I have been bad at updating my blog for the past few months. Ok, it really has been more than a year or two since I've kept it up decently or at least monthly. Bad. BAD BAD. I have new inspiration, though, and hopefully I'll get much, much better at it very quickly.
My oldest son has left to serve a 2-year mission for the Lord! He'll be serving for the next 2 years (minus the 3 weeks he's served thus far) in the Campinas, Brazil area. What an honor for him and for our family to be involved with supporting him in this kind of work!
He recently spent Thanksgiving (as part of his 6-week study time) at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah. While he did experience some of the customary homesickness that day, the greater portion of his day was dedicated to receiving spiritual nourishment, providing physical nourishment for others, and providing inspired music for even more. Now that's not a bad way to spend a holiday!
HERE's an article that describes some of the physical nourishment he and many of the other missionaries-in-training were able to provide for others. (I'm almost positive I can see him in one of the later pictures included with this article. Or maybe that's a mother's wishful thinking.):
HERE's another article that describes the source of some of that spiritual nourishment he received:
That last article also refers to the inspired music in which he was able to participate. He was part of the MTC choir which provided the music for the meeting mentioned in the article. In his weekly email and in a subsequent letter he sent to our family he mentioned what an amazing experience it was to know that the music and the entire meeting were being broadcast to MTCs all over the world. He said he knows now that the reason his Brazilian travel visa did not come before it was time for him to start his mission was because the place where he is supposed to be is right there in the Provo MTC, singing with the choir. He wrote to us that he has received a special assurance that he is in the right place, at the right time, singing with what the director described to their group as "the best line-up he has ever seen" in that MTC choir.
I, too, have received a similar assurance. It is not easy to say good-bye to your young man (or young woman) and send him off, knowing that you won't see him at all and will rarely speak to him for the next 2 years. It can be downright painful to be separated from him this way at times, in all honesty. The reality is, however, that there is no other place in the entire world I would rather have him be right now and no other thing that could possibly be more important for him to be doing. For this reason, I have decided to take the advice of my sweet friend Peggy whose wise counsel inspired me not to count down years, months, weeks, and days until he returns home, but instead to count up the days, weeks, months, and years he has given in service to the Lord, to everyone who is affected by his mission in one way or another, and specifically to the people of Brazil.
Here's to 3 solid, energetic, dedicated weeks of service! Here's to my own 3 weeks of being a missionary mom!