“The mission experience has given me an opportunity to exercise and strengthen my ability to receive direction from the Holy Spirit. As missionaries, we constantly pray for guidance and direction for how to do the Lord’s work. I’ve learned to recognize promptings and follow through with them fast. When I have had the courage to do so, sometimes the effects of following those promptings reveal that the action taken was inspired and needed,” says Carly Amon, who returned April 9, from serving an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Amon shares one example of following the influence of the Holy Spirit on her mission. She and her companion were assigned to teach young adults in Miami. The person they were teaching brought his friend. They felt the need to go to a certain room in the church building to teach these two young men. They did not know that the friend had come across some misinformation from the internet, giving him the impression that the Church was racist. They talked about the Book of Mormon and God’s plan of happiness. After the lesson, Amon noticed a sweet painting on the wall of Christ with two little girls, one light skinned and the other dark skinned. She said that she really liked the painting. The young friend said that he liked it too and had been studying it all night. He told them about his expectations of racism, and how he realized that his impression was nothing like reality, and that he was amazed and pleased with what the Church actually believes. “My companion and I were stunned,” Amon says.

Carly notes that it became more difficult to teach people the gospel once they could do so only virtually due to Covid-19. They had to continue to rely on the Spirit to know what to do and how to do it. “It was a challenging adjustment in trying to be productive still, but we saw the Lord’s hand as we sought it with faith. We saw that some people were even more willing to meet with us virtually as their schedule cleared up a bit,” she says.

Carly’s parents, Brad and Carla, say that Carly has faced some scary times while serving. When she arrived in Florida to begin her mission Hurricane Michael had just occurred. Toward the end, the Covid-19 pandemic was beginning. Her mom says, “We had full confidence in the Lord’s ability to protect her, as well as in the mission president to take any precautions needed to keep her safe, both in times of hurricanes and the Covid-19 safety precautions. My biggest trial was just how much I missed her--she has always been my buddy! I’ve always felt she’s pretty special and am so pleased at how her talents and spiritual gifts have been increased by the experiences of her last 18 months.”

Carly plans on taking online classes from BYU-Idaho, where she attended before her mission. Of her mission, she shares, “I feel humbled by the effect my mission had on me. I had some really hard trials, but in those experiences and serving others through them, I have strengthened my love for my Savior and for others. I feel so blessed to have been able to have this experience and grow so much. My mission is sacred to me.”

Submitted by Bonnie Holyoak

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