Should I Leave or Stay?

Days before I was to leave on my mission, my parents were hospitalized. I didn’t know if I could leave them.

I had the good fortune to be introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through a friend. I was taught by missionaries who were called by God to bring the light of the gospel to the world. Two years after my baptism I was called to serve in the Italy Milan Mission. Before I left, I had a profound spiritual experience.

My parents, who were not members of the Church, didn’t share my joy in this missionary opportunity. We had terrible arguments that caused me much suffering.

Two days before I left on my mission, both my parents suddenly became seriously ill. My mother had a health crisis for which she was hospitalized. Nothing the doctors tried seemed to help. My father had cirrhosis of the liver, from which the doctors said it would be difficult to recover.

That evening I knelt and prayed to my Heavenly Father, saying, “Father, help me. My family is sick, and I can’t leave them in these circumstances. I pray, Father, help me know whether it’s right to leave or stay.”

I meditated on my situation for a few minutes. Then I felt a subtle but penetrating voice that said, “Have faith, and everything will work out for the best.”

Notwithstanding the sorrow I felt in seeing my family in poor health, I decided to get on the airplane that would take me to Rome and then to the United States, where I attended the missionary training center. My nights at the MTC were not happy. I thought over and over again about my parents. Finally, with the approval of the MTC president, I was able to call them to see how they were doing.

On the phone, my mother told me with great joy that she and my father had had a miracle from the Lord—words I never would have expected to hear from a woman without a lot of faith. She told me that after I left, their health had improved, and the doctors couldn’t explain it. My parents were healthy and happy. My joy was full.

Through this experience, my testimony of the power of faith, prayer, and obedience grew. I am grateful that the Lord took care of my family during my mission.

Illustration by Dan Burr