Duce's Wild: Missionary farewells from the field

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4 2012 10:13 a.m. MDT

They bore a strong testimony of the restored gospel and encouraged her to read from the scriptures regularly. I entered my phone number in her cellphone directory in case she ever needed a ride to church or help in any way. We prayed together and left all having become better for the experience.

Our departing elder stood again in sacrament meeting last Sunday to share a final testimony to our ward family. His words were simple and succinct, but I could barely see through the tears and think that’s what his mother may have felt two years ago.

So as he leaves our community, the farewell will be bittersweet. I'll never tell him how much his Montana moms will worry, just like his mother has for the last two years, as he goes back to the real world of college, jobs and dating.

I now better understand my connection with all those South Texas families who watched over me during my full-time mission many years ago.

The bond is strong and not often discussed, but missionary service truly stakes down heartstrings for this life and beyond.

Stacie Lloyd Duce is a columnist and magazine editor featured regularly in several Montana and Utah publications. Her columns appear Thursdays on desnews.com. Email: duceswild7@gmail.com

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