Another crazy week! All of the Zone Conferences were in Iquitos this week, so I didn’t fly anywhere this week, which was kind of nice. The third zone conference of this week was with 9 de Octubre, my zone for 9 months! Of course, most of the people there weren’t the same as before, but there were at least a few familiar faces.
At the end of the conference, the assistants and I were taking pictures of the whole zone with President and Hermana Gomez and a few of the missionaries in the zone told me to get in the picture with the zone I would always belong to. Honestly, it kind of felt nice.
During that same Zone Conference, Hermana Gomez started reading a new letter about how missionaries with just about any health problem will be sent home immediately based on the new worldwide church standard. A few people looked over at me like “What on earth are you still doing here??” and Elder Anderson, one of the Assistants, whispered, “You’re really grateful for President, right? You understand that you wouldn’t be here without him, right? You have no idea how far he stuck his neck out for you! But, it’s good, because you’ve been a great help.”
Even though I know that I am SO incredibly lucky to still be here, sometimes I really, really miss proselyting. I don’t always feel that I am fulfilling my purpose. I started remembering the conversation I
had had with President and Hermana Gomez and the Elders when we were driving to Moyobamba. Hermana Gomez had asked me how my dad reacted when his only daughter randomly called and said she was going on a mission. I laughed as I told her about the shock in his voice and the initial shock and stress that I caused.
I remembered the unsurety of it all. But I told her about how, the moment I looked up at my parents and told them I had a meeting with the Bishop the next day and they saw that it was serious, they supported me 110 percent. I remembered how dad’s face changed in that moment.
Hermana Gomez laughed and said “I am sure that he decided to support you 110 percent in that moment because, when you looked at him, he realized that you are just like him.” (I hadn’t even told her about the fact that I had my Lin’s Meat Department hat on!)
She told me that she had never met my dad, but that she was sure that he is just as strong, stubborn, and passionate as I am. She talked about a letter that she had received from him where he said “Knowing Meghan like I do, I know that she will never tell you she needs to come home” and that she felt that the reason he knows me so well is because he’s the same person. I had to laugh at the truthfulness of it.
Anyway, remembering the past, and that I am strong, stubborn, and passionate, not being able to proselyte has been rough. As I sat reflecting the other night, I decided to pray and ask the Lord what it was that he wanted me to do. I shut the door and kneeled down, carefully placing my bad knee on a pillow (it was the first time I have kneeled since the accident), I started out praying out loud to ask the Lord what He wants me to do and accomplish right now since I can’t proselyte. But, before I knew it, the prayer turned into a bunch of tears as I asked the question I have hidden inside for several months.
“Heavenly Father, why did I have to fall? I felt impressed to walk over there on those stairs, I felt YOU tell me to do it. I was just being obedient. Why did you set me up to fall? Things were going so well in my area and I was teaching well. WHY DID I HAVE TO FALL??” I waited for a long time, crying into the chair I had knelt in front of. No answer.
I got up, and turned to look at my red eyes in the mirror. I remembered once again “strong, stubborn, and passionate.” Then, the Spirit overcame me so powerfully I almost thought I heard it audibly as it responded to my desperate prayer. “Because the world needed to see you stand back up again.”
I reflected on that feeling and thought of how many people saw me proselyting on crutches or walking around Pucallpa in my cast and refusing to go home. Maybe, just maybe, I was touching more unseen lives overcoming my challenges than I would have just proselyting like normal. I felt like the Currant Bush in my favorite story as the Gardener says “You were never meant to be a tree. You were meant to be a currant bush. And one day, when you are laden with fruit, you will say “Thank you, Mr. Gardener for caring enough to cut me down. For loving me enough to hurt me.””
As I stayed there, staring at my red eyes I imagined Heavenly Father saying, “You weren’t meant to proselyte right now. You were meant to travel and teach other missionaries. You were meant to work in the offices and write manuals and change the mission. One day, when you see the blessings of your mission, you’ll thank me for letting you fall and helping you stand back up.”
I can’t lie and say that I absolutely love being in the offices and whatnot. I can’t lie and say that I miss how my mission used to be. I can’t lie and say that I’m not absolutely terrified of what might become of my knee. I am horrified. The Elders in the office joke and say that my knee is my “Achilles Heel” because I seem tough until someone mentions it and asks if I’ll be able to run again and I suddenly look as if I am going to burst into tears. But, I know that the Lord loves me, and He has a plan. I guess I should feel lucky that He chose His “Strong, stubborn and passionate” daughter to show “the
world” and “stand back up again.”
Love- Hermana Simonson