Even though we were in Alaska last summer, the call to Magadan never left my heart. Throughout the first month of mission I found myself thinking and almost saying things like, "Next summer in Magadan..." or "When I'm in Russia next summer..." Again, I would push these thoughts aside in favor of focusing on mission in Alaska. Around halfway through mission, we went to a young adult conference where some of my fellow missionaries and I went to a discernment talk. It wasn't anything I hadn’t heard before, but it got me thinking about what the desires of my heart are, and Magadan came up. Soon after this, one day when I was brushing my teeth and I had one of these thoughts, I realized that going to Magadan next summer was a desire of my heart and it wasn't something to be ignored. I wasn't convinced that that was good discernment or a final answer, but I was more open to the idea of discerning Russia next summer.
Soon after this, we put on a young adult night for Fr. Michael's old parish which was very powerful! We had a beautiful night of fellowship, catechesis, small groups, and time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Fr. Michael prayed over each person with Christ in the Eucharist, but I wasn't expecting to be prayed over because I was playing music. However, at the end my teammate Lisa came up to me and told me that Fr. Michael was waiting for me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but Father had told everyone that he had the sense that this night they would be able to ask the Lord a question or something of Him and He would bless them abundantly. Not having put any thought into what I was going to ask, I went up to kneel down in front of the Eucharist and the first question that popped into my heart was, "Am I going to Magadan next summer?" And immediately in my heart I felt overwhelming consolation and I couldn't help but say, "Yes, yes, yes," over and over again.
At this point I was pretty sure that I was called to go to Magadan next summer, but I hadn't talked to anyone, most importantly Fr. Michael, about it yet. So, I told the Holy Spirit that if I was called to go to Magadan, He needed to provide me with an opportunity to talk to someone about it. Not only did He give me one, but He gave me two! I was first able to talk to Hannah, one of the past Russia missionaries and then on the way home that night I was able to speak with Joe, my co-lead from last summer. When I was talking to Joe, I was filled with so much joy, consolation, and peace that I just knew that I was supposed to go to Magadan this summer!
After speaking with Father Michael, I also discerned that the Lord is calling me to lead the team again. I am so excited to be able to finally go to Magadan and to lead again. I cannot wait to finally meet the Russians who I have heard so many stories about, the ones whom I already love so dearly despite never having met them. I am sure the Lord has great things in store for us this summer. Please continue to pray for me and my teammates as we prepare for our mission!
In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,