God’s plan and love for me

by Jakob Borgen

God’s plan and love for me

Ever since my youth, I have had a very strong desire to serve a mission.  I wanted to have the “best two years” of my life, teaching people about the gospel and bringing souls unto Christ.  I wanted to make a difference.  I knew I had some medical considerations that could hinder my ability to serve but I didn’t let that get in the way.  I mean, miracles happen on missions, don’t they? 

When the time came to apply for a mission, I completed and submitted my forms.  I was so excited.  I was going to get a call from the Lord, given through the prophet, and help people.  Maybe I would go to a different country and learn a new language.  I was going to have an adventure.

After I submitted my papers, I was continuously checking my mobile phone for the long-awaited email, but it never came.  I tried to be patient – I knew it would happen in the Lord’s time – but nothing happened.  Eventually, after nine weeks of waiting, my Stake President visited my ward, and asked to see me.  I guessed that it was something to do with my mission.  I was right, but not in the way that I had expected.  He told me that I had failed one of my medical tests, and as a consequence was advised not to serve a mission.

The news hit me like a brick.  But after the meeting, a sudden overwhelming feeling of peace came over me.  Heavenly Father knew that I would have struggled on my mission and that He didn’t want to put me through anything I couldn’t cope with.  However, it was not easy.  I now had the painstaking task of telling my friends and ward members.  Even though everyone was very supportive and comforting, I still felt ashamed, particularly because most of my friends are returned missionaries.  They are always talking about how much they loved their missions, and all the spiritual experiences they had.  I felt so inferior.  I was also attending other friends’ leaving and homecoming parties.  Though I was very happy for them all, it was still painful.  I tried to apply for a service mission instead but for technical reasons it didn’t work out.  I was distraught.  I felt like such a failure.  I felt like I had let everyone down.  Going to church and Institute was hard. 

However, I was still able to go to the Temple and receive my own endowment.  It was such an amazing experience.  I felt Heavenly Father’s strong love for me, despite not serving a mission.  I was overwhelmed by how many people had come to support me.  I realised nobody cared that I couldn’t go on a mission; they loved me just the same.  The whole experience healed my emotional wounds. 

After this, I attended the Temple two or three times a week so that I could continue to feel that beautiful spirit.  I even applied to serve a Temple mission.  Then COVID-19 came, and all the temples around the world were shut.  I had to abandon my application.  It was another difficult experience but after much prayer and scripture study, I have learned that God has a different plan for me.  He needs me to be where I am for the time being.  Though I don’t know why, I am sure I will soon find out.

It has been twelve months since I started my mission application.  Whether I will serve a mission in this life, I don’t know; but what I do know is that no matter what, Heavenly Father loves me and has a plan for me, greater than I can ever imagine.  I know that one day I will look back and understand why all this has happened.  But for now, I will serve Him by fulfilling my current callings, reaching out to others and sharing the Gospel with my non-member friends. That’s still missionary work, after all.

UPDATE: Jakob Borgen has received his mission letter to serve a church service mission and he starts in September 2020.