Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Missionary Mothers

Missionary Mothers
Weather -- Bright sun, warming
Temp-- minus 12C (+10F) Wind -- Easterly 5-7 mph

A comment on my "Miss and not Miss" blog made me reflect on you mothers who are sending sons and daughters on missions, particularly to Siberia, and I want to comment on that a bit. We sent three children, well, they weren't children, and that's the core of the matter. Where was I? Oh yes, we sent three of our children on missions. One to Illinois, one to Korea, and one to Temple Square. We didn't send anyone to a place like Siberia, but maybe we did.

In any case, we, and you, are part of that heroic group of parents who, like Samuel's mother in the Old Testament, gave their children to the Lord's service before we were really ready to let them go altogether. With three of the four children now in their 30's, I know that you don't really EVER let your children go completely, but there is a time when your influence and even your duty takes a peripheral role instead of a primary one.

That being said, let me relate to this missionary-mom's comment about spending more time on her knees now that she is sending her son to Siberia. I understand. I don't know if this will make it any easier or allow you to sleep better, but let me share, again, how the Church, and  specifically we here in Novosibirsk, care for your missionary.

First they get 3 months of training at the Provo Missionary Training Center and they would have to be brain and spiritually dead to not be impacted by that experience. When they finally get to the mission they get a full day of instruction from the Mission President and the Assistants to the President. The next day they get a thorough orientation from the Mission Secretary, who in this case its Sister Simmons. Then I instruct them on the cell phone, ATM cards, and financial matters. When they get to their assigned city, they are put in the care of a Trainer, who has been in the mission a good long time, to spend 6 weeks learning how to be a missionary in the field. They have a senior couple either living in their city or assigned to mentor their city from an adjoining city.

The missionary is never alone except in the shower and the toilet. They learn to watch out for their companion and to be watched. It is a partnership and they learn to be a good partner during this first 6 weeks. He/she may stay with the trainer for a second transfer (6 weeks) or be assigned to a senior companion where further training and experience is gained. They work on the language, the discussions, the behaviors and demeanor of a missionary, proper relations with members and investigators, contacting, lesson planning, teaching, and everything they will need to know.

The missionary housing is inspected each transfer. Anything they need for their safety or comfort is provided by the mission, and there is an extraordinary amount of money spent to insure the well being of each missionary. I know. I pay it. There is also an extraordinary amount of effort expended by the entire mission organization to ensure the success of each new missionary and nothing we know of is spared to develop the missionary into what he/she came here to be.

Missionary mom, we know that God could not be everywhere so He made moms. Well, when you can't be everywhere, God called a Mission President, assistants to the mission President, senior missionary couples, an office couple, and the best of the best missionaries to come to Siberia just to watch out for your son or daughter. Even the members like these take a personal interest in the new missionaries.

We honor you for preparing your missionary for this great challenge and we take this responsibility very seriously. I can tell you personally that we as the office couple have taken these missionaries into our hearts, into our lives, and into our personal care. They are our sons and daughters in every sense and we hope that you will know in your heart that all I have told you here is true. They are gone from you, but they are come to us and we will take good care of them.

What a great opportunity. What a country.


Trisha said...

So True. I will never forget the couple missionaries that I worked with. Yes we leave home but we did the Lords work and he gave us people to love and be loved by.

lelia said...

I am going to add a big AMEN to what Doug wrote about mission "parents" - I spent 6 days last summer with Cindy and Doug, who are friends from our college days. The love, support, and dedication they give to these young and deserving young people is testamony to their commitment to spreading the gospel. It was fascinating to read the process of the mission project, but then it must be perfect and there must be protection. I am totally impressed with the whole organization and all of the people in it. There are many many blessings - I had such a great time with all of the young missionaries as they came to dine, rehearse, and commune with Cindy and Doug. It was a memoriable and phenominal experience.

Shannon said...

So true Dad. I still keep in touch (5 years later) with some of the senior couples who were my "mission parents" on Temple Square. They hold a special place in my heart. The mission is a safe and wonderful place to be!

Rene Weston-Eborn said...

Thank you for the post and assurance. I truly appreciate it, and have enjoyed reading your experience thus far.

Makes me feel better! You are so right.

Love Sister Eborn

Carol said...

Thanks for your words of comfort for us missionary moms. When I was preparing to send my daughter I had a few strong impressions and experiences that let me know that the Lord would take care of her needs and that angels would surround her. From that moment on I have never feared for her and as I have gotten to know you through this blog I know that you are two of those angels that have been sent to help take care of these servents of the Lord. Once again I want to thank you so much for all you do for our missionaries.