Thursday, January 30, 2014
Ten Random Minutes: Connecting with Moms
Today, I'm going to go back two days to the paragraph I was writing when the timer went off. This may end up going a completely different direction than I originally intended, but I'm going to throw it out there anyway:
When my daughter first got her mission call, I was told by friends who'd had children serve in the past, about a group called "Missionary Moms." I have to say that it was a good starting point for me. A bit archaic, Missionary Moms is an email group. These seem to be the kinds of groups that formed P.F. (Pre-Facebook). You join, and then you start getting emails from anyone else that has joined. In my case, I was getting emails from anyone else in the group who had a kid heading to any of the twenty-plus missions in the Philippines.
I am thankful for the connections Missionary Moms provided when this journey began. I was able to find other moms who were in the same situation I was--getting a daughter or son ready for serving in the Philippines.
The first mom I connected with had a daughter heading to the Tacloban Mission. After a little while, I started to find other moms who had daughters heading to Olongapo. One was even reporting to the Missionary Training Center on the same day as #1. That was an exciting find. #1 connected with this young woman on Facebook, and although they weren't companions, they did end up becoming very good friends.
I really didn't spend much time waiting around for emails from Missionary Moms. It seems that not many moms know about that service anymore. It was, however, just enough of a stepping-off point. When I'd connect through an email, we'd find each other on Facebook. That was the much better way to find people. It was more instantaneous--you could chat in real time; no delays while waiting for the next email to come through.
The one thing I REALLY wanted, though, after getting a taste of connecting with these other moms whose kids would be serving with mine, was a Facebook group full of them. Missionary Moms said they'd started a Facebook group for every mission in the world. If there weren't enough members to be had, these groups were combined with other missions.
I searched and searched for one, but never did find one under the heading of my daughter's mission. I found some groups for other missions (like the one that exists for the mission I served in--Japan Sendai), but those groups were full of members of the Church who live in that area, returned missionaries, former mission presidents and their wives, and really anyone who has any interest in that mission. I decided that I'd see if I could make one with the people I'd found who had kids serving there, and see if we could make it go.
That's where I will end for today--my time is up.
I just want to add one note before I conclude. I am a firm believer that Facebook can be a tool for either
extreme evil or extreme good. I really feel that you find what you look for. I also believe STRONGLY that EVERY mission in the world NEEDS such a page--not just a group for anyone interested in that mission, but specifically, for the families of the missionaries who serve there.
I will explain more of why I feel this way so strongly in the days to come.