Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Missionary Farewell/Setting Apart

Dear Journal

The last few weeks with your pre-missionary go by super quickly... I had a blackboard measuring the days and it seemed that no sooner had I put a number up, it had to be changed and the number kept getting lower and lower until my boys were GONE ;-(

I spent much of my time with my sons together as well as individually and loved every minute of it all, in particular preparing for their missionary farewell talks in sacrament meeting, followed that night by their setting apart. I learnt more about their personalities, their little quirks, and how grown up they had gotten, and how they had formed their own opinions separate to mine. What I learnt throughout this preparation time was that my son's have strong testimonies that God lives and the work that there were about to be engaged in was good and they were ready!
They spoke amazingly, with firmness and a love of God and their family. I couldn't have loved them any more or been prouder than I was hearing their testimonies. I was also blessed (by their invitation) to speak on both occasions. I cried most of the way through - and not sure anyone heard anything I said ;-). After speaking and singing a song I composed in our sacrament meeting, one of my sons said "Thanks Mum" and at that moment - it didn't matter if anyone else heard - because I know at least he did!
Anyway for this blog, I thought I would include my talk that I gave at my sons' setting apart called - A Mother's Parting Advice. I am sending it to my sons while they are in the MTC this week.
"My parting advice to my baby boys starts with and ends with one word - LOVE.
1) A Mother's love
A mother's love for her child is unparalleled by any other bond and I thank a kind Heavenly Father for blessing me with two beautiful sons who have brought me and their father, for the most part, nothing less than joy. If you could see how much love I had for you sons, it would surely fill this planet and the galaxy and beyond!!
Thank you for being good boys. You will be missed but we are so proud of you and look forward to this next part of your life.
2) Love your companion
Your father tells me all the time that I am a combination of all of the worst companions he ever had - so he was totally prepared for your mother ;-) Seriously though - love your companion. There is direct correlation between a working companionship and success in the Lord's work.
3) Love the people you serve
For people to remember you long after you are gone, and for generations to come, not only because you brought them the gospel, but because you truly loved them - that is success! Your father is the man he is today, partly due to the love of the missionary couple who baptised him, and continued to love him long after they had returned home.
4) Love the Lord
Love the Lord and he will not forsake you. President Thomas S. Monson has taught "When the pathway of life takes a cruel turn, there is the temptation to ask the question 'Why me?' At times there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel..... We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone.... We become impatient for a solution to our problems, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required. The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us: Shall I falter, or shall I finish? Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome....Your Heavenly Father loves you - each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy,. discouraged or hopeful. God's love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there"

5) Lastly, my sons - as you have been taught since you were little children, strive to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost with you always. He will testify that what comes out of your mouth, in broken Spanish or otherwise is true!!
Go with your parents love and the love of your Nan (my mother passed away in 2007, but always prayed for my sons to serve their mission). This church is true, otherwise you would not be going anyway on the plane tomorrow night. God lives."
I hope that this brings the boys some comfort while they are serving, as it has for me re-reading it again.
Until the next time,

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