MR says: The decision of whether or not to serve a mission is extremely personal. And sometimes the answers we receive to our prayers aren't what we expected or wanted. But we all have a desire to follow the Lord's will, whatever that may be.
But, it's important for Church members to realize that those who are not serving a mission, for whatever reason, are still invested in the gospel, and they need your love, acceptance, and support.
Nobody panic, I'm not becoming the spokesperson for girls who aren't serving missions. This may also apply to young men who aren't serving! And maybe not every girl feels like this. But I've been in situations where I've seen girls struggle with the decision about a mission for reasons that they shouldn't have to worry about. I'm not insecure in my decision, nor am I angry or offended. I've just seen so many girls, myself included, become discouraged because of these issues. Some say they don't see the judgment happening, or that I shouldn't have to address it. But it's out there, and I feel like it needs to be addressed, if only so people can understand what it feels like. Also, I know that not everyone assumes things about girls going on missions, some people are very open and happy with anyone's decision. This is just my rambling to those who I have come in contact with who don't understand some of these things, and I want to clarify.
We appreciate it when you recognize those of us who haven't served missions in your lessons/talks. We love missionary work. Honestly we do. What we don't love, is feeling that we missed out on the only right option by choosing not to serve. The Church's focus IS missionary work, but that doesn't necessarily mean a full-time mission. We love hearing about how to serve as a member and how to be an example to those around you no matter where you live. We're not crazy about lessons detailing how every, single person should serve a mission, it's always the best option, you'll never be close to the spirit like you will be on a mission, asking people if they have a mission story they'd like to share, or saying "If you've served a mission, you understand this..." This can also offend guys who were worthy to serve, and weren't able to.
We aren't all looking to get married. Sometimes it seems there are two options; go on a mission or get married. Some of us aren't doing either. Sure, we're open to the idea of marriage, but we didn't stay home from missions to get married right away. Some of us are focusing on school, careers, church service, and some of us were just plain told not to serve a mission and we're making it our goal to be a tool in Heavenly Father's hands, wherever he needs us. I'll go where you want me to go, oh Lord...even if that means staying right here.