Sunday, August 17, 2014

Canada, you are lucky to have this kid

This is a tender, loving subject for me. Spencer has been out serving the Lord full time for 15 months next week. There have been sooo many emotions in the process of sending him out, having him out, and soon (yet still far!) to have him home. Here are just a few.

1. We always knew Spencer would serve a mission. It was always in his plans to serve the Lord. It was his senior year when lots of decisions had to be made. Mid-Fall he had to start applying to colleges. Even though he knew he was going on a mission, you still fill out all college paperwork and then you can defer any and all acceptances, scholarships, etc.. and decide for certain when you get home. It was a really busy time doing all that and playing on the Varsity Basketball team for SCHS.

2. December 2012 is when he started his mission paperwork. Doctor appointments. Dentist check-ups. He had his wisdom teeth out a few months previous. It was all starting to become a little bit more "real".

3. He started his mission paperwork with the Bishop and finished them up on-line at home. Lots of questions to answer! On a scale of one to five how much do you want to speak a foreign language (one), how much do you think you would succeed if you did have to speak a foreign language (four). What languages have you learned? (German, 3 years) What is your availability date? (May 22) Wait! Hold everything! May 22nd? That's Graduation Day! He was determined that that was his date and who was I to stop him? For years and years we had sung "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission". He knew it by heart. He had hoped for this to come true all his life. Who was I to say when his dream would come true? So May 22nd it was. (it doesn't mean you will be called to leave that day, it only means that is your first day available).

4. Sending in those papers was BIG! Now it was just wait, wait, wait. It was about 2 weeks when his call arrived. Here he is opening his call! And a couple other cute posts on the subject here and here and the day he opened his call PARTY! I was sooo nervous waiting for that mission call to arrive! I just prayed and prayed that we would know that where he was asked to go was exactly where he was needed. Prayers were answered! As soon as he said, "Canada Calgary Mission" my heart was calm, filled with joy and peace. I ***KNEW*** without a doubt that this is exactly where he should be.

5. The lists, lists, and more lists. I made lots of lists. What needed to happen right away (passport, immunizations if needed, etc) and lists of things that needed to be done a little at at time. This was a fun time for me. I loved the time that I got with Spenc one on one preparing for his mission. We had so many, many, many tender mercies - from finding correct sizes in pants, to finding clearance and sale items. I know we were so blessed by the Lord! We had a lot of "countdowns" until he actually left! I loved our chats in the car (he was still a big jokester) and smoothies to keep us going.

6. As we got closer to his departure date, I wasn't sure I could do it. I would have little panic attacks at night thinking and praying (and most likely pleading) "Heavenly Father, I don't think I can do this! I don't think I can say good bye for two years!" "I know we taught him the song "I hope they call me on a mission" and we were the ones that taught him the importance of a mission, but how can I say good bye for two years?" I cried! But I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I COULD do it (I had many wonderful examples of friends who had done it, some two and three times!). It was emotional!!

7. Then the week came. He gave a great farewell talk and had lots of friends wish him well. I will never forget the night before he left, when he was set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ. The spirit was so strong. The blessings were MANY. The feelings were peace, strength, promises, eternal families, and truth. It still was not easy saying good bye, but we did it!!!! The BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I received from a fellow missionary mom was to get a "BIG HUG right as we dropped him off - a HUG THAT WOULD LAST FOR TWO YEARS." And that's exactly what I did. And that hug STILL gives me strength. So future missionary mama's out there - GET A LAST BIG HUG that will be engraved in your heart and mind for two years!! Mine still brings me warmth and comfort!

8. So how have the past 15 months been? Truthfully? The first few days and weeks were tough not having him around. But as soon as the emails started coming regularly - it felt like Christmas every week. The missionary program is so inspired by such a loving Father in Heaven. You would think that the missionary will change and will help others find peace in their lives. But did you ever know how much you would change? How much your family would change? Having a missionary makes YOU want to be a missionary. It makes you more Christ-like. More helpful. More tender. It makes you want to step it up and be your best. It makes YOU want to learn and study and know more. You are writing to your missionary every single week and you want to fill his bucket, too! How do we do that? By sharing our experiences, our testimonies, our love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, learning and studying. The missionary program changes families, individuals, extended families, investigators, companions, missionaries, and many more!

9. I cannot believe that he will be home in nine more months. The tender mercies throughout their missions are great. We have received emails, texts, pictures, videos, and phone calls from families (ok, mostly moms ;) in Canada who have fed or seen Elder Call. They come randomly and always when you least expect it! They are the drops that fill your bucket and overflow your heart. Although it was hard to tell that kid good-bye, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Canada is exactly where he needs to be at this time. He is learning and growing and experiencing things that he would not and could not learn anywhere else in his life! Here's to nine more months Elder Call!! WE LOVE YOU!
 We just received this photo last night from a sweet lady! 
 He looks soooo happy!!!
 {pretty sure he shouldn't let random chipmunks eat off his shirt??}

We love and miss you so much Elder Call, but we are so happy for you as well!!
CANADA, you are lucky to have this kid!

1 comment:

Cindy Sharkey said...

9 months........birth of the man that is a Missionary. We love you Elder Spencer Call xoxo