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  • Writer's pictureVivian Foley

Fear Not!

As part of my counseling, I often talk with missionaries about emotions and their purposes. One of our most basic emotions, and one required for survival, is fear. Fear is our warning of danger and it is a protective and sometimes tricky emotion. We often feel fear/anxiety when we are experiencing something unfamiliar or unknown. A great way to overcome that type of anxiety is to make the unknown/unfamiliar known/familiar.  On the other hand, one of the hardest types of fear to overcome is when we can’t make the unknown known. I love how many times in the scriptures we find stories of God comforting people’s fear before asking them to do something unknown.  My favorite and most relatable story is in Luke 2 when the angels tell the shepherds (who were “sore afraid” due to the unfamiliarity of seeing angels) to “fear not.” (Luke 2:10)

Our mission has included lots of anxiety coming from the experience of being unfamiliar with our surroundings.  I’m grateful for lots of comfort from the Holy Ghost, the help of others who have experienced this before, and most importantly the familiarity of doing this with my favorite person: Sean Foley.  Here are just four recent unknowns that I am learning to conquer:

  1. Last Saturday I finally faced the uncertainty of finding a new place to get my hair cut.  I bravely researched a place in the nearby mega mall (a full city block of stores six stories high) and made an appointment.  Sean left me there and went to the public library on the top level of the mall. I managed to communicate that I wanted a trim of about an inch off the length and that was all.  It was a little difficult as many people here don’t understand my accent and vice versa.  I was delighted by the hair wash/head massage and even enjoyed them using cold instead of warm water.  My biggest delight was the additional shoulder and neck massage. Afterwards I made my way through the mall and was so proud when I found the right escalator to get me to the library, after just one wrong one. Fear conquered!

  2. As I have previously mentioned in this blog, I have been struggling with plantar fasciitis for most of my mission.  I had been feeling much better until recently when it appeared that my inserts wore out and I returned to daily pain. This has made it difficult to walk as much as is required, and even more difficult to do the exercise I would like to do.  After becoming less nervous about finding a doctor from going with missionaries to doctor’s visits, I finally overcame the fear of scheduling an appointment and visited with a podiatrist on my heel pain.  I was able to start treatment immediately and feel confident I’m on the right path back to walking.

  3. Since arriving I have now successfully navigated solo the train between home and office several times.  I am always nervous about going to unfamiliar places because I am directionally challenged, so that familiarity has been great to build.

  4. Many times in my career and on my mission I face unknowns with people.  Every person is unique and mental health challenges can look very different in different people.  This can bring me some anxiety when making decisions about how to be most helpful.  I keep re-learning that the spirit will help me with these unknowns and will keep reminding me to “fear not.”


Weekly miracle: We have worked hard on our phone settings to block out non-emergency calls and texts during the middle of the night here so we can get some sleep. Usually that works (though Sean did make a mistake recently on my phone that led me to get woken up from a deep sleep for a blood drive solicitation!)

On the other hand when we get a call from the United States in the afternoon here, it worries us because we know everyone should be asleep. That happened Sunday while we were walking home from the bus in a driving rain. We received a call that we really wanted to take, but simply couldn't because of the rain and carrying some things. It would likely have been 45 minutes before we could have called back, but just then a car pulled up. A man rolled down his window, told us he recognized us from the huge apartment complex we all live in, and ask if we would like a ride. We were very grateful, though apologetic about getting his car wet. We were then home in five minutes, had met a new friend, and were able to return the call to help someone in need.


1: New haircut from the story above

2: Love getting supplies into the office

3-4: The Young Adults sure love eating

5-6: Kicking off the Emotional Resilience Self-Reliance class

7: Crazy rain from the story above

8-13: Beautiful Singapore flowers by nature photographer, Vivian Foley

Bonus video:

Rain dance

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1 Comment

Apr 22

You are so awesome and growing so much! Love you!

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