|(Huffington Post Article About New Zealand)|
In addition to doing lots of reading about various aspects of serving a senior mission, I've also been doing my homework to learn all I can about living in New Zealand. Some would say that is is very premature to begin getting so fascinated about a place I may not even be going to. However, I feel very confident that is exactly where we will serve. Here's why: I believe in direct communication with my creator through prayer. I have prayed mightily to understand His will for us at this time. Mind you, I have never one time said "Please can we go to New Zealand". Instead, I've said "Please help us know where and how you would have us serve".
When we were given New Zealand as one of the possible options, I felt almost an electric jolt go through my entire body telling me that was the place where we needed to be. Independent of my experience, my husband also had a strong impression that this was the mission for us. Afterward, we again went to the Lord in prayer, asking for confirmation of the feelings we had. Our prayers have been answered through distinct, personal impressions, feelings, and thoughts that are for us serve as very real evidence of Heavenly Father knowing us personally and wanting what is best for us. I have such a peaceful, confident certainty about this, that for me there is no doubt about where we will be going. The Lord wants us in New Zealand. I'm sure of that.
I suspect that over the next two years we will have many experiences of being guided by the spirit and having prayers answered in deeply personal ways. I look forward to growing more fluent in my ability to recognize the promptings of the spirit, to listen to - and more importantly FOLLOW the inspiration and answers that I receive.
Here are some of the resources on that topic that I've also been studying:
Nov 1989 - Elder Richard G. Scott - Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer
Oct 2010 - Elder D. Todd Christofferson - How Can I Make Daily Prayer More Meaningful?
Oct 2010 - Visiting Teaching Message - Seeking and Receiving Personal Revelation
May 2011 - Elder Kevin Pearson - The Power of Personal Prayer
These are all good, but that last one is particularly dear to me since Elder Pearson is the Area President over the Pacific. He lives and works in New Zealand.
I know that God lives and that He truly does hear and answer my prayers.