So many of Claire’s good/best friends are leaving for missions right now.
She’s so sad to be missing all their farewells, dang it!
But although we don’t have a missionary out right at the moment, I’ve been thinking about missions so much lately.
And the best brand of resilience they have the power to create.
I think of these missionaries in Africa who my brother-and-sister-in-law get to work with:
(All about how they left last summer to serve in Sierra Leone back HERE.)
I have been thinking about that missionary work a little extra because their son, one of Grace’s best friend cousins, finished his mission and got to go directly to them when he was done with those two years.
What a reunion that must have been! Makes my heart swell up to even think about it. We miss those guys so much!
(That kid had quite a mission…went from getting “reassigned” during covid to San Diego, then making it to Chile eight months later, then getting to be in Africa for ten days before he came “home”…but what is “home” really after that anyway??)
Love that these three cousins got to reunite up in Utah:
We were excited to get him back here in the desert:
…and then to gather together last week after his homecoming talk in church, where we put him in the “hot seat” and asked all kinds of new questions about all those adventures:
Also sure thinking of our other missionary friends who are out serving, the initial part of their three-year assignment, and how we miss them (wrote about them back HERE as well).
(Left a “spot” for them down below on the left…then they’ll have to leave a “spot” for us when these two go to join them to be service missionaries there.)
Missions are shifting and changing, which is a good thing.
Service missions are becoming more common and different things work for different people. But the power of a mission, any way you do it, is pretty incredible.
I always think about Hillbilly Elegy (and yes, I mention that one a lot here), but I think about how when he joined the military it changed him for the better. He figured out routine and discipline. He learned respect and how to communicate better with others. Missions are so similar in those respects. What an opportunity to put life on hold and get out there to serve as you learn such important things.
And I was overcome with that as I talked to a few recently returned missionaries in the hallway at church last Sunday. They stood erect, they looked me in the eye, they were such good conversationalists.
Most importantly, they glowed. I don’t think I was imagining it…there is a glow that comes with giving up part of your life to learn more about God and your fellow man.
And that is a pretty beautiful thing.