Thursday, April 11, 2013

Who Knew that Sending off a Missionary Would be so Hard?

Amber, Ashley-Salt Lake Temple- Sat. April 6
My oldest daughter, Amber, entered the MTC yesterday.  She'll be heading to serve in Richmond, Virginia in a few weeks.  I know it will be a great blessing and glorious experience for her.  For that, I am deeply grateful.

But, it was hard on ME.  I cried all afternoon.  :)

We waited in a long line of cars that extended from the entrance of the MTC (Missionary Training Center, in Provo, Utah) to enter one of 24 drop off points.  We were told that we'd have 2 1/2 minutes to get unloaded and say our 'goodbye's.'  So, we were prepared.  Or, so we thought.

We took a few photos at the Provo Temple - and then, got in the car line to wait our drop-off turn. As we visited, expressed our love and support (from her two younger teenage siblings), and talked about saying goodbye, this sweet missionary daughter then, finally, shared that she was somewhat 'scared' - and I started to tear up.

Up to this point we have been so busy with preparations that we scarcely had time to think about the
actual day she'd leave.  There was much more preparation than I'd known about, settling things with her schooling at BYU-Idaho and trying to sell her housing contract (which we're still trying to do), selling her little and very hard-earned car, figuring out enough clothing - with skirts that were long enough in length but, not too long, modest blouses and sweaters (often difficult to find), suitable walking shoes that were still 'cute' etc.  :)

Then, the financing of it all.

Lots to do, lots to prepare, lots to think about.

And, now she's gone.  I can't just text her.  Or....go into her room and visit and see how she's doing.  I can't call her on the phone to hear her voice, or hug her when I feel the desire to do so.

I didn't know the depth that I'd feel yesterday or the way my heart would deepen and grow a few more sizes.  Or, the understanding and appreciation I'd gain for the other 65,000 missionary families that have recently done the same as me - and the thousands of others' who've gone through it over the years.

Just when I thought I'd learned most of the life lessons to learn :)  (lots of them over the years), I realize how many more there may be.  And, even through the pain and grief and 'loss', I am grateful.

I am grateful for a loving Father into whose hands I have entrusted this daughter.  (She's really His anyway, after all.)  For a beloved Savior whom I am most deeply grateful that she is able to serve and teach of.  And, for a marvelous plan for all His children. And for so many missionaries who desire to serve and love their fellowman, (fellow brothers and sisters-we are all children of God) and at their own sacrifice, time, talents and means, go all over the world, where-ever they are 'called' - to share this message of love with the world.

I know that I am not a very good writer - nor often good at expressing how I feel in terms worthy of publication.  But, as a mother I do know that there is probably no greater love or sacrifice we could make - than sending our children out into the world to serve.  And, I know that our Father did the same when He sent us all here to earth.  So, for all that, I am grateful and more thankful than I thought possible.

And, my continual prayers will ascend heavenward in her behalf, and for those she will meet and serve and love and possibly teach, and for all others who are serving in the world - striving to bring light and truth to searching souls.

I love you all.

Heidi
'Mormon Moms'



You can follow Amber's mission blog at:  Sister Amber in Virginia.  I will be adding her weekly letters home to the site.  Thanks for your support.  It's nice, at times like these, to know that others' care!  :)



5 comments:

  1. Congrats, Mom! You have now joined the Elite group of Mothers of Missionaries! Yes, it's difficult to say goodbye. But what a joyful way for a daughter to leave home. She didn't leave in anger, running away from you perhaps to shack up with some creep. There are many worse ways to have to say goodbye. Saying goodbye to a missionary reminded me of our goodbyes in the premortal life. What must our Heavenly Parents feel? Pain at parting but knowing it is a necessary step in our progression. I truly felt he love of the Lord as I said goodbye to our missionary three years ago. He knows your heart and will comfort and bless you. Again, well done Mom! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thanks, Rozy, I agree with most of your comments and am grateful for this blessing. It still was hard as we've been through a lot together and it still was a 'loss.' I'm grateful for empathy and understanding. It helps as we go through this mortal sojourn. Yes, there are sorrows, joys, ups and downs. And, yes, I know that I will learn much from this. And, even with all that being said - there were tears. And, perhaps, rightly so in my case. None of us know what each other has gone through. I am grateful for His comfort that I have felt and I know that all will be well. Even-so, there were tears and that is okay. I believe it's better to feel our emotions and process through them than to feel that we shouldn't have them and that we shouldn't feel pain or grief.

    Thanks for responding and yes, I am grateful for His comfort.

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  3. Welcome to the Missionary Mom Club...my 3rd missionary is out and is halfway through her mission this week! I still miss her, but every once in awhile I go in her room and just sit. I also write her whenever I want, send packages, etc., and doing that makes it easier.
    Also made a message board for all over her letters and cards for all of us to see during the day, which hangs in the kitchen. We are so proud of our missionaries--we appreciate their sacrifices and dedication to their calling. One thing I have learned, is that it's over before you know it!!

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  4. I can really relate to your feeling on this one. We have sent 4 missionaries out and with each one I have cried for the first day and then once in a while after that. However, when you start receiving those emails or letters you will have feelings of great joy. The hardest of my four was my daughter who was the last missionary, also. We had such a hard time getting her the clothes she needed. The one nice thing is that now they can have some brighter colors. What a wonderful adventure she is on and you are going to enjoy her experiences with her.

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  5. Thanks, LeAnn,
    It's nice to know people who can relate. I'm doing much better now. My posting of today reflects that. :) Thanks for your support and kindness. This is all part of our learning and growing and willingness to sacrifice all things! :)
    Bless you!

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Thank you for your comments.