Zuster Faasavalu arrived safely in Belgium! She was able to call us from the airport before she flew out. She had so many tears, we hardly shared words. 🙂 She did say that everyone was encouraged to receive a blessing before they left and Elder Byers blessed her with the opportunity to share music on her mission. He told her the Lord wants her to learn the hymns in Dutch and utilize the hymns in the homes she will visit. This was a great comfort to her, as you can imagine.
A Tongan Elder’s mother works at the airport and she sent me a picture text of Zuster Faa and Zuster Young.
These two have become best friends during the 6 weeks they have been in the MTC. Although not companions, they found great comfort in their friendship.
I’ve had a few thoughts I wanted to share, in relation to missionary service and preparation. First of all, I have felt so blessed by the many kind people who have sent me text pictures of my missionary. I never thought to do that for a missionary’s mother, until I’ve had multiple people do that for me. It means so much to see her, to have that picture and know she is happy. I will be more mindful of opportunities to take a quick photo and send it to a missionary’s mother.
Two items on my “I wish we had……” list. Jessica’s high school counselor encouraged us to give her an “away from home” experience before her mission. We were conflicted, because she would be leaving so soon, anyway, why lose her sooner? In hind sight, I now realize why this was valuable advice. Being away from home for a long period of time is more stressful and heart wrenching for that young missionary than any of us can imagine! Even if you feel like your child is the most stable young person possible, homesickness is real and it is hard. Having a month or so dose of homesickness prior to a mission, might just be the best thing for a future missionary!
My next item is trivial. I didn’t know she would be able to call us from the airport. They gave her a 100 minute phone card, which sounds great! BUT, each time she connected a call, 20-30 minutes disappeared. She only had time to talk to Fale and I for 15 minutes each and the call was disconnected. I wish I had sent her a roll of quarters.
Moral of my story: if you see missionaries, snap a quick picture and send it to their mothers. 🙂 —– Jenny
These are the 20 new arrivals to Belgium.