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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wrapping It All Up: How #1's Mission Blessed My Life (A Mother's Perspective)

I originally started writing this post back on December 15, 2014. I'm feeling that before we send our next missionary out, this post needs to be published. It makes me wonder what lies ahead with #2 out and serving. What a SWEET experience having a child out in the world doing just what you'd hope he/she'd do…something to better the world around him/her.

Although it is a bit late, here is the wrap-up from a missionary mother's perspective:

Tomorrow we will be reunited with our daughter. She has been serving in the Philippines Olongapo Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the past 18 months of her life. We have kept in touch during that time by once-a-week emails that came in each Sunday night (Monday morning for her) and two Skype calls--one on Christmas of 2013 and one on Mother's Day 2014.

Before she served, I would frequently hear moms of missionaries speak of the blessings they had received while their children served the Lord. I didn't understand this, and I guess there really is no way to fully comprehend it unless you've experienced it for yourself. Although I'd heard people speak of these blessings, I don't recall them specifically enumerating what those blessings might be.

I want to make sure, while they are still clear in my mind, that I don't overlook any of these blessings that I have received as a mother of a missionary. I also want to be sure that it is understood that each of these blessings was paid for with a price, and in some cases many prices (trials were thick during this time and possibly harder than they've been in the past when I haven't had a missionary serving), but the main price was the sacrifice made of allowing my daughter to give a year and a half of her life to the Lord--for the experience to learn to make her own sacrifices and to learn to serve as He would. When you look at it that way, it really seems like it was no sacrifice at all--the blessings far outweigh the prices paid.

Here are eighteen of the blessings that I, specifically, gained by sacrificing the presence of my daughter for the past 18 months of her life. They are in no particular order:

  • Spiritual fitness is more vitally important than any other kind of fitness
  • Generosity should be one of our highest values
  • Meekness is not a weakness
  • Trust
  • Strength
  • Confidence before the Lord
  • Love of missionaries
  • Love of missionary work 
  • Courage 
  • The value of each of my children 
  • The exquisiteness of missing someone
  • There are others out there who truly care
  • That there is NOTHING better than seeing a child grow up and do good things on her/his own
  • God loves us
  • No matter how weak you are, if you're trying, God will use you for His purposes. It will be sweeter than anything else, and you will be left more capable
  • Miracles haven't ceased
  • I need to count my blessings each and every day in order to have more
  • There is WAY more to each of us than meets the eye, and it is through stretching ourselves in good ways that each of us truly learns of our own potential.

I'm convinced that although these blessings and lessons may have come eventually, they were made more concentrated during this time while our daughter served the people of the Philippines. These blessings were a consequence of her service. Because of her, mine has been blessed.

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