I used to think moms of missionaries needed to chill out a little. They were
always talking about their missionaries with such fervor and counting down the
days when they would see their son/daughter. I thought I'd be more...well,
calm or less giddy, more circumspect. Because of the change in age,
we will likely have our two oldest sons out at the same time here soon. Having
not sent a missionary out before I don't know how I will do it. I think (I
know) I will be worse than those moms I judged. There is no place I'd
rather have my sons and they are anxious to go, but I feel such a hole in my
heart when I think of them leaving.I know there will be blessings
and they will come back. I just admire all those families who have made this
sacrifice, because it is one.
I love this article. My second child is currently out on a mission. She is our
daughter and while sending our son out was hard, especially for my wife, having
our daughter out is even harder on my wife and I. At the same time it is all
about love. The love of God, our Savior, the Gospel and the people being served
by our children. We would do this over and over again just for the opportunity
to bring eternal happiness to even one other person.
Having served a mission myself and sent sons into the mission field I can say
the separation is bitter sweet. You love the fact that they are serving a
mission because you know the good it will do for them and for others. The
wonderful transformation that takes place for a missionary is unmatched. However
you worry too - you can't help it - you see the head lines of 12
missionaries killed this past year and you pause and say a silent prayer for
protection for your son or daughter. I think every parent today has to be
careful not to focus on those headlines otherwise you would be a nervous wreck
and for the vast majority of missionaries everything turns out just fine however
you still can't ignore the facts. I have to say I wish the Church would do
more to address the safety of missionaries in a public way so parents could feel
more at ease.
I have been a young missionary some 40 years ago. I have sent 3 sons on
missions and I am now a senior missionary missing my family but loving the
service. Yes, it often starts out as duty but duty rarely can sustain the
effort it takes to stay so it must turn to love. Love of the Savior, love of
parents, love for the people you meet and for me, coming full circle, love of
the young missionaries whom we watch over. I have learned again in the last 16
months that life "is about what you can do for other people".
I cried when I read this article. At this very moment one year ago today, we
were at the airport welcoming home our third missionary son. Our great joy at
our reunion was mingled with profound sorrow at the loss of our precious
son-in-law to a tragic accident two days before. Our missionary was
scheduled to come home only 5 weeks later in December but the Mission President
was inspired to encourage him to come home and be with us in our grief, knowing
the special peace and spirit that comes with these returning servants of the
Lord. As we enfolded him into our arms upon his arrival, it was not hard to
envision the sweet reunion on the other side of the veil for our dear Joshua
whom we had so recently lost. There is a great spirit of love and
growth that comes with missionary service whether on this side of the veil or on
the other side that is beyond compare. Two years is very short in the eternal
spectrum of time for such an education.
I totally agree that we serve because of love. Many years ago I went on a date
with a really sharp young lady that changed my life forever. I was 19 and less
active in the Church. I asked for a second date and she asked if I was going to
go on a mission. I said, "No. a mission is not for me." She said,
"Then I cannot go out with you again." I asked why. She said, "If
cannot love the Lord enough to serve him for two years, how can you love me for
eternity? That statement from a 16 year old YW who was just beginning to date
floored me. About 4 years later, I was active and served a mission for the right
reason. I later married a wonderful young lady and we just celebrated our 31st
anniversary. CK will probably never know what a difference she made in my life.
Yet I will forever be grateful.
What a beautiful article. I just put my son in the MTC this past Wednesday. I
thought my heart was going to break. These are exactly the words I needed to
read this morning. I bawled...I know my son will be a wonderful missionary and
this is where he is suppose to be.
Yes indeed, love is what it is all about. Reading this article and the
accompanying comments took me back to the sacred times when we welcomed back
each of our children from their service. Our prayers continue to be with those
who are currently serving both young and mature. May God protect and watch over
his faithful servants.
I didn't fully appreciate the sacrifice my parents made in sending four
sons on missions until we sent our son out. I definitely had mixed feelings--I
knew he was where he needed to be, but I was anxious for his safety all the
All 6 of my children, 3 boys and 3 girls, have gone on missions. I was always
glad to see them go because I figured the Lord could take better care of them
than I ever could. The experience, training and spirituality is something that
they could not have gotten any other way. They came home strong and capable
young men and women who were truly blest for their service. After the last one
came home my husband and I went on 3 missions and really learned to love and
appreciate the young missionaries.
Whoever has been away a long time from a loved one, and them have them return to
our embrace, understands the interconnecting power involved in at-one-ment. It
is quite simply, a loving relationship.
Shane is my step-brother and has been living in College Station, TX for awhile
now working for Texas A&M University. They are a wonderful family with
great kids and have just experienced the finish of that two year miracle
(eighteen months for young women) that my family has had the wonderful
opportunity of experiencing twice with a son and a daughter. Nothing compares
with the time they are out serving and the blessings they receive, the blessings
their family receives and the blessings the wonderful people they meet and teach
while they are out receive also. I am glad the photo of Connor and his Mom,
Amy, hugging at the airport was included in the article. There is nothing like
that moment of what I call "The Mom Hug" at the airport. We Dads, sit
back and let the Moms and siblings go first and then we get our time for our
hug. I wish I could experience it a million times more! I encourage each of
you to do everything you can to help and assist others go also, you will never
regret it and neither will they or their families.
23 long months until mine comes home.
"Missionaries leave their families for two years so others can be with their
families for eternity." I love this quote and it helped comfort me during
my son's two year absence.
Thanks to all those parents who send their children to us - we love they joy
they bring to us through their missionary service! We know know you miss them
while they're gone because we miss them when they're transferred or go
I just today received my "Dear Family of Sister..." letter from my
daughter's Mission President, along with a picture of her with them! I got
through the article OK but I bawled like a baby reading all of your comments!
It is so true that sending a daughter is so much more difficult. I sent my son
from our little airport here in WY straight to Brazil and was sad but I had been
prepared his whole life. When we took our daughter to the MTC it was like
ripping my heart right out of my chest to drive away from that curb! She is just
19 and I had not had the time to prepare myself and it hurt!! A funny kind of
hurt though isn't it? You know they are doing exactly what they want to do
and what the Lord wants them to do and what we want them to do also but it
hurts! I love being a missionary mom again! I can hardly wait for that hug! I
remember it well from my son when he returned honorably to that same little
You're not losing a son; you're gaining a car.Seriously, the
most difficult return is the delayed return. Our son was in Brazil and due to
come home on 9/12/2001. Needless to say we were on pins an needles, thinking he
was part way home a stranded in a South American airport. But the mission held
his group of 12 at the mission home and they spent a week eating brownies and
pies and watching movies.He arrived home a week late but safe and sound.
Although it is hard to let them go, the blessings of having them out in the
mission field are so great that you would never want them to miss out on that
experience! Our missionary son wrote us last week about a spiritual experience
so strong that he now feels he KNOWS the church is true. Every week for him is
filled with the companionship of the Spirit, and his spirituality and maturity
have grown exponentially since he has been out. What other experience could
give your child such immeasurable blessings? It's SO worth it!!!
I decided to go on a mission 10 years ago, much to the surprise of my parents.
After I admitted that I didn't like "hot, cold, weird food, talking to
strangers, being away from family/friends, being tired, getting up early, riding
a bike, knocking on doors, no books/movies of my choice, being away from school,
wearing nylons all the time, etc." I STILL wanted to go on a mission. I
would break my dad's heart - he is not a member of the Church and really
doesn't like Mormons. I would miss my twin sister (and only sibling)
getting married. I wouldn't get to study abroad. The guy I really liked
might not be there when I got back.But it didn't change my
mind, because I loved the Lord and His Church. So many people who loved me had
shared the gospel with my family and now it was my turn to show them how
grateful I was for their love. So I went, and it was harder than I anticipated,
but that same love carried me through. And that guy I liked went too, and I was
there when he got back.
When my sons went on their missions, I felt more love for them than I ever
thought possible. Love filled our home like never before. When they returned,
the Mom-hug moment was unsurpassed in the love that we felt. The missionaries
go to familiar or very strange places. They know little about the cultures or
peoples, but when they come back they love those people, the language, the
culture, the places, the individuals, and the two years they spent serving the
Lord. This taste of heavenly love is one of the greatest blessings life has to
offer. I suppose our reunion after passing through the veil will be like that.
With 80,000 missionaries in the field, loving the people they serve, what a
marvelous way to make our Church a global community. What a wonderful way to
spread love throughout the world.
The most thrilling part of this article is all the comments that have shown up
attached to it. We as Cougar and Ute fans, and practically most every other
university have one piece of commonality among us... A tie to the most profound
source of joy that is to be found during our sojourn on earth. I thank each of
you diligent parents and etc for taking the time to write your thoughts and
spread your spirit freely with each of us. The Church is true! Of this there is
no doubt. I thank all the missionaries serving now or having served in my neck
of the woods for their worthiness to help my sweet wife come into the fold. I
myself must come back in and am looking forward to that special and sublimely
sacred experience on the near distant horizon. Again, thank you for all your
comments and piece of the spirit attached to this discussion! :)
I went 32 years ago. Left while my brother was still out. Didn't think it
was that big a deal to leave my family as I'd been away at college and in
those days, long-distance phone calls were infrequent and expensive. What a
difference it made to be the mother in a world of technology. I've had
three sons serve missions. Each time it felt as though someone ripped my heart
out. But I grew stronger and the pain lasted for less time for the second and
then the third. I was caught completely off guard by how hard it was to let my
boys go do something that I had done, and that I very much wanted them to do.
My own mission didn't seem like such a sacrifice to me, but watching my
boys go? I was in awe of the sacrifice they were willing to make! And the mom
hug? There is very little in this world that gets us as close to heaven.
Returning home to heavenly parents is going to be amazing!
Thirty years ago my only son was called to serve in Indonesia. It was half way
around the world from our home in New Jersey. At a neighborhood party, a
neighbor told me unequivocally that we should not allow him to go there. I was
so stunned, I didn't even ask why. It was hard to explain the pride, joy
and excitement I felt about him going to a place we had to find on the map.
People outside the Church do not understand our commitment to "go and do the
things that the Lord commands..."Since then I've sent one
daughter and now 7 grandchildren, young women and men. I am proud to be the
mother and grandmother to offspring for the choices they made to lead them to
their mission fields.
I was thrilled and excited to get away from the "apron strings" for a
couple of years! And my mother probably felt the same way!
i looked forward to the day my son served his mission. yes those two years
seemed long when he first left to serve but with letters, emails and those 2
treasured phone calls a year made the time zip by. knowing he was serving our
Savior was the blessing. yes the goodbyes are tough on the mom , but the return
hug is even better. my son left as a young man he returned as a mighty man of
honor, humility and maturity
Thank you for the wonderful article. While I miss my son who has been out for
almost 10 months now, I know that he is in the right place at this time. I have
seen so much growth in his testimony and his love for the Lithuanian people. It
is well worth the sacrifice.
Our daughter served a mission in the Texas Houston South Mission and loved it.
The night before she came home someone broke into the mission trailer and stole
all of the missionaries luggage and personal items. They came home with what
they were wearing. I know that they would gladly do it again.