greater family to go on a mission and I just "happened" to be on the one street that one particular family would let the missionaries in - and be loosely related.
Assignments are inspired and I need to do my very best service in life because only God knows and plans who we are suppose to cross paths with as random as it seems.
I'm wondering who the sister missionary in the MTC in March whose assignment was relocated will meet and cross paths with and find out God was watching out for her all along.
The irony of not wanting to stick out because I was white and tall the first time I went on a mission compared to white, tall, old and fat sticking out in a crowd hasn't been lost on me. I'm pretty sure the angels in heaven have a great sense of humor. Luckily the Filipino people are loving and accepting.
I have a greater awareness on this mission that there are people I am suppose to meet, serve and hopefully share God's love with. Listening to Elder Bednar helps me refocus and make new commitments to do good. Actually all of the talks this morning have strengthened my resolve.