Getting Life: Called to leave: How to parent missionaries

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  • thelogicalone salt lake city, UT
    March 12, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    You'll recover much faster if you realize, accept, and joy in the fact that your child is doing exactly what you prepared, hoped and prayed for! He/She made a choice and is living their life to be worthy of this service and is sacrificing two years of Facebook, cell phones, dating, etc to serve. There's a lot to rejoice in! The first email/letter home is fabulous, but not as much as the last one where they realize fully what the time has meant to them and how much they love where they are and the people they served. I always told my children that coming home is much harder than going out.
    And for those whose children come home early, for whatever reason, it is hard on everyone, but it is important to acknowledge their service and experiences. Not everyone who comes home early comes home dishonorably. Many would like to return and won't be able to.
    Finally, for the family at home, there are real blessings and real trials. You'll all be blessed beyond measure.

  • Juju Ottawa, Ontario
    March 12, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    Having experienced this myself , I feel Wendy is spot on! Why do we tend to shy away from telling it like it is? Does it make us feel weak if we admit to these emotions? Wendy seems to be writing about the process of letting go and the grief associated with it. Trying to cover up those feelings and building a facade does not make us strong, any more than crying makes us weak. We are real people with real emotions. We know why missions are important and we fully have faith in the cause. That doesn't mean that we will not have moments of sadness or loneliness. There is a grieving when a missionary leaves and that is okay. Grief is associated with the loss of many things. A marriage, a miscarriage, employment, death. Would we think of suggesting to someone who has recently experienced any kind of loss to simply get over it? I would hope not. Knowing the truth of these things helps, but it doesn't mean we will not miss them or be sad. Thank you Wendy, for telling it like it is no shame in that!

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    March 12, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    Maybe if you'd let your children ever "leave home", going on a mission wouldn't be so hard.

    And parents' stewardship never ends. Get over that line of thinking...

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    I think a little empathy for parents is necessary. I spoke with a former president of the MTC and emeritus general authority, who said that dropping your missionary off at the MTC is painful joy. It's the best of times and the worst of times. I think it's appropriate to allow people a week or two to get used to the separation before suggesting they "get over it".

    One truism about missions is that it will always seem to go by faster for everyone but mom and dad.

    If you genuinely care for the parents and the missionary, ask the parents how the missionary is doing. Remember where he or she is serving and ask specific questions about the experience. It really helps the parents to share the wonderful, incredible experience of having a child a mission.

    I told my son who returned home from a mission six months ago that I love having him home, but I also miss his mission. Missions are almost as good for the parents as they are for the kids!

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 12, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    It is a tough thing to go through for any parent. Probably why emails and letters make it more joyous and the return home is a great event. Only two phone calls a year save for emegencies.

    Can a Mission President authorize missionaries to call home more than that just to visit. Heard someone said Mission President does not care how often they call home. And one mother it is so bad he needs to call me.

    Most missionaries go through typical joys and sorrows of the mission. Hear you belong to the Lord. That is why phone calls and visits are out of the question.

    I gave someone my phone number and he called while I was there. Never been so glad no one was home.

    Know missionaries found reason to make several phone calls home. Unless medical or emergency brethern I think above MP say twice a year is all.

    For those that come home early that is difficult I think to deal with. Need to be helped. Sending a kid off difficult thing many parents do gladly.

  • Betcha Waltham, MA
    March 12, 2011 7:43 a.m.

    I wish every mother would realize that there is no other place in the world that you would drop you child of than at the MTC, It does not make you a good mother just because you send thing, cry your eyes out, and mone and always tell people how very much you miss a child,, GET OVER IT,, we should rejoice that they are in the service of the Lord, and what a small price to pay for what Heavenly Father has given us... A mission should be the happiest time in your life, and the life of your child, when you see what other 19 and 20 year olds are doing... Count your blessings, and stop feeling sorry for yourself!