I just wanted to take a moment and share with you my testimony that mission calls are absolutely and completely inspired of The Lord.
When you are preparing for a mission, you will likely encounter a variety of people who will ask you "where would you WANT to go on your mission?" Or, occasionally, "is there anyplace you WOULDN'T want to go?" It's natural for us to wonder where we will be sent. Will we go foreign? Stateside? What about learning a language?
Then, once you receive your call, you will have a variety of people asking you "where are you going?!" Again, this is a typical part of the process. People want to share the excitement of mission work with you.
But, allow me to let you in on a little secret.... It doesn't actually matter where you go.
Allow me to share my own experience with you:
Two years ago, I decided that I wanted to go on a humanitarian expedition. As I looked through the various options of possible trips, I chose to go to Peru. So, I signed up and made the first payment. A couple weeks later, I got a call from the company's owner. She explained to me that due to a scheduling error, they needed one person to switch from the Peru expedition to the Belize expedition. She offered me a discount, and said that they had randomly selected which volunteer they were going to call first, and my name came up first. I asked if I could think about it, and she agreed. When I prayed about it, I really felt like I should switch. So I did, not really knowing why.
Well, I ended up LOVING Belize. I came to love the people and culture of Central America.
Then, once the mission age changed, I instantly knew that I would go when I was nineteen. I have always wanted to serve a mission, and was very excited. However, I decided that it would be best for me to go to a year of college first. I prayed about my decision, and never felt like I got a distinct "yes" or "no." So, I assumed that it was okay.
However, when registration for second semester came around, the registration system kicked me out 12 times. This didn't happen to any of my roommates. When all was said and done, I was only able to register for 4 credits, and wait-listed 30 others. I was super frustrated and couldn't understand why this was happening to me. I called my mom to tell her about it, and she told me that maybe it was The Lord telling me it was time to go on my mission.
That night, I got back to my apartment around 1 AM. I knelt and prayed to know if I needed to continue my education, or leave on my mission. I basically said,
"Heavenly Father, I will do whatever it is you want me to do. But, I only have 8 days to terminate my housing contract and defer my scholarships if you don't want me to be here next semester. I need a really clear answer, because I don't want to doubt my decision."
After ending my prayer, I didn't feel anything immediately. Because my roommate was already asleep, and I opened my scripture app on my phone to read. The app started freaking out and looked like it was about to crash. Instead it pulled up D&C 124:2 (mind you, this was nowhere near where I was reading in my scriptures)
It reads : "Your prayers are acceptable before me; and in answer to them, I say unto you, that you are now called immediately to make a solemn proclamation of my gospel, and of this stake which is to be a cornerstone of Zion, which shall be polished with the refinement which is after the similitude of a palace."
Basically the clearest answer of my whole life. I terminated my housing, Deferred my scholarships, and submitted my papers the next morning.
When I got called to Guatemala, everything made sense. I honestly feel that the Lord has been guiding me to Guatemala all along. It is the reason why I needed to leave after one semester of school. It is the reason why I was supposed to go to Belize instead of Peru. I know that this is exactly where I need to be.
And wherever you get called is exactly where you need to be too.
We know that we all lived together in the pre-mortal life as literal spirit children of our Heavenly Father. Because we are all his children, each of us is a literal brother or sister of Christ. There are people in the world, who you have not met yet, who you knew and loved in the life before this.
Those people need The Gospel. They need the light of Jesus Christ. They need to know that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them.
And guess what? You can bring them the truth.
So it doesn't matter if you will bring the truth to the people of Iowa, or Indonesia.
It doesn't matter if you will be speaking English, or Croatian.
Really, the geography of your mission is irrelevant.
Because at the end of the day, everyone needs The Gospel. And the message is the same wherever you are.
And I testify that wherever you go, it is exactly where The Lord needs you to serve.