Whether or not you are a Mormon, there is one thing we can agree on. The army of young men and women and senior couples who give their time and effort, not to mention their money to serve missions for the church truly do a world of good! As we explain missionary service to our friends in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Viet Nam, Australia and India. They are flabbergasted when we explain the things these great people, young and old are willingly give up in order to serve. They are incredulous that our young men and women and their families pay their own way, go wherever they are assigned all over the world without question, give up dating, watching movies, their friends and even phone calls to their parents and totally immerse themselves in the service of others. They are dumbfounded when they hear that older couples give up their lovely homes, grandchildren’s baby blessings and baptisms and all their free time (just to mention a few of the sacrifices) to serve the Lord full-time for eighteen months to two years!
This week we loved being with Richard’s brother Chris and his wife Hedy who preside over the Canada Toronto East Mission. Their lives are full to overflowing with the supervision of a their missionaries and the ecclesiastical responsibilities of the Toronto region. Keeping that huge group of loyal servants well and happy is no small task but they do it sometimes with gritted teeth, but always with optimism and a smile.
It took us back to our “old days” when we presided over a mission thirty five years ago in London. Our circumstances were a little different. We had four small children five and under and had two babies while we were there. I was twenty nine and Richard was thirty one. That rare opportunity was somewhat different than it is for these empty nesters but one thing never changes.. .missionaries that are full of dedication and exude happiness even though they are also experiencing struggles and hardships. Pictures are worth thousands of words:
The Senior Couples who serve have been leaders in their communities and are well-trained in leadership in the church so they make an enormous difference as they gather those who are lost and looking for truth and add stability to their lives. They help with ward organizations, serve in neighborhoods as well as visitor’s centers and give love almost beyond belief!
What fun we had doing a weekend Family Seminar. On Friday night we gave a parenting seminar at a Catholic High School and on Saturday a workshop addressing the greatest problem of our age….entitlement. The awesome organizers Joe and Debbie Davis along with a plethora of terrific public relations people did an outstanding job of advertising and organizing, It was a really fun event which included several terrific presenters on topics of marriage and family.
What a world of good these people bring to our scary world of uncertainty and often misery. There will certainly be missionaries in Japan today (where one of our sons served as a missionary) rescuing and comforting, working to help those in need until they are beyond exhaustion. It’s the nature of missionary work everywhere!