A Mid-February Miracle

Full of sunshine and lightness—I bounced in my chair.

“It’s here!” my destiny—my call
to serve God and the people living in the
great, white, unopened envelope.

“Sister Gillespie” I strangely sounded out the title
that would become more preciously familiar than
my own name.
Still sunny and light, I gaze at my family’s
anxious faces.

Excited for me.
Excited for my excitement.
All eyes turn to my unsteady hands—turning
my destiny over and over—desperate to get inside.

And I read
And Mom cried
And Thad ran off to find a map.

More than an assignment.  More than filling a vacancy.
This is my destiny and ordination.

And little did I know, stammering and grateful in my sunlit chair—
That I already knew these people.
And we agreed to open our destinies together.

Me'n Lenin and my dewblyonka (massive leather coat)

Me and Lenin and my dewblyonka (massive leather coat)

About halfway through my mission in Novosibirsk, Russia, we had a zone conference about how our assignment to that particular mission at that specific time was inspired.  I had honestly never considered it.  I had assumed that “if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work” and I would just go wherever they had a vacancy.  But sitting on my rough Russian couch that afternoon in Ulan Ude, I realized what a tremendously personal blessing it was to be there, at that time.  My life will always be tinged with echoes of Siberia.  My husband served in the same mission, we likely wouldn’t have met without our mutual mission friends; my mission president and his wife continue to influence our marriage and personal lives; and some of my very best friendships were borne during that time.  And most importantly, I learned for myself that the Gospel was true.  And God, Himself, is doing His work.

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5 responses to “A Mid-February Miracle

  1. I can’t wait for the chance I have to serve a mission. I truly do believe that the Lord is at the helm and He will send us where He needs us. ❤

  2. Couldn’t agree more! Thank you for your beautiful thoughts, testimony, and friendship. You were a fabulous companion, example, and matchmaker. I love you “Gillespie”!!!

  3. I love this, Jan! Such beautiful words; and isn’t it wonderful how the Lord places us where he needs us to be? (And I love that you went to Novosibirsk! My parents love it there. Although I have never been there it will always hold a special place in my heart.)

  4. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to say you will serve in whatever capacity the Lord asks. Even more beautiful when you realize it wasn’t just a “vacancy”, but an actual plan to put you specifically where He has called you. I never served a mission, but I feel this way each time I serve a calling at church, which has mostly been in Primary. I, Tanya, have specifically been called to teach “Nathaniel & Jewel” specifically. Also makes you realize the immense responsibility placed upon you. Thanks for sharing.

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