It’s so funny to think about how much anticipation we built up to talk to Max while he was out there on his mission.
We based so much around those two calls we got per YEAR: the internet connections, the timing, how to set up the screen so everyone could see that boy of ours, the lists of questions we wanted to ask, the carefully laid-out plan so that everyone could get at least a minute to talk and not be lost in the shuffle.
It was a little bit exhausting, I’m here to tell you!
There was one Christmas where the anticipation was so heavy in the air that Dave and I got in a good old whiz-bang fight. Yep, right before that precious 45 minutes to talk with our boy who was living on the other side of the planet from us. And we had to hustle speedy-quick to make up in time so that the frustration didn’t loom over that phone call.
Oh how times have changed!
Because we get to talk to our latest missionary every single Monday.
All of us can talk to her, shoot the breeze, hear every detail, get a little tour of her apartment, etc.
And you know what? It’s pretty awesome.
There’s part of me that misses the sacredness and emotion of those special two-times-per-year phone calls. I must admit those were moments I will cherish as a mother forever and ever.
But there’s not much like seeing that girl of mine smiling back at me on my phone on Mondays.
Ok but not usually with her companion like that, but they’re pretty cute, right?
I can just prop her up on the counter and talk to her while I’m getting things done and it’s pretty awesome.
We even have time for filters sometimes, for crying out loud!
She started out in an incredible area with the best trainer:
They lived with another companionship:
And they had some pretty grand times and adventures.
A few lines from her:
This week was so good! Our days have been PACKED and we have been busy busy busy. We did a ton of service and had a bunch of lessons and went on exchanges which were super fun :)) a ton of people in my mission are leaving for South America next week which is CRAZY! [she’s talking about the missionaries who were reassigned in her mission from foreign missions who are now starting to go back.]
This week I had probably the best lesson I’ve had on my mission so far! I was on exchanges with Sister Peterson who is so fun and full of the spirit and we had a lesson with our friend, Mandy [name changed for privacy]… She was so attentive and we read in 3 Nephi 11:1-17 with her. Those verses are just POWERFUL and the spirit was so strong. After we ended the call we were just so pumped.
Then they had exchanges, (where the missionaries all get switched around), and Grace got a new companion (one of the girls who was already living with her), and stayed in the same area. It was just down to just those two in their apartment for six weeks (transfers happen every six weeks) and they deepened their relationships with all the people they got to be in contact with in their area and oh man, Grace sure loves that area! And I love having my phone fill up with pictures from their adventures every now and again (they just send automatically).
Then last week when we talked, Claire and I still lingering at the counter after breakfast trying to get in some Grace -time before the girls had to get out the door for school, we got the news that GRACE WOULD BE LEAVING THAT AREA and would be moving to a tiny little town out in the middle of nowhere, and USING HER SPANISH (finally!). After studying Spanish for six weeks in her “home MTC” experience, she’s had very rare opportunities to use it, so our eyes all lit up in excitement with this new adventure on the horizon.
This was in her letter last week:
Hola a todos!! We just got transfer news last night and I’m getting transferred to a Spanish branch… literally in the middle of nowhere. Haha I’ll be an hour away from everyone in my district and zone and basically any civilization whatsoever but it’ll be awesome! Haha I’m pumped. My Spanish is super awful right now but It’ll be so good for me. I’ll be living with my companion, and we will share the branch and live with two other sisters which will be good. I’ve heard so many good things about my new area from so many people so I’m excited! I also heard there’s about 10 people in the Branch haha so that’ll be interesting. But its just gonna be so good I’m super excited but I’m also so, so sad to be leaving where I am now 🙁 seriously the best area in the whole wide world. I’ve met so many incredible people here and it’ll be so sad to go.
She moved last Wednesday and it was fun to see the new pictures filtering in through my phone:
And always we get to see the Texas sky:
Which, of course, makes this sky-loving mother so happy 😉
Cannot wait to hear more from her today about how it’s all going, we’re gonna look like this again:
I am so grateful that she gets to have this experience, and that we get to share with her in so many ways.
I’ll leave you with her little thought she shared last week:
Also, if you haven’t yet, read president Nelson’s talk from this past conference called “Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains” its seriously so good. I love this quote from it: “Through your faith, Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move the mountains in your life. Your mountains may be loneliness, doubt, illness, or other personal problems. Your mountains will vary, and yet the answer to each of your challenges is to increase your faith.”
The answer to really any challenge is to increase our faith which is so cool! So read this talk to learn how you can increase your faith! :))
Love that she’s increasing her faith by leaps and bounds out in that ever-changing mission!
We still don’t know if/when she’ll get to go to her original mission: Uruguay. But as promised by the church leader who gave her a special blessing before she left: “Wherever you end up [in the middle of the instability the pandemic brings], you’ll be exactly where you’re supposed to be.”
I sure hope she gets to Uruguay some day, but oh man, I sure do feel like she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be right now.