Early in the fall semester of 2014, I had to make the decision about when and how to go home. I had a terrible feeling about going home. It was one of the strangest feelings I’ve had; why wouldn’t The Lord want me to be home for Christmas? My decision to not go home was not only the hardest decision to make but also the clearest prompting in a long time. I am from New York, so there are not many opportunities for me to go home. I stay here for Thanksgiving, so I was looking forward to going home. I was lucky to go home for the 7-week break before the fall semester, but before that, I didn’t go home for a year. And I don’t know well will be the next time I’ll go back, due to school, and an internship. I didn’t, and still don’t, have any clue of when the next time will be.
Throughout Get Connected, I felt The Lord direct me on to how to set up, and run the different events. I’ve talked to many different people, student and faculty, who told me about all they learned and the many spiritual insights they gained from all of the events. Many of the events would have gotten done, but I received a confirmation that due to the hard work of my program managers and I, The Spirit was more easily felt.
The day after Get Connected, I talked to my Mom, and I heard that New York was shut down since a day or two before New Years Eve, and flights just started to depart again during Day 2 of Get Connected.
It was a powerful testimony builder of the importance of sacrifice. If I did not heed The Spirit and stayed in Rexburg, the lessons and insights learned by countless others may not have be learned. There are not many times where you can see the good, and the potential bad (if you didn’t heed), from following a prompting to sacrifice. I lived the promise in Ether 12:6 “ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith”. I received a powerful witness because The Lord trusted me to act on faith and stay in Rexburg for Christmas.
I grew so much from the Get Connected, and am truly a different person because of it. I feel blessed that The Lord set this trial to me. Not many other council members would have been strong enough to stay away from their families for Christmas. But The Lord knew I would be strong enough, and used it to help me progress spiritual, while helping others.
My family is not active members of The Church, but through all they’ve seen me sacrifice, they have been touched. Maybe more will come from my willingness to stay. But it is just amazing how much more The Lord blesses compared to what he asks us to sacrifice. Staying in Rexburg for Christmas ended up being the biggest Tender Mercy in my life up to date.