This blog makes me smile. As I am writing it, I am thinking about my sons and the emails we have been sharing about these myths we were told about, and how we have busted them!! It doesn't make me angry or hurt, instead - just smile and know it is going to be something that we will talk about when they are finished - and have a laugh...
You see before the boys left for their mission and while at the MTC - I came across some information - all corroborated by other missionaries and/ or my favourite group of people in the world - missionary mothers. So practically it was 'gospel'....... yet now we (the Turketo3) call them myths - hence the smiles.....
MISSIONARY MYTH 1: The Room
We were told while the boys were preparing for their mission, and for some reason, and I do not know why - at the Provo MTC, New Zealand (NZ) is seen as a 3rd world country. This means that the missionaries from NZ join other missionaries from other poor? countries and are taken to this room where they can pick and choose from the items in there and have them - for free! We had heard missionaries picking up suits, bags, shirts, and so on. My niece who went to the Provo MTC - talked of this room....
With this information, and because the boys are serving in a HOT country, and Provo at the time was in the middle of WINTER, we decided that the boys would be able to pick up some warm clothes from the ROOM.
So my sons get called to this room - and the myth is busted! Instead of this massive room (waaaaay smaller than in our imaginations!) and having free range of items - the boys reported that they are met by people who went through their missionary checklist looking for gaps - so the missionary that got a new suit - probably required more suits, hence a suit was picked up.... However, since my sons arrived at MTC with ticks next to every mission specific/required items, they didn't get much from the room.... but they got what they needed.
My son wrote back and told me that the room is actually made up of lost and found items left by the thousands of missionaries that move through the MTC. It is also made up of clothes - which my son did himself - donated by missionaries that aren't going to be using them. So the warm clothes that one of my sons picked up from other missionaries and from parcels - critical in Provo - but unnecessary in the Caribbean were donated. Other kind saints are also donating. My son, got his warm coat from a missionary who left before him. Myth Busted ;-)
MISSIONARY MYTH 2: The ATM Card
The myth:I read somewhere that missionaries in the MTC get a card like an ATM card that had money on it for things that a missionary would need. Again, based on this information, and embellished by my imagination - I ask the boys about this card... and I relax a little thinking that they are getting money every week to get things that they need - although in the MTC - they don't need much!! I'm thinking - if they want to get something from the bookstore, or they want to get some nice paper to write home to their mother (another dream!!) - this card would have some money on it.
In one of the last emails from the MTC, and I am sure he was wearing a big smile as he was writing, my son tells me - Mum - it wasn't like an ATM card with money on it - it was like a swipey card that has $5 on it - for their laundry. Myth Busted :-)
MISSIONARY MYTH 3: The Airport Call
Now, I am a fan of my missionary mothers groups that I am a part of. Some of the women in there are up to their 4th missionary - so again what they say is 'gospel'. The posts of interests were the ones about missionaries calling home from the airport before leaving or during lay overs. My sons and I planned for these little calls - they have phone cards and one has almost $15 worth of quarters ;-) They are prepared...... I wait and wait and wait........ I even find myself stalking airflights! ;-) What I notice is that when they arrive at the JFK airport in New York (they have never been there before) they have 1 hour to make a connecting flight at another terminal that they have never been too - and I know that checking out and in takes time!! Because of all these little things - I fell into the group of MM who didn't get one phone call. Myth Busted :-)
MISSIONARY MYTH 4: The Mission Home
The myth: I had been reading other missionary mothers posting about how they received on the same day as arrival or soon after a letter from their missionary's Mission President (with a photo), some missionaries were even passed a phone to call home to let their parents know they had arrived safely. So you can see where this is going right..... yes I wait all day and night - and nothing! I think every mission is different so another Myth Busted ;-)
And after all is said and done, even with these little things shattered and not bearing up well to my imagination, expectations and anticipation - I know without a doubt that my sons are in God's hands. Even without knowing by phone call that they had arrived - I know in my heart they did and they are well. I know they are excited and looking forward to working hard and although alittle nervous - they will be like sponges taking in every new experience, sight, sound, and smells of their new home! This belief I have, and this peace I feel inside - is not a myth and will never be busted!
Until the next time,