We first chose to serve a mission on June 8, 2014. Several of our children had encouraged us to serve over the past year or so, but we could see no way to go since we had a mortgage and two businesses to run. Then that Sunday evening, we were at our son Spencer’s home in Mapleton. He and his wife Jaime suggested again that we go now and not wait. As we considered what would need to happen, we realized that things could likely be arranged to leave. Little did we imagine what was in store.
After committing to the Lord in prayer that we would serve, almost immediately things began to turn upside down. Our cleaver plan was dashed within the month. RaNae experienced some frightening health concerns (possible cancer) and our one strong business collapsed overnight. For three months we experienced great challenges, and every time something new would happen, we could hear a voice saying, well, are you still going? The reversals were so dramatic and the tests so tough that we at times could not see how we could. But we answered yes each time, and took one more step.
At the end of this three-month interview with the Lord, I had a singular experience I cannot fully share here. I was first asked what I would give in order to serve Him, and a question followed each answer until I had surrendered everything and everyone to His will. We were all in and nothing was withheld. It was at this point that I learned the most powerful lesson of my life. For, after answering the final question, which was the most difficult of my life, the Spirit said: It is well. For only by you giving all to Me, can I give my all to you. Now watch! As long as I live I will never forget the power of that moment, for I then knew that RaNae and I had fully committed our all to His service.
Since that day, and for the next four months, things got much better. We still encountered challenges, but we were entirely engaged to proceed and progressed to the day we received our call. Here it is:
We are eternally grateful to serve as missionaries at this time of our life. We still have concerns about things at home, and all is not in order. But we have found that there is no perfect time to serve – there is always something keeping us back. But serve we will.