Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Hope They Call Him on a Mission

Today, a newly returned missionary spoke in church. He left here 2 years ago a boy, and today he stood before us a man and spoke (softly) of the power of missionary work. His father sat on the stand and I could see the love and pride in his eyes. It was beautiful.

As I've gotten older and watched my friends send their sons on missions, I've realized what a sacrifice this is for parents; sending their precious child out into the world to serve the Lord for two whole years. Two years of communication through only one letter a week, two years of hoping and praying that all is well, two years of missing that child in every aspect of family life.

It is not in my nature to handle separation well. When Cindy Lynn went to college we sent her with a cell phone so that we would be able to communicate with her. She & I talk several times a week and IM almost every day, and I still miss just having her around. I can't even fathom how it will be to send a child on a mission.

But I know what I want for my sons. I want them to be men like their father and their uncles. I want them to have the spiritual strength that comes from living for and serving the Lord 24/7. I want what I saw in church today.

And that's why when the time comes I will suck it up, sharpen my letter-writing skills, and pretend to have a stiff upper lip.

So that my sons, too, can experience this amazing transformation.

I just hope I can teach them to want the same thing.

My question for my brothers is--what can I do to help with this? What made you want to serve a mission? What made you stick to it when the going was tough? How are you going to help your sons want to serve missions?


P.S. My new heroes are my incredible brother & sister in law who sent all three of their kids into the MTC within just a few months of each other. Our twin nephews and their older sister are now serving in the Ukraine, Las Vegas, and Portugal, all at the same time!

(Yes, I know that girls can serve missions too.
But today I was thinking about my sons!)


abstowe said...

I'm with you on this one! We, also, had a missionary just come home (From Atlanta, of all places). He has always been a boy of mischief and trouble, and had magically turned into a man - and one with a beautiful testimony to share. Yes, it will be hard to let them go, but oh, so worth it.
On that note, Bob told me the other day that there is going to be a new policy at the MTC. A long rounded driveway, you get your missionary and his stuff out of the car, have 3 minutes to say goodbye and then you drive away. Maybe they have heard the Mother Torture Chamber for too often. I, personally, am not too sad to not have to go sob through that movie.

Maria and Jeremy said...

Great post. The policy change was much due to the swine flu, and other plagues we are sure to face before the final curtain.

abstowe said...

Wow - I was sure it was to save on the emotions of us poor mothers!

Cindy said...

I hadn't heard about that change. Wow! When does it start, do you know?

Russ said...

What! That is a policy they are considering? I thought it was the policy already. That is what happened to me. My parents put me on the plane in NJ, my SIL pulled into the rounded driveway, I got out my suitcases, she said goodbye and drove off.

I must admit, the room where the families separated was fun for me, I just went through the door without pausing and therefore was first in line of the fun that came after (shots).

Nathan and Margaret said...

I loved the sobbing every time we went with a missionary to the mtc. awesome!!! loved Russes missionary story :)

Apache Watsons said...

As a hard-headed youth, I remember telling dad that I'd go if I had nothing better to do. When it came down to it, I realized there was nothing better I could do. Pluswhich, dad promised that an eagle and a mission would each be worth a quarter of a million dollars throughout our lifetimes, and Grant and I saw several early promotions in the military due to the eagle, and make our livings with the Spanish. And being able to fly circles over my house, my families' houses, and my hood makes me the coolest guy in town. Toss in the cutest family ever ever, and it's gone pretty well so far.