Last Friday night I found out that I'll be serving in Eureka for at least a few more weeks. I'm happy I'll be here for a while more. I love the wonderful people I've been able to meet. They will be my friends forever. I've also had some interesting experience here. I think one of my favorites was when Sister Nestman and I were walking in Old Town on our preparation day and we saw a sign for a "Glass Blowing" shop, we thought, "Cool glass blown stuff, lets check it out"...bad idea. I was a different kind of "blowing" shop. We quickly left. These past weeks in Eureka I have learned so much about myself and about Heavenly Father. This is the place where, in mission lingo, I was born. I think I'll always have a tender spot in my heart for Eureka.
On the first day in Santa Rosa before I knew, really anything, about the mission, let alone where I was going to serve first, we were shown a sideshow with pictures from around the mission. I remember seeing the pictures of Eureka and thinking, "That would be a good place to go." In all truthfulness, pretty much from the night before (when I couldn't fall asleep), to arriving from the training center at the airport (where I realized that I would have to talk to and teach real people not just my peers and teachers), and then coming to Santa Rosa (and discovering I had not idea what I was doing), I'd felt pretty scared, and sad, and alone, and unsure about, well, everything. When we watched that video, and I saw Eureka I had a strong feeling of peace come over me.
I still don't know why I've come here to Eureka. Maybe I'll figure it out in the next 5 weeks, or possibly in 10 years, or maybe I'll never know the exact reason. But today I do know, and I've known on some level since I saw a picture of Eureka almost 3 months ago, that this is the place for me right now.
I know that just like Heavenly Father knows this is the place for me at this time, He know each one of us. Perfectly. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, our needs and our desires. He has a plan for us and as we turn our will to His, He is going to be there for us and help us in ways we may not understand but which are ultimately for our greatest good. I know that sometimes we may feel like God isn't here because things are not going the way we want, but we have to remember what Nephi said in Nephi 1:1 "I Nephi... having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days."1 This life is a time of trial and experiences, but as we are obedient and faithful the Lord will support and strengthens us through all things.
He knows you, He loves you, He is here for you. Turn to Him, for His arms are extended.2