Like most mormon families we raise our children with the hope that they will grab a hold of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and want to share what they know with others. The best way to share the gospel is by becoming a Missionary. Well, it has finally happened. Our oldest son Coby has decided to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are so proud of him for his decision and his willingness to server the Lord. He will begin his mission at the MTC (Mission Training Center) where he will learn the lessons and learn a language. He will be serving in the Tijuana Mexico Mission.
Below is a short video of us dropping off our son at the MTC. We are excited for him but at the same time we are sad that we won’t see him for 2 years.
A few weeks ago I was trying to come up with a good Family Home Evening. Our ward had organized a night when all of the youth would learn about how to be a missionary and were coming over to our house to give my family the first lesson. We were to feed them dinner and then listen to their lesson and help them feel like a true missionary. I decided to use some of the foods that I had to eat while I was on my mission. I served an LDS mission to both Cali Colombia and to Quito Ecuador. So, I went to our local Latino grocery store and found some items that would give them a taste of what I ate while serving in South America. I fried up some platain bananas. I made a bunch of rice. I bought some Guayava candy and made some agua de panela.
Before these young men and young women came over to our house, I thought I would try out all of these things on my own kids. Of course, they all turned up their noses and didn’t taste all of the items with curiosity. They knew the tastes would be different so they only tried a little tiny bit.
In any case, I decided to pull out my mission treasure box and show them some cool stuff from Colombia and Ecuador. While rummaging through my box of stuff, I came across this little poem. I don’t remember when I found this on my mission but it was perfect for how I felt while serving for 2 years. I thought I would share this little poem with the world on my LDS Family website.
A mission is a strange experience
It is a trial and a test
A mission throws you at the worst
Yet teaches you the best
I’ve never been so happy
I’ve never been so depressed
I’ve never felt so forsaken
I’ve never felt so blessed
I’ve never been so confused
Things have never been so clear
I’ve never felt my Heavenly Father so distant
He’s never been so near.
I’ve never been so discouraged
I’ve never been so full of hope
I feel I could go forever
I think I’ve come to the end of my rope
I’ve never had it quite so easy
I’ve never had it quite so tough
Things have never been so smooth
Things have never been so rough
I’ve never traveled through more valleys
I’ve never ascended so many peaks
I’ve never met so many nice people
I’ve never met so many freaks
I’ve never had so many ups
I’ve never had so many downs
I’ve never worn so many smiles
I’ve never worn so many frown
I’ve never been so lonely
I’ve never had so many friends
Boy, I hope this is over soon
Gosh, I hope it never ends
Last Sunday we had a missionary in our LDS Ward return from his mission. He spoke in Sacrament Meeting and talked about his experiences while he served and LDS mission in Cambodia. What made this particular missionary important to us was that he was our neighbor. His family lives just across the cul-de-sac from our family. He had even helped coach my son’s baseball team a few years ago. I know that our boys look up to this young man as an example of what they want to be when they get older.
This return missionary gave a wonderful talk in church and really gave inspiring specific examples of how his testimony and the testimony of investigators grew. I could tell that my boys were soaking up this information and were interested in what he had to say. At the end of his talk, this return missionary bore his testimony in Cambodian. All of our kids were astonished that he could easily pronounce words in a foreign language.
While in Elders Quorum, I couldn’t help myself from commenting that this was a “big deal” in our family. We are so proud of this young man and his willingness to serve a mission and dedicate two years of his life to serve Jesus Christ and spreading the gospel around the world. We are blessed to have such a wonderful young man live next to our family so that he could show such a good example to our kids on how to live a righteous life.