"The standard of truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble and calumny may defame but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent 'till the purposes of God have been accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done." -Joseph Smith

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Waiting Game

Well, it seems like forever since Hermana Myers took off on the plane from Moline on her way to Utah, to prepare to teach the gospel to those in Riverside California.  I was fine as she walked off and went through security but since then many times a day I wonder what she is doing and how she is feeling, wishing only to be a fly on the wall and observe all that is happening.  Hopefully sometime this week we will be getting an email or letter telling us about her first impressions and all her learning.

While I have your ear, I would like to share a nice service found at Dear Elder.  This is a site where they will print  you letter and get it to her mailbox at the Mission Training Center in Provo Utah the next day or same day if before 12 PM Mountain Time. If using this service, please remember that until the beginning of May (5/8/13 is her approximate departure day) you need to scroll down to the Provo MTC even though for her mission you need to enter California Riverside. The service is free( to the MTC) and you can get a copy of your letter sent to your email. In the MTC Hermana Myers will have limited computer time so this will give her a printed copy she can read at anytime not just during her short computer time.

I know that I have sent this to a few people but I would like to leave this posted on Hermana Myers' blog as she is determined to serve a valiant mission and KEEP the MISSION RULES!!! (from http://ourldsfamily.com/docs/PreparingYourMissionary.shtml)

  • Several things I noticed with the missionaries where we served:
  • Missionaries really appreciate letters that talk about things their parents are doing to further the Lord's work. One young Elder wrote home expressing his disappointment that his parents were not doing any type of missionary work themselves. The next email he received from his parents told him about their missionary experiences. They had gone on exchanges with the missionaries, were doing better with their own home teaching and visiting teaching, and shared the joy they were feeling from their service. The smile the Elder had on his face when he read this was priceless. They like to know that missionary work is important to their parents.
  • Some parents share scriptural insights with their missionaries in their letters. The missionaries really appreciate it, especially if it has to do with the topics in Preach My Gospel. They are teaching the gospel using their own words and understandings. Preach My Gospel has an excellent outline for them and scriptures and questions to support what they are teaching. But they are always looking for additional supporting scriptures, personal experiences and messages from the general authorities. Share something you learned at church. Share thoughts with them or brief outlines of talks given in sacrament meeting. These young elders and sisters prepare talks on topics the president gives them every zone conference. Two or three will be called on to give their talks. They don't know who it will be until the last minute. So they all prepare a talk every zone conference. Ideas you share with them about living the gospel will really help them. Share your testimony and your love for the gospel, and for them. Share spiritual experiences and answers to prayers with them. These are the things they are focused on during their mission. Those are the letters that mean the most.
  • Letters don't need to have a lot of detail about things going on at home. Sometimes too much detail causes them to worry too much about home and to lose their focus. They are in the mission field to do missionary work. They dedicate 18 months or 2 years. They don't like getting anything that causes them to lose focus.
  • One missionary received a lot of pictures from home. He loved them and I don't want to discourage sending pictures, but I smiled when I walked past his desk one day. On his bulletin board I saw a picture he received from home that was pinned on the board face-down. He wrote on the back, "Focus Elder". Help them to stay focused and encourage them to put their whole heart into the missionary work. They will have the most tremendous experiences if they do.
  • They love receiving letters but generally one a week is very sufficient.
  • Share a recipe with them. Something that takes few locally available ingredients, doesn't cost a lot to make, and doesn't take a lot of time, but, is nutritious and tasty. They love good recipes more than you can imagine.
  • The missionaries love to receive an occasional package from home with some of their favorite treats, or a new tie (they get so tired of their old ties). I noticed the ones that received too many packages would tend to lose their focus a little. One of our office missionaries received a package for major holidays (2 a year) and for his birthday. That was all. Of course he received an email every week, which he looked forward to. When he received a package, he cherished it and everything in it. His family put a lot of thought into what to send him that would help him on his mission and mean the most to him. Those that received packages too often didn't seem to appreciate them as much. So thoughtfully prepare an occasional package, but don't send too many.
  • Keep in mind when sending packages, that they have to fit everything into their suitcases when they are transferred and remember how tightly packed their suitcases were when they left. That means they really don't have room for any thing else unless they leave something behind. Little trinkets or toys are just not useful to them. Many of those things have to be either thrown away or left behind when they transfer. They love food generally, or an occasional tie. They do get really tired of their ties which is about the only thing they can change in their missionary attire. Missionaries trade ties, and sometimes they just lose them when they transfer.
  • Packages sent via UPS usually end up at the mission office and can't be forwarded. So it is held there until someone goes to the area where your missionary lives. Sometimes packages are held in the office for a week or two before someone goes that way, and sometimes even longer, depending on how large the mission is. If you are sending cookies, they can get mighty stale by then. Sending your packages through the post office makes it possible to forward them, and they receive them shortly after they arrive to the mission office. Foreign missions will most likely be different. Follow the guidelines from the mission. If you have your missionary's address you can send packages and mail directly to them but be careful when it gets close to transfers. Your missionary might be transferred to a new area. Occasionally missionaries are moved to a new area between transfers, too. So if you are sending medical supplies, always check with the mission office to make sure your missionary is still at that address. Sometimes it's better to talk with the mission office about sending any medical supplies. They will be able to find information you can't get otherwise.
  • Never, ever talk about how many months, days or weeks they have left on their mission and especially about "hump" day (half way through their mission). You may keep track, but if your missionary is really focused on his/her mission and working hard, they don't keep track of it and don't want to be reminded. There is nothing that makes them lose their focus more or get "trunky" than to be reminded of how much time they have left. Our Mission President told the missionaries if they were asked by members how long they had been out they were to answer by saying, "less than a year" or "more than a year" and leave it at that. They were not to focus on exactly how long they had been out or had left of their mission. Most of the missionaries are pretty excited to be in the mission field and want to serve well to the very last day; sometimes the very last minute. We have had them late coming to the mission home in preparation for returning home because they were keeping one last appointment to teach a family or to attend a baptism. They love the work and don't want to be reminded that the time is winding down. Don't do things to lessen their focus by reminding them about how much time they have left. Communicate things to help them make the best use of every minute they spend in the mission field.
  • They need to know you love and support them. Sometimes missionary work can be very difficult and there can be many disappointments. They need your encouragement, letting them know how you handle adversity or disappointments. Hopefully you showed them this before they left. You should help keep them motivated. They love talking about their investigators and new converts. Make note of the people they tell you about and show interest in their progress. Fast and pray for people they are teaching. Let them know you are fasting and praying for these people too, Okay? [Editor's note: we get names of special investigators and put them on our temple's prayer roll.] I worked in the office and loved to talk to parents. I never minded having a parent call if there was a valid concern. It is best if you have are concerned about an important issue, to call the office and let them answer your questions if possible and if not, to put you in touch with the President. I always welcomed a call from the parents, whether they had concerns because they hadn't heard from their missionary that week or what their missionary's address was or whatever. I know some missions are very large and the office is extremely busy and it is difficult to be taking a lot of unnecessary calls. Don't be afraid to call the mission office, though, if you have a real concern.As parents, you don't need to worry about your obedient missionaries while they are on their missions. They are truly in the Lord's hands and He is watching over them and blessing them. We saw miracles and tender mercies on a daily basis in our mission and knew the Lord was concerned about missionary work. It is extremely important to Him. He blesses missionaries.

    Here are some pictures from the airport in Salt Lake City with Polly, Dan and her roommate from BYUI, Kaelin, some with her fans, Lynn McCracken, Steve Muller and Abby Hayes then some at the Provo Temple and the finally drop off.

    We are so proud of Hermana Myers!

     I can only imagine the interaction between Hermana Myers and this sweet Elder trying to help her with her luggage.
     Now carefully watch the next three photos and the sign with the cement block base to Hermana Myers' right. She handled it with grace though.  I was not there but I imagine her sister Polly may have been screaming something from the car window.

    MIS`SION`ARY-(noun) someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others may be with their families for Eternity.

     Go Get em Hermana Myers!  We Love You!

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