Sunday, December 15, 2013

Memo of My Missionary- He's Really Doing It!

 service is the best part of missionary work
Guy in the black sweater is an ex Special Warfare soldier!

ready to clean the toilet lol

tired me!

waiting for turner! on the comfy couch

just another day

Anthony is changing. I can see it in his face. I can see it in his body. I can see it in the way he stands. One of the hardest parts of being a parent is when they get old enough that they are able to go out and have new experiences without you by their side. It starts little by little: playing over at a friend's house, going off to school, participating in extra-curricular activities... then comes the time when they would rather spend their extra time with other people besides family. Then, they graduate, move out, start carving out a life of their own.  It's all part of the natural process of life.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there is an additional step to the process of life. Serving a full-time mission. It is not a requirement. It is not stepped into lightly. For young men at least 18 years of age, it is a commitment of two years. For young women, it is a commitment of 18 moths. For retired, married couples it can range from 1 to two years, and they can serve as many times as they desire.

One day in church, someone was giving a talk in Sacrament Meeting and they posed the question: Why do missionaries do it? Why do they leave behind friends and family to basically put their lives on hold to serve in almost any region world? That question really hit home for me right at that moment. I wonder why??? Ironically, this talk was being given by grandmother who was about to leave with her husband to serve an 18 month mission. Even more ironically, before she was asked to give this talk she hadn't really known the answer.

During her talk she referenced this article which was written about one of her grandsons being greeted by his family upon returning from his mission. The author wrote, "As I stood back watching this sweet moment between mother and son, a family friend, who isn't a member of the church, leaned over and said to me, “How can you go two years without seeing your son? I don’t understand how they can go two whole years.”

This brought tears to my eyes. I know why. The author of that article knows why. About 14 million people throughout the world KNOW why. And if my son doesn't currently know why, I pray that he will gain that knowledge while he is serving full time in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

There was another talk given in Sacrament Meeting where a poem was shared. As I listened to that poem, I thought, "THAT'S why."

Here is the poem:

WHICH LOVED BEST? by Joy Allison (1917)

"I love you, Mother, said little John;
Then, forgetting his work, his cap went on.
And he was off to the garden swing,
Leaving his mother the wood to bring.

"I love you, Mother, said rosy Nell,
"I love you better than tongue can tell."
Then she teased and pouted full half the day.
Till her mother was glad when she went to play.

I love you, Mother," said little Fan,
"To-day I'll help you all that I can;
How glad I am that school doesn't keep!"
So she rocked the babe till he fell asleep.

Then stepping softly, she took the broom,
And swept the floor, and dusted the room.
Busy and happy all day was she;
Helpful and happy as a child could be.

"I love you, Mother," again they said,
Three little children going to bed.
How do you think that mother guessed
Which of them really loved her best?

As this poem illustrates, love is shown not by words alone. When you KNOW how MUCH your Heavenly Father LOVES you, and that he loves you no matter how many times you fail to meet the mark, you will WANT to love Him back. You will want to show that love by picking up that proverbial broom, packing it in your suitcase and leaving all the comforts of home and family to do the Lord's bidding.

My son left us six months ago. Today, as I looked at these pictures to share with you all on my blog, I thought to myself, "He's doing it. He's really doing it."

Anthony is OUT THERE. He's waking up early, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes to study with his companion. He's putting on a clean white shirt and a tie every single day, and standing tall as he ministers among the children of God in Yreka, California. At the end of his long days, he's plopping down somewhere and evaluating his day as a missionary.

He is sacrificing because his Brother, Jesus Christ sacrificed for him.

We love you Elder Galloway.

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