Hello my name is Haley. I'm from Idaho, and I just turned 21 years old last week! In March 2013, I received my mission call to the Argentina Posadas mission. I had never been so excited in my life! I never expected to go to South America (for I have a thyroid disease), but I knew that was where the Lord needed me to go! Preparing for my mission was fun and exciting, and my family was very supportive of me. My family and I are converts, and so I was to be the first in our family to serve a mission. I could hardly believe it!
July of 2013, I arrived at the Missionary Training Center. It was hard to say goodbye to my family, but I felt a sense of excitement and adventure waiting for me! I loved the MTC! I felt my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ grow immensely, and I knew it was where Heavenly Father needed me at that time. I met many kindred spirits in my district, and we all just "clicked."
Then at the end of August, the time came to go to Argentina. I was a bundle of nerves, but the Lord comforted me, and I could feel His love for me. After meeting my mission president and his wife, the time came to go to my first area, which was Pilar, Paraguay. As soon as I saw the outskirts of the city, I felt like I had come home. I couldn't speak the language like AT ALL, but I knew this is where the Lord wanted me to be. The first 6 weeks were hard because my companion didn't speak a LICK of English, but we came to love each other even though it was hard to communicate at times. I grew to love the people there like they were my own family. I never felt so close to my Heavenly Father, and I literally could feel my testimony growing by leaps and bounds everyday. Most amazing feeling I have ever had in my life.
After only being out for 6 weeks in the field, I was told by my mission president that I would be the Senior companion, and also be training a new missionary!! I was like "are you sure Presidente??" I did not feel qualified at all, and I remember having a good cry in the shower about it, but I decided to put my trust in the Lord, and the Spirit told me that God needed me now to train, and so I told Him "okay, thy will be done." My second companion was heaven sent!! I instantly knew we had known each other in the pre-existence. She had such a tender soul, and those that we taught could evidently see that. We developed a really great teaching pattern, and I never was so happy in my mission.
But then almost 3 weeks after we had become companions, we were walking to a meeting, when I suddenly had a shooting pain in my head, and I felt so dizzy that I thought I was going to pass out. My poor companion, I scared her half to death! But we continued on to the meeting, though it took us another 30 minutes to get there...But the dizziness and the headaches steadily became worse and worse every single day. It came to a point, where I could not even get out of bed because I was so dizzy. And all during this time, I could not figure out why this happened. I felt like I had been doing everything I was supposed to, but maybe there was something I did wrong?? I prayed and I prayed, and all the Lord would tell me was that this was supposed to happen, and He would be there to help me carry this burden. That went on for about 2 1/2 weeks before my mission president and his wife made the 6 hour drive to pick me up and bring me back to the mission home. I spent a week there, and doctors could not find why my body was shutting down...I remember distinctly the night before my mission president told me I was going to be sent home, that I was saying my nightly prayers, when all of sudden, I felt so much anger and despair because I just so badly wanted to serve...I had a feeling I was going home, but I didn't want to accept that...I felt I had finally found my purpose in this life. To bring others unto Christ, and I didn't understand why the Lord wouldn't just heal me, so I could do that. I realized right after that I needed to apologize for my anger toward the Lord, and I pleaded to Him for forgiveness. I felt His love surround me, and I knew then that I needed to say "not my will, but thy will be done." And then my mission president told me the next day that he felt I needed to go home, and it was easier to accept it because I had put it into the Lord's hands.
It was extremely hard to come home, for I couldn't even walk by myself. But the Lord has extended tender mercies towards me, and I will be forever grateful for them. I was only out for 4 months, but those months were life-changing for me. I have been home now for almost 3 months, and am working on getting back out to serve. I want to serve again, not because other people expect me to, but because I know the Lord needs me to. He needed me to come home for reasons I can see now, and also because there are certain life-lessons that I needed to learn, so that I can reach my divine potential :) The Lord has a perfect plan for each and every one of us. We may not be able to see why we have to go through the trials and struggles in our lives, but I know if we put our trust in God, we can see the blessings and miracles and the tender mercies from on high. He is mindful of us, and knows of our pain. We are literally His children, and He loves us so very much, more than we can even fathom. I can say I am grateful for this trial in my life because I learned so many things, and only going through this was I able to learn them. I am grateful to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Him so much, and I know He loves me, and everyone of us. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings us so much comfort and peace in our lives, if only we let Him into our hearts. :)