We would like to share with you the story of how we ended up in Fiji.
A little over a year ago Dave and I retired. As we approached retirement many people asked me what we were going to do with ourselves once we were retired. We just figured we would hang out and enjoy not having to be anywhere or do anything. The number one question people asked us or instructed us was, “ are you or when are you going to serve a mission?” Every time anyone asked me this question I found myself feeling a little irritated. I also always felt a twinge of quilt when I would react the way I did. We know now it was the Holy Ghost telling me us needed to go on a mission. We finally came to the resolution that when it was our time we would know it and we would go.
We fought the idea of a mission in my mind for a long time. We could not imagine leaving our house, our kids, our grandkids, our friends and everything else the Lord had blessed us with! Our conscience was poked however when a friend reminded us of the Law of Consecration, that we should be willing to give all that the Lord had blessed us with to the Church.
After a short time being retired we began to feel restless realizing that our lives really had no purpose. We began to include in our prayers that Heavenly Father would help us find a purpose in our lives and something to do that would be of meaning.
We knew that the Lord would let us know what we were supposed to do.
In January of this past year we went on a wonderful vacation to Australia, New Zealand and a short stop over in Fiji. We loved everything we saw and did and we were able to enjoy God’s Majestic Creations in that part of the world to the fullest.
By the end of a few days in Australia and 2 weeks on a cruise ship around New Zealand we were beginning to feel like we were ready to go home. Dave had been to Fiji on the way home from his mission and told me that he wished we could just go straight home because of all the Islands, Fiji was his least favorite. I had been sick and was ready to get home and get better. We felt that our incredible journey was over and it was time to go home. Little did we know that it had only just begun.
While on the Cruise we had several people ask us the same question we had been asked for the past 6 months. When are you going on your mission? One couple who had recently returned from a mission gave us “the talk” that we need to go on our mission now while we could. I tried to stay away from this couple for fear they would continue to pressure us.
We arrived in Fiji on January 27th. We knew the Staggs were in Fiji on their mission but we were told that they were in Suva which was a long way away from where we were. We did not know that the Jackson’s had made previous plans for them to come to where we were staying so they could see all of us.
The first day in Fiji they met up with us where we were having lunch. Ted had been our home teacher for 3 years and we had grown to love him dearly. So we were excited to see him. Pat glowed. And Ted’s enthusiasm radiated. They truly had the Spirit with them. In talking to them of course the topic of our retirement and of course a possible mission came up. This time it was different. As they talked about it and told us of a need for a Mission Nurse in July, something very surprising happened to me. It was as though someone placed a warm blanket over me and I knew at that moment that it was our time to serve our mission. The Staggs talked to us again the next day and I had the same feeling. We didn’t say much to each other about it for a couple of days. He was afraid to bring it up for fear of my repeated response. On the way home in the Airplane we both said to each other “well, what do you think?" We both agreed without any hesitation that we should pursue the call to Fiji.
All of the reasons we didn’t want to go on a mission became reasons we wanted to serve. Once again the Law of Consecration came into my mind.
Some friends told us that if we want to do any one thing for our family it would be to go on a mission. Why shouldn’t we give 18 months of our lives to the Lord.
The Staggs did not talk us into it nor did they push us. They were simply the vehicle for the Spirit of the Holy Ghost to touch our hearts. I will be forever grateful for the softening of my heart that day in Fiji.
As soon as we got home we proceeded to get our mission papers ready. As we were waiting for the call we were afraid to say for sure that we were going to Fiji because we had been told by many sources that although we requested Fiji we could go anywhere and that the Lord may have something else in mind for us. We had decided that we would go wherever we were called and be fine with it.
We however felt deep in our hearts that the Lord wanted us in Fiji because of the experience we had had there.
We know the Lord Loves us, he knows of my talents and my weaknesses. Although we are a bit nervous to have 144 missionaries under our care for their medical needs we know that we will be on the Lord’s Errand and that He will guide us. If He touched our hearts and guided us to Fiji Iweknow that He will guide us so that we will know what to do as situations arise.