Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mum's Missionary Musings

The day finally arrived! We picked Nathan up from the airport Friday evening. He looks wonderful and seems very happy. Mum can finally relax... just a bit... now the next step... college! Does it ever end? My own "Mum" always said motherhood never stops. So true!

OK, so the sign at the airport is a bit over the edge.

Jon, Ben and Katie had to pretend they didn't know me! Ha Ha! Nate may have been a bit embarrassed too.

So, I had scary visions of The RM running through my head. At least I didn't have 50 people shouting "welcome home!" while releasing helium balloons and throwing confetti.

Friday night, Nathan was so wide awake, that we all had to go to bed and leave him up wandering aimlessly around the house. After all, it was morning down under. Saturday, I took him with me to run a few errands. He made it until about 3 pm and fell asleep in the car. After all, it was the middle of the night down under!

Today, he was officially released as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He met with the High Council and gave an accounting of his mission and bore his testimony. What a proud day for a Mum!

In thinking back, however, Nathan's success thus far in life can't begin to be attributed solely to me or the way I've raised him.

First, he was born with a spiritual gift. I do not know what it would be called, but I've always known he had something special about him in a spiritual sense.

Secondly, I was pondering upon the last ten years or so since we moved to the Herkimer Branch. I recall countless scouting trips, camp outs, basketball games, cookouts, service projects, etc where huge chunks of time and energy were sacrificed by others to provide these experiences for our youth. Not once was there a Father-Son outing where my boys were not asked to allow another father the privilege of "adopting" another son for the event. I recall youth and adults alike walking for hours in the rain to collect items for a food drive for this future missionary's Eagle Project.

How many times have I looked down the hall at church to see a father figure with his arm around my son's shoulders, giving counsel, or patting his back? How many miles have been driven to go out the way to pick up my children for an activity because I was at work and could not bring them? How many hours of preparation have been spent in preparing the spiritual lessons my children were taught each and every Sunday? How many times have their names been mentioned in prayer? How many mothers baked a special cake or made a special meal just because one of my boys was spending the night and she knew he loved it?

No, this young man has grown into a man who has "returned with honor" from his mission due to the blessings of Heavenly Father and many, many saints who understand the true meaning of charity and love.... and who aren't afraid to sacrifice a little time, energy and sleep for their God.
How do I say thank you to countless numbers of people, some whom I may not even know what they have done? I will try my best to do the same for other young men and women who may benefit from some love and charity too.

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