Monday, August 11, 2008

54 Hours and Counting

My son will be home from his mission in approximately 54 hours. Wahoo! I am so excited to see him. I’ve tried to not think about it too much so I wouldn’t get too distracted. I can’t believe his two years are up and he’ll soon be a return missionary.

It seems as though it was only a moment ago the doctor first placed him in my arms. I remember looking into his eyes and imagining all sorts of things for him. His life was full of possibilities. One of the things I hoped for him was that he’d serve a mission.

Throughout his childhood we talked about his mission. I tried to teach him the gospel through reading scriptures, saying prayers, attending church, and having Family Home Evenings about the gospel and more specifically about sharing the gospel.
As a teenager, he attended seminary and I was so thankful as I watched his testimony grow and his love for the scriptures increase. He thoroughly enjoyed seminary and often talked about the day’s lesson at dinner that night.

One of the experiences that cemented his desire to serve a mission is when he attended an MTC camp in the mountains. During this camp, the young men have classes, scripture discussions, team-building games, and opportunities to hear guest speakers. At the end of the camp, each young man is encouraged to find a solitary place to pray and have his own “sacred grove” experience.

My son’s testimony also grew when he was involved in a pioneer trek in the mountains near our home. His testimony was strengthened as he realized what the pioneers sacrificed for the gospel.

I’m certainly no expert on how to get a young man to serve a mission, but I have a strong and fervent testimony that following the counsel of the prophets, reading the scriptures, praying every day, holding consistent home evenings, and supporting church activities will help boys have the desire to serve a mission. I believe that taking advantage of all opportunities including seminary, Scouting, and missionary-themed activities will give boys a push that they might not otherwise get. I think it’s so important for parents to support these programs and to encourage their kids to attend and participate in these activities.

I can’t believe my son’s mission will come to an end in just about two days. It felt as though I’d left a crucial body organ at the MTC when we were told, “Missionaries through this door, everyone else through the other door.” I thought two years would take forever and it’d be so hard. But, it’s flown by. Not because I haven’t missed him, but because he’s been so happy serving in Italy and I’ve been so thrilled that he’s been serving a mission. Missing him has been tempered with the knowledge that he’s working so hard to bring the gospel message to the good people of Italy. Heavenly Father has blessed me with a calm, peaceful feeling these two years while my son has been halfway across the world.

I am so thankful my son has been serving. Believe me, I will hug him with all my might as soon as he’s off that plane and I will be so happy to see him, but I will always be so grateful for his choice to serve a mission and I know that Heavenly Father will bless him because of his efforts.

Return to the neighborhood.


David G. Woolley said...

Any chance he served with an Elder Shelly?

He was a Ranger soccer player.

David G. Woolley

David G. Woolley said...

And, of course, I love coming here and hanging out at your blog. You great writer, you.

David G. Woolley