Thursday, September 25, 2014

On being called to the Provo, Utah mission...

Thoughts on being called to the Provo, Utah mission

   Maybe it's because I'm bored, or maybe because I just love making posts on this blog, but recently I've felt like I needed to write a little something about how it feels to be called as a missionary to the Provo mission.

  So my mission story began at the beginning of this year, in January during my second semester of school at BYUI. I had honestly never really thought about going on a mission and if I ever did, I usually brushed it off and figured my life would be too busy to take time out and serve an 18 month mission. However, during that second semester of school I began tossing the idea around in my head, but I told myself I wouldn't let it become real until I got home for the summer and was able to really think it out. At that time, I still hadn't gotten my patriarchal blessing and decided that this was the very time I needed it. I asked Heavenly Father if he could just please give me some sort of guidance about this matter. I felt lost in a lot of aspects in my life (most specifically my plans for the future, my college major, and a possible mission). I found my answer quite directly in my blessing, and immediately began preparing for my mission. For months as I was filling out forms and having interviews and preparing, all I could think about was "where in the world will I be called?? This world is so huge, I could go ANYWHERE!" I spent many sleepless nights ticking off countries and states in my mind that I could possibly serve in. I was willing to go anywhere the Lord wanted me to, but deep down in my heart I was hoping for a foreign mission. My dad had served in Mexico and I thought that maybe it would be exciting to get sent to his mission. I had contemplated the thought that I could get sent stateside, and that was fine with me too. The thought of possibly going to New York, or Washington, or California excited me. When people would ask me where I wanted to go, I always told them I was completely willing to go anywhere, but that would always follow with the joke "just as long as I don't get sent to Provo, Utah or Rexburg, Idaho I'll be totally happy!" Looking back on it, I think I was definitely setting myself up for a Provo, Utah mission call (ha ha ha...)

   The time finally came for me to open up my mission call. The entire morning and afternoon before I opened it up, I couldn't eat. I was so nervous, sick, anxious, you name it. I remember kneeling in my room a few hours before I had my opening get-together. I remember pleading with Heavenly Father for me to feel okay with with whatever place I was sent to. The evening came, and I stood in front of my close friends and family holding that large white envelope. Hands shaking and heart pounding, I ripped open my call and slipped the paper out and began reading it. "Dear Sister Segle, you are hereby called to serve...." I took a deep breath skimmed the next line. "....Utah, Provo mission..." As I read the words, I laughed. This couldn't possibly be real, could it? I continued reading the letter out loud, though I wasn't paying attention to what I was reading whatsoever.I had to re-read the part about when I was to report to the MTC because I was in total shock. As I continued reading, I found that I was to be preaching the gospel in the Spanish language. Yay!!! I was honestly hoping to learn a language. 

  The next few hours were quite a daze. I was excited, yes, don't get me wrong. I thought of all the positive parts of this mission call, and was easily able to put on a brave face for these people who were so full of love and were so excited for me. However, as the night ended, and the crowd slowly trickled out, I started feeling the tears welling up behind my eyes. I felt weird, and unsettled. It wasn't until my mom sat down with me and asked how I really felt about my mission call that the tears started flowing and my disappointments came gushing out. I know it sounds completely awful, but I was, to put it honestly, devastated. I was born in Salt Lake City, had many family members in Provo, and the cities surrounding. I had spent countless summers in Utah, and I wasn't even reporting to the Mexico MTC. I turned down BYU because I didn't particularly like the Provo culture. I thought about every single place I could have gone, and wondered why my Heavenly Father would do this to me. There were no problems with my health, I had just recently gotten a new passport, and I was completely prepared to get called to some third world country. I was ready to step outside of my comfort zone. And yet, I was called to the missionary, Mormon capital. I just didn't understand. That night I got maybe, 1-2 hours of sleep. I woke up hoping that my mission call had just been a dream, and when I realized it wasn't I would get discouraged again. 

   I spent weeks feeling completely overcome with depression. Motivation was hard to come by, and most of my friends were leaving for college so I spent a lot of time alone. However, looking back on all of it, I wish I hadn't wasted so much time feeling sorry for myself. It wasn't until a particularly hard breakdown and a very serious discussion with my mom about these feelings that I realized a change had to be made. I didn't want to spend my last few months with my family before I left being angry and sad.

   It took me awhile, but I realized the importance of serving a mission isn't in where you serve, but how you serve. I realized that Heavenly Father gave me this trial so I could grow from it. It would have been too easy for be to get called somewhere I wanted to be called. How often in life do we create this elaborate, perfect plan of how things should be, and when things don't turn out that way feel like we are being cheated by our Heavenly Father? I know I sure do. I am notorious for creating perfect scenarios in my head, and when they don't go as planned I become discouraged. This was, I feel, a major test of my faith. I have to put my complete trust in my Heavenly Father, and hope that He knows exactly what my needs are, and know that my spirit is needed specifically in Provo for some reason or another. 

   I want to make it very clear to everyone going stateside something that going through weeks of heartache has taught me: stateside missions are just as important to the Lord as foreign ones. The Lord needs his missionaries everywhere so do NOT feel like your mission is insignificant.


   I just recently listened to a devotional given at BYU-Idaho by Elder Holland, and it seemed to harmonize with my efforts lately to pursue happiness. So, if you are having trouble finding happiness, whether it be disappointment over a mission call, or anything else, here's what I learned from this awesome devotional:

How to live after the manner of happiness:

  1. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
    • Christ is the "way, the truth, and the life."
  2. Realize that much of your happiness is in your hands
    • We have the agency to choose to be happy!
    • The Holy Ghost will be our constant companion and guide.
    • "The battle for happiness is a battle worth waging"
    • "Participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings."-Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. You can never build your happiness on someone else's unhappiness.
    • Happy people are never mean, cynical, or negative.
    • "Kindness, pleasantness, and faith-based optimism are characteristics of happy people."
  4. Avoid animosity & contention.
    • Satan loves anger! Don't give him that!
    • "Harboring anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."
    • Don't be idle!
    • Seek learning!
    • Serve others!
    • "We will be raised to happiness according to our desire for happiness."


  1. Great comments Hermana Segle. I LOVED your honesty and what you wrote. . . . I have 2 comments, (1) perhaps you are still going to teach the same people your father taught, they've just moved further North (that's supposed to be funny). (2) My other thought however, comes from your comments and Paul, the greatest missionary in the N.T., who wrote Timothy and challenged him to "be thou an example of the believers" (1 Timothy 4:12).

    There are many missions where temporal things, like learning a new language, poor living conditions, bad food, or extreme temperatures are the primary challenge and focus. But there are some missions, only a few, where the challenge is more spiritual, where people live comfortably and think that they already know the Mormons and/or that they don't need God in their lives. It is much harder to reach them. I'm sure that it requires special missionaries who have the spiritual capacity to identify and master the gifts they will need. Don't forget that Christ himself didn't learn a foreign language or leave His own country.

    These are two conference talks you will enjoy:

    1. Thank you SO much for that! I will definitely be reading those conference talks, and I didn't think about it in those ways :)



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