“Giving Up My Mission Fund,” Ensign, February 2017
I joined the Church before my 21st birthday. I felt a strong desire to serve a mission, but I was in difficult circumstances. Because my father had left us, I was financially supporting my mother and three younger brothers. Almost all my money went to my family. At that time you needed at least £500 (U.S. $615) before applying for a mission. After two years of saving, I still had only £250.
Financial setbacks occurred one after another. My younger brother got into trouble and was fined £240. My family was asking me to lend him the money—almost all I had. It seemed like a choice between a mission and my brother, even though he promised to pay me back when he could. I wrestled with it and sought counsel from my bishop. He advised me to help my brother. I followed his advice and paid the fine. I knew it was the right thing to do, but I was desperate to be able to go on a mission.
I thought it would take years to save the money again, but through humble prayer, I received impressions about the future. The Spirit told me not to expect my brother to pay me back and that I would go on my mission the following year. It had taken two years to save the money I’d given to my brother, but the Lord was telling me I would have twice that by the end of the year.
I was doubtful but continued on, and every week for the next 10 weeks, a miracle occurred. A young single adult in the ward heard how I had given away my mission fund and gave me £100 for my mission. The next week another young adult gave me £100 for the same reason. I was humbled and started to repent for my unbelief.
Later, my employer was asking for voluntary redundancies (a financial incentive to employees who voluntarily resign). I volunteered but did not expect to be let go, as they had invested a lot of money in my training. My manager asked why I wanted to be laid off, so I explained about my mission. He gave me a pay raise backdated for several weeks and accepted my submission for redundancy. He also gave me a bonus in my leaving package.
I found temporary work, which turned into a full-time job after two weeks. They also offered me weekend overtime. I accepted every Saturday. I submitted my mission papers shortly thereafter and was called to serve in the England London Bristol Mission. I had saved £2,500 in less than a year. I literally received 10 times the amount I had given away. In Luke 6:38 it reads: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
I know I was blessed for my obedience and faith in following my bishop’s counsel.