We stood enjoying the ocean view and chatting with another missionary couple as they waited to board the ferry to the island of Negros
When is your mission release date?
At the end of February? How about you?
We go home in January. Another couple goes home in March., and the last one has only six more months.
Is there anyone else coming?
Not that we know. There just aren’t enough senior couples.
We have 228 missionaries now. If there are no senior missionaries, who will be there for them?
It will be hard. I talked to Sister Harris in the office. They only have four weeks left. She said that for the year that they were home before coming back on a mission, they talked to everyone they knew to try to persuade them to apply for a mission.
Did anyone apply?
Not one couple.
Are they worried about health?
Don’t they know that if they are still breathing, the Lord can use them?
I know we have been in better health here than we were at home.
So have we. It must be something about the promise of how those who “magnify their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.” (see D&C 84:33)
We worried a lot about leaving our grandchildren.
That was a concern for us, too.
We still worry, especially about our grandchildren who are growing up without the gospel. But we have to trust that the Lord is more powerful than we are, and that if we serve a mission, we have His promise:
“I will bless you and your family, yea, your little ones; and the day cometh that they will believe and know the truth and be one with you in my church.”
“Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come.” (D&C 31:2-3)
We paused to wipe away a few tears.
A mission isn’t easy.
No, it isn’t. I was reading in the Bible dictionary about the story of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt. It said:
“The story is especially instructive in showing the discipline of misfortune, and also that the Lord rewards His obedient children according to their faithfulness.”
Humm…the discipline of misfortune? That is an interesting thought. We have received great blessings while here on a mission. But I have to wonder what we might have missed if we had not chosen to come on a mission.
We have, too. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.”
Wow! Well, when “the books” are opened, I hope our mission report might show up in our favor.(see Revelations 20)
Oh, there is our boarding call.
We all hugged each other and waved goodbye.
But we didn’t talk about love.
Yes, all the love that has been showered on us since we came on a mission; all the hugs and letters.
Dear Elder and Sister,
Pinamungajan was my first area. I am from Tonga. I just hope you won’t ever forget me! You both were my parents when I was far from mine. I was still fresh and often very clueless of what I should be doing, but knowing that you were there helped me a lot.
Sister, I will never forget your getting down on your knees and scrubbing the dust off the floor of our new kitchen! I have to admit, that was a huge testimony of what service and what a leader really should be like! for me.
Elder, you have a bubbly aura around you that just makes me so happy when I am around you! Even though you were tired—but you continue to drive us back and forth during our activity at Sister Vineyard’s house.
If I could count all that I am grateful for—its gonna take the whole day! Please know that you are appreciated!!!
Most importantly, I love your patience, and spiritual knowledge. Every time you both expound on a scripture—it just blows me away! I wrote down some of the things you sometimes say and use them as quotes. They are just so wonderful.
I know that part of the ways the Lord reaches out for His missionaries, especially a clueless sister like me, is through senior couples, and I am glad that I got to work with you both,
I love you both and I mean it!
Sister Poteki (student of the scriptures)