Thursday, June 27, 2013

He Likes Getting Mail

Twice this week Seth requested that we please write him letters. He said in his weekly e-mail that mail is better than cookies. I received a note from him today via regular mail. The end of the note said "please continue to write me, it is really nice." I remember how important mail was to me on my mission so I will have to keep it up.

Seth mentioned in today's mail how surprised he is that he misses Nathan and Hannah so much. I think Ian had the same kind of problem when he left. Little children are so loving that it's easy to miss their genuine outpouring of love.

Here are a few snippets from today's note: "I am very well, don't worry yourself at all. I really like it here. I am dealing very well with the heat...[My companion] is a great companion...I am happy out here. I got through a lot of adjusting this week, so that was good. We helped a family move and we got to put branches in a wood chipper. That was so much fun, physical service helps me process my thoughts...I am trying to eat well. The members feed us well. I love you all so much. Have a great week."

He sounds just fine. He has been in my prayers as well as Nels. Nels seems to be doing well so I am happy about that and they are e-mailing each other so that's a great way for them to stay connected. I guess I can stop worrying about that now.

I went to the Draper Temple this morning. It's a bit of a drive from my house but I like to go there at least once a year. It is such a beautiful temple. The Celestial Room is so tranquil. It is a beautiful respite from the cares of a troubled world. I think it is one of my favorite temples. It is such a blessing to be in the Lord's house. It is always helpful to me.

"And that all people who shall enter
 upon the threshold of the Lord’s house 
 may feel thy power,
 and feel constrained to acknowledge
 that thou hast sanctified it, 
and that it is thy house
a place of thy holiness." 
D&C 109 :13

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Settling In

I heard from Seth yesterday. It sounds like he is settling in and adjusting.

"Dear Mom, family and friends.                                         

The worldwide missionary conference was really cool. We probably won't see the changes for a number of months, but it is quite exciting. We need those changes; tracting is not very effective...I gave a talk on Sunday and I was pretty bold. I told the ward members that missionary work would change their eternity and the eternity of those they share the gospel with. I also told them that their friends and neighbors desperately need to hear the gospel...We have one really solid investigator..We are going to continue to work really hard this week and try to find more people to teach. We have met a lot of nice people this week, but nobody really receptive. We did a few service projects and that was fun. It was the first time I used a wood chipper. Nobody really slams doors here. They turn us down nicely which I appreciate...I am very happy and very well. I am used to people looking at us weird now, so that is no longer a problem. Everything else is fine...

I love you all very much. Thanks for all your support. I particularly love letters in the mail. That is like better than cookies. The Church is very true. I love the message of the restoration; it is so wonderful to teach."

The first part of missions is hard on Moms. I reread the line "I am very happy and very well" a few times so it sinks in. I know Seth is adjusting and I know it is hard to be rejected all day long. I experienced that on my mission as well yet I too was happy. I also enjoyed teaching the message of the restoration and missionary work gave me great joy. I just need to figure out how to "let go" and settle in for the long haul. I too agree that missionary work changes our lives for eternity. Well said. I also appreciate that people aren't slamming doors in my son's face. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wedding Photo Additions

We finally received the photographer wedding photos.
 I have a few favorites.
And a few family favorites.
I LOVE this one.
They can't help themselves.
Beautiful family!
Beautiful Hannah!
Even if she was tired by the end of the night.
We miss our Seth.
And his funny nature.
In a couple of weeks we celebrate 30 years.

Family is the best. :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

First E-Mails from The Field

I received an e-mail from Seth today. Halleluiah! Waiting for the first one is simply agony. I also received a kind letter from his mission president (above) and his wife letting me know Seth arrived safely and they are happy to have him in their mission.
That's quite a group of missionaries he arrived with.
I also received a quick note from Nels 
with this picture from the MTC.
It reminds me of my own missionary days!! Same map!!

Seth sounds fine and Nels sounds fine. Seth sounds as if he is adjusting well to the weather, the food, and the schedule. He said he likes his companion and he has had a few episodes of homesickness but not too bad.  These are his closing words:
"Also I thought I should add my testimony about missionary work. It is a wonderful work. Heavenly Father does missionary work because it is a means of perfecting all of His children at the same time. The doctrine of Christ is deserving of everyone's study... It is a process of becoming converted and accomplishing Christlike change. I know this Church is true. We have the truth and the only way to know Christ. Open your mouth and share it, and it will bless your life. Give the missionaries referrals!!!"

Still miss him.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Beautiful Place

Last weekend Jim and I went to Youth Conference.
 I've been to many youth conferences before
but none in a setting as beautiful as this one.
We were high in the mountains
overlooking two beautiful vistas.
 Pictures don't do it justice.

Just lovely.
Youth Conference was a success in part due to
the evidence of God's love for us all around us as
we beheld His beautiful creations.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"I'm Ready To Go"

I sat near the phone this morning for almost an hour and a half waiting for Seth to call from the airport this morning. It was very early so I dozed off a few times. He said he had to wake up at 3:00 this morning and leave the MTC at 4:00 to make his flight. As it turned out, his flight was delayed about an hour.

We only talked for ten minutes. He was calm and exuded peace. Half way through the conversation he asked, "Do you have any questions for me?" We didn't really have any. He said he was very happy and "ready to go." He said he had a few moments of being scared but they passed. He said he loved his companion and loved his district and that he and his companion served as zone leaders welcoming in new missionaries last week. He said he saw Nels on a fluke last Friday or Saturday. He said he was standing outside with his companion and Nels needed to come over to the main MTC campus for something, saw Seth and ran up to him. He said Nels is also very happy. They took a picture together  for me in front of the map but it is in Nels' camera so I suppose I'll have to wait for it. Nels left for Alaska yesterday.

The tone of Seth's voice told me is is ready to go and prepared to serve. I couldn't help but shed a few tears when I hung up. Two years is a really long time. Love him.Bye Son, see you soon.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Leaving In The Morning

It's hard to believe Seth is leaving in the morning for Georgia. Jessa works in the MTC as a teacher and has actually been assigned to teach on the same floor where Seth's classes are taught. She has seen him three times and reports that he is very happy. We did receive one very short e-mail from him confirming that. He said, "I am very happy. I love it here so much. This is the best place on earth. I am so excited to serve." We anticipate an early call from him tomorrow morning when he reaches the airport. We are looking forward to it! We miss him a great deal but are happy for his decision to serve the Lord as a missionary.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Fog Is Clearing

My brain suffers a terrible fog-like state when I send a missionary off. You can see the tears in my eyes when we took this picture. The first two days are the worst. Then there is the cleaning the room of the departing missionary trauma that occurs when everything is cleaned up and the beds are made again and there is a terrible empty feeling that settles in. Then there is the first Sunday back at church when you see their missionary plaque hanging in the hallway and it is just a reminder of the departure and the length of the two year commitment that pours salt in the gaping wound of your heart.
I am happy to say that we are better now. Jim has been fine all along. It's the mother part of me that has a terrible time with those goodbyes but I think I will be OK from here on out. We do miss him though but he'll be a wonderful missionary and it is a blessing and privilege to have another missionary serving.