I left my home in NanTze, Taiwan, to serve as a full-time missionary in northern California in 2005. The area my companion and I were assigned was small enough that within four and a half months we had knocked on doors of every street in the main town area. The missionary work was difficult, and people often yelled at us. We had few investigators. It seemed to me that the work was not going anywhere. After about four months there, I was ready to leave. I was convinced I would be transferred.
Sunday night I waited by the phone until my zone leader called. When he reported that I was assigned to stay in the same area for another six weeks, I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought there must have been a mistake!
The following week was a total disaster for me and probably for my companion and the people under our stewardship as well. I refused to believe this was the right decision. Still, I put on a big smile whenever we saw or talked to people, but deep inside I remained unhappy. In my pride I continued to tell myself that I was not where I was supposed to be. I still hoped that my mission president would call and tell me that I was being transferred to another area.
The next Sunday morning while I was grudgingly getting ready for church, the phone rang. It was the mission president. He greeted me with his usual kind, sincere voice and then said, “Sister Cho, yesterday at lunch I thought of you and had a feeling that I needed to call you to let you know you are in the right place. You are where you’re supposed to be.” I teared up when I heard his words.
I thanked him and hung up the phone. As I began to cry, a crystal-clear feeling came strongly to my heart that there were unfinished assignments waiting for me in our area. I also knew that my Heavenly Father knew my thoughts and frustration. He understood my weakness, and He sent His servant to reassure me.
After that phone call, I began to pull myself together. I prayed for strength every day, asking to see more clearly how I could do what the Lord expected me to do. Throughout the next five weeks, my companion and I witnessed many miracles as we exercised enough faith to work hard. A very prepared investigator moved into our area and was baptized within that transfer.
We were also invited into homes of people who originally hadn’t welcomed us. We met many new people who were having a hard time and were blessed to share the comforting words of God with them. Although some didn’t then choose to be baptized, I will never forget their shining faces or how the Spirit and the love of God touched their hearts—and mine.
I learned that the Lord is truly aware of every one of us; He doesn’t send His missionaries to places without a reason. I learned that when we are assigned to an area, the Lord wants to use us there as instruments to accomplish His work. When we put ourselves in His hands, miracles happen and hearts soften, even when we don’t see how this is possible.
Importantly, I learned that my mission president, like other Church leaders, was truly called of God to be His servant. The Lord qualifies our leaders to receive the revelation and inspiration we need for the welfare of our souls.
I am forever grateful for the experiences that came as a result of not being transferred.