Monday, November 16, 2015

Be Good to My Girl: An LDS Sister Missionary

Tomorrow I put my daughter on a plane to serve an LDS mission for our church. She will be gone for 18 months sharing the gospel and serving the people in the country where she will serve.



May I ask that if you see an LDS missionary that you will do one of the following:

1) Wave hello or smile. These are 18-20 year-old kids who are living away from their families for a year and a half to two years. They could use all the warmth and love you have to give. Simply smile and wave as you pass them. We often honk and then wave in a friendly way to let them know we see them and are aware of them. They are pretty good at smiling and waving back.

2) Invite them in. Whether or not you want to hear the message, sometimes these missionaries just need a warm place to sit for a while. Offer them a cup of hot cocoa, or a drink of water, or soda. Imagine living on a little more than $100 a month for groceries, laundry, mailing supplies, and more. A simple snack or drink or even some shade or warmth can help them get through a long day out in the sun, or rain, or snow.

3) Be polite. We recognize and respect that not everyone will want to hear our message. They have been well trained to accept that. However, imagine one of your children having the door slammed in their face, being yelled at, or even being chased down. Sadly it happens. A polite "no thanks" is all these missionaries need to hear to move along. They will appreciate your kindness. I will appreciate it as her mother even more.

4) Offer to feed them. Missionaries are hungry young men and women. Some missionaries go without meals because their money doesn't quite stretch. Even a hamburger from McDonalds will be greatly appreciate by these kids who are often living on ramen and pancakes. You can also, with their permission as they have rules they need to follow, offer to feed them a meal in your home. They are typically very grateful for anything whether it's a bowl of ice cream or a Christmas dinner.

5) Let them serve you. Part of their mission is to serve others. Let them do something for you. Let them rake your leaves. Put away your groceries. Shovel your walks. When they are feeling homesick and need to feel needed and necessary, an act of service can help put them in a good place again. They are good kids who have learned how to work hard. Let them do something for you.

6) Listen to their message. If you are at a point in your life, where you want to learn more about your purpose here on earth or want to understand where you came from and where you are going after this life, take some time to listen to their message. They will encourage you to pray and ask Heavenly Father if what you are hearing is true. The decision to accept what they are teaching is fully up to you. They are eager to make sure everyone has the opportunity to hear the message and make that decision. If you feel prompted that you may want to learn more, let them in, seek them out, and hear their message. You can also request missionaries through https://www.mormon.org/missionaries. Simply fill out the form and missionaries will reach out to you. They are always willing and eager to share their testimonies of the faith they belong to. They would love to share that message with you and your family.

Last night the father of one of Katelyn's newest friends stopped by. He happens to be from the very country and area in which she will be serving. He gave us the email, address, and phone number of family members who still reside there and who will be there should she need anything. Can I tell you what that did for my Mother heart? It eased some of the pain and worry I feel about watching my daughter go off into the world. Now I know that if I need to help her, there are willing and local hands to do so.

So whether you believe as we believe or whether you simply prefer not to receive the message, please remember that this is someone's cherished son or daughter. They are far away from home, missing their families, serving at great financial expense, and they simply want to do what they feel the Lord has asked them to do.

Please help us in watching over our sons and daughters. Knowing they are in your kind and supportive hands makes letting them go a little bit easier.

19 comments:

  1. Well said! I don't see many missionaries here in PA. When I do I'll remember to be kind.

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  2. You made me cry. Well written words. Hugs friend, I can't wait to read about Katelyn's adventures!

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    1. Thanks, Emily! You're in the thick of it so you TOTALLY get this.

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  3. Thank you for this! I have always been polite, but never thought to take another step and be kind by offering them a drink/ mea etc. I hope that I remember this the next time that I am in the position to help.

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    1. Thanks for being so kind to them, Kelly! That goes a LONG way with these kids. :)

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  4. Great post! I've got lots of years until I'm in this position, but I think Missionary Mom is one of the hardest callings!

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    1. It goes far quicker than I would ever have dreamed. I swear she was a little girl just a little while ago.

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  5. I am not Mormon but one hot Indiana summer 2 young missionaries were in my neighborhood. I was outside watering & weeding my flowers. I watched as perfectly nice neighbors were down right rude to them. When they came to my yard, I was having a cold drink & offered them one. We visited ( not about religion when I told them I had my own beliefs). For the rest of the time they were in my town, whenever they saw at the grocery they insisted on carrying my bags & often showed up at my home just to see if I needed any help. Of course my choc chip cookies might have been the lure. These are good kids & deserve kindness.

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    1. Thank YOU for offering them cookies. I'm sure they loved that. I'm SO glad that we were good boys and took care of you and thank you for being so good to them.

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  6. Our library offers free internet, and when they're in our town LDS Missionaries will stop in to use the computers. As we are a VERY small town, they're not usually here for more than a week or two, but we like to see them as they always impress with their friendliness and politeness. It's good to know that in a small way we're making their time away from home a bit easier.

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    1. They get to email home once a week. I'll bet that's what they are doing. I'm glad they are behaving. They are young boys after all. ;) They sound well taken care of in your area.

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  7. Hi Jen! I hope Katelyn the best during her mission. I remember befriending a couple of missionaries when I first came to this country 21 yrs ago. I would like to think that it was a blessing to us (we are a group of 6) and them. We were homesick and so were they. At the end of their day, they would come over our apartment and we would share whatever dinner we had with them. They would stay a while after dinner and share their day with us as we did the same to them. After a few months, they ended their mission and went home. While I have not heard from them anymore I still cherish those shirt few months when we opened our home to missionaries.

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    1. Paula that is beautiful. I'm so glad you were there for them when they clearly needed you so much!

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  8. What a wonderful post from a loving Mom and believer! I, too, have not thought of these kids as kids! I have never been rude, but not too friendly. I hope I get the chance to offer some kindness and a treat. Safe travels to your daughter and peace for you, Jen. Please keep us posted so we can pray for you all.

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    1. Gerry, thank you! I know even just a smile and wave go a LONG way with these kids. :)

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  9. Jen, I am so inspired by your daughter's messages. What a beautiful thing to let your child go out into the world without you and spread God's love. I was raised Catholic, but my father always told my four brothers and I, don't follow religion, follow God and be faithful, be kind, help less fortunate....and the list goes on. I pray we all hear the messages your daughter is sending. I know in those letters, I heard my father's words. I congratulate you and send prayers to you and your family. What a wonderful testament to God's love, allowing a child to go out into the world, be vulnerable, and trust Him that he will use her for his good and with your love.

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