Staying Close to the Spirit
This week I've really thought about the difference between how close I was to the Spirit before my mission compared to now. My whole life before my mission, I struggled with feeling the Holy Ghost and recognizing answers or feeling sure that I was following his promptings. I even felt bitter at times and frustrated that I wasn't getting answers to prayers. It wasn't until I decided to start praying about a mission that I started to understand how an answer came. I studied it out in my mind, went with the Sister missionaries to their lessons, asked questions here and there, fulfilled my callings, attended the temple, and slowly but surely I began to find confidence in myself, that I could be a missionary. My prayers were like this, "Please let me know if I should go on a mission; and if I should, please give me the desire to go." And that desire came so strongly that I began to yearn and hope and want to serve a mission so badly, I'd do anything and everything it took to go.
A lot of missionaries tell me how hard of a transition it was to go from normal life to being a missionary. I admit it was hard because it was all new to me, but it was so wonderful and easy to leave the worldly things behind and just focus on the gospel all day every day. The greatest blessing was the overwhelming presence of the Holy Ghost, guiding my thoughts and words, calming my nerves and filling me with peace and confidence, testifying of true principles and filling me with the burning desire to share what I already knew to be true.
I've often wondered why I felt the Spirit so much greater the day I walked into the MTC compared to anything before, and I think it has to do with 2 things. One, that I was called and set apart as a full-time missionary and representative of Christ, but more importantly, that I was living my life in a way that brought the Spirit into my life! I was studying the scritpures for hours every day, I was praying out loud and in my heart constantly, hourly, if not every few minutes. The spiritual practices that the prophets ask us to do are what help us be close to the Spirit. When I feel directed to go somewhere, talk to that person, knock on that door, share a certain experience--I just do it. I don't hesitate, I don't question, and I look back and know the Spirit was helping me the whole way! When we are exercising faith, praying constantly, studying the scriptures daily for a meaningful amount of time, and going out and living the gospel and sharing it with everyone around us, we can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost with us no matter what our stage or calling in life is at the time.
Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Fluegel