My entire life I have tried to control everything. I have had my goals planned and mapped out to achieve them in a timely manner. If things do not work out like I plan then I usually have a back up plan. My point is that I always know what is going on. I do not rely on anyone but myself to get what I want and I have worked hard for what I have. Having that attitude about life was not going to work well on a mission and Heavenly Father knew that, which leads me to the next lesson learned: giving up control.
After the first meeting with the counselor I met with him one more time a week later. The Stake President did not really make it clear what he wanted to the counselor which I believe was because he wasn't even clear about what I needed to learn or why he felt prompted to hold on to my papers. The counselor gave me a talk to read by Elder Oaks called "Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall" and some articles about Johari's Window. Essentially we talked about how we handle situations and how some things we do are perceived by others but not ourselves. We all have blind spots and we need to try to be aware of them. The articles he gave me actually helped me to teach my relief society lesson, so more good came out of waiting.
I waited yet another week to even hear from the Stake President, despite my emails and efforts to speed up the process. At this point I had waited an entire month and I was getting beyond impatient. I was supposed to sign up for classes the week before and if I didnt know when I was leaving then I didnt know if I should sign up for classes or not. My school situation was especially different than normal because I had just changed my major to Math Education and in order to do so, had to have a composite minor which does not technically exist. Signing up for classes would be an ordeal and if I turned around to just drop my classes, then I'm not so sure the head of the math department would be so eager to help me yet again when I got back from my mission. I didnt feel like I was supposed to go to school for a semester before my mission anyway, but I wouldnt be able to defer Winter if my call was for after the semester ended. I became more stressed and frustrated as I waited to just hear back from him. I finally decided to stop relying on the secretary and the Stake President, so I called the Stake President and asked him to meet me anytime that day. I would cancel any tutor session I had if he would just find time for me. He told me he was going out of town and that the Secretary had planned to set up another meeting a week from then. I was so mad that I started to cry, and I am extremely ashamed to say that I took out some of my anger with the Stake President. Our call became disconnected in the middle of his sentence, so I put my phone away and broke down in defeat. I was in limbo with everything and I had no idea what was going to happen. How much longer did I have to wait to figure out what was going to happen with my life? Where was I going to be called? When was I going to leave? What could I possibly do until then? All these questions bombarded me and I felt close to drowning.
The next day I went to the temple to seek comfort, and I found more than just that. I was writing in my journal in the chapel when my eyes were finally opened and I understood what I was doing. I thought of the following analogy: Heavenly Father is driving this car down a bumpy road and I'm in the passenger seat. I have no idea what our destination is, but yet I keep trying to jerk the wheel from Him. I see a side road and try to pull the car in that direction. As far as I understand these bumps could be avoided, but Heavenly Father knows the road well and He knows that those small bumps will prepare me for bigger ones in the future. There are times when I can drive, but at this point in time, I need to put my trust in Him. Having faith that He will get me to where I need to be is hard, but important. At that moment in time, I realized how foolish I was acting. I was trying so hard to change the path that Heavenly Father had for me, when I lacked the understanding of how great that path is. The great thing is that the day after I gave up control was the day the Stake President told me he would submit my papers.
That was on November 15th, so I thought I would be getting my call the week after Thanksgiving Break. Too excited to contain myself, I called my mom's Bishop and asked him to look up the status of my papers. Surprisingly, though, he told me that my papers had never been submitted. He had gotten a call from my Bishop saying they were being held up. I called my Bishop to figure out what had happened and he said he would try to figure that out. He talked with the Stake President who gave him the go. So after thinking my papers were in for almost two weeks, they were finally submitted on the 26th of November. I have fasted and prayed to have my heart softened. I have waited for this for so long I just do not want to be disappointed when I open my call. Wherever I am needed, I just hope that I can feel the Spirit testify to me that I am meant to serve in that wonderful land.