Here’s my final post in my series of “all treats no tricks.” (Post #1 is here, Post #2 is here.) My missionary son came home after serving an honorable two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Argentina Neuquen Mission. He got to come home on Halloween, which will forever make Halloween truly a “hallowed” day for me, forever more. (I’ve been calling it “Heroween” but now maybe I’ll just call it “Hallowed Day” instead of the “H-word,” If anybody knows me you know I’m not a big fan of Halloween.) It was really two weeks shy of when he entered the MTC two years ago but the transfer of the new batch of missionaries made his departure date early, lucky for us! He gets to be with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!
When you send a child out on a mission, it is like sending out a piece of your heart into the world, not knowing it if will come back. I have done it twice now. I wrote about that here, and my firstborn son’s return here. How grateful I am that this season of his life has past, and he is back home! It is such a sacrifice to send a child out into the world, not being able to talk to him or her by phone, except for Mother’s Day and Christmas, and only send emails. As a mother, I trust that people will care for him and love him and that angels will surround him. One of my friends had a son pass away on his mission because of a car accident so I know missionaries don’t always return to their earthly home. Missionaries sometimes get injured while serving a mission. Think of Paul! He was shipwrecked, imprisoned and suffered martyrdom because of his mission. I know it is all in God’s hands and trust His plan for His children.
I am so glad he is back home, able to create a new chapter in his life, based on the lessons of humility, commitment, and testimony he learned on his mission. Now I can talk to him whenever I want! That means I can hear Muppet quotes, Studio C sketches, and lots of inside jokes so I can laugh my guts out! I have so missed his peacemaking abilities among his younger siblings and his quirky humor! He has always been so kind and appreciative towards me and hard-working. I have so missed his loving example in our home.
We celebrated by going out to eat and then went to the temple, where he got to do proxy baptisms with most of his siblings. On the way home, we stopped so he could be released by the stake president. After we got home we had his favorite meal that he requested, taco salad. We gathered around a fire in our fire pit and heard his mission stories. My favorite was what I call his own “fourth floor, last door story.” (That’s a reference to a story told by one our church leaders, Pres. Uchtdorf, shown in the video clip below.) He said that one night, he and his companion were on the street. It was 8:59 PM. The mission rules are that you don’t come home until 9 PM. He had one more minute to work and he insisted on using it and obeying the mission rules. He told his companion, “We are going to keep working until 9 PM!” (in espanol of course.)
They looked around and saw a woman in her yard. They talked to her, saying they had a message about Jesus Christ. She said, “No, I’m not interested in your message.” So then they obeyed the rules again and asked the next question missionaries are to ask, which is to say, “Do you know someone who might be?” She said, “Yes, I do. My neighbor has parents who both recently died. She might be interested.” So they got her name and address. At this point it was past 9 PM so they went home, lol. But they next day, they went and talked to the woman whose name they got. She was interested! They gave her a Book of Mormon. She started reading it, prayed about it, and felt the Holy Ghost confirm the truthfulness of its message. So she got baptized. She has a four year old son who will hopefully be raised in the Church of Jesus Christ and have his life forever changed by the hope of the gospel.
I love this story! What would have happened if my son had gone home at 8:59 PM? We find our miracles and our treasures when we obey with exactness! I testify this is true! I have experienced it! I also testify that motherhood is worth the sacrifice, and brings so much joy to a modern woman’s life. I have experienced that giving up a son or daughter to serve a mission for Jesus Christ brings so much joy to a woman’s heart, and that family life in the gospel of Jesus Christ brings great joy. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and His Church is on the earth today. Jesus Christ and His gospel give us the answers we are searching for, whatever the question we have.