There is some pretty tremendous beauty in missionary work.

And I love when we have a group of cousins serving missions at the same time.

Max served at the same time as some of his cousins as did Grace.

And now here we are with another generation heading out to serve.

This summer we got to hang out a bit with my sister-in-law’s son Knox before he took off for Mexico:

And in the tail end of summer after the reunion we got to hang out with our other nephew Elias who is heading out to Chile:

Claire will also have a cousin on the Eyre side of the family out serving with her…her cousin Eliza who is serving in Chile.

Her letters are the best ever and I love reliving my own mission adventures through what she writes.

And who knows how many other cousins will join in the “mission gang?”

Claire also has such a huge group of girlfriends out serving already too. Seven of these girls are already filling up Claire’s life with good news as well as real mission stories to get her all prepared.

What I love about missionary work

I just love to think about these armies of kids out in the world in this unique time where they get to forget about themselves and serve others from their hearts.

There is so much power in missionary work: forgetting yourself, and learning to connect to something so much bigger than your own individual needs and wants. Especially for kids this age.

There is also so much power in learning to connect with God, building a foundation for the rest of your life. Learning to rely on Him in ways you never had before. And figuring out who you really are in the process.

And at the same time, these kids are building each other up from all different corners of the world.

Yes, I love missionary work!

This Sunday Claire will be giving her “farewell talk” at church. She’ll be explaining why she chose to serve a mission and her thoughts about Jesus.

Come join us if you’re local!

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  1. Missions have sure changed since my husband went. It definitely seens easier in my opinion. I know it’s not “ easy” but it seems more of a glorified vaccation these days. Just my opinion.

    1. Sara, I don’t mean to be disagreeable and I can’t speak for everyone but my sons mission is anything but a vacation. He’s mentioned it’s some of the hardest weeks of his life but also some of the best and he loves it. He’s in a foreign land and has had worms at least twice and other issues from bugs, he’s eaten frogs that they have caught trying to make their mission money last (I asked him to please use some of the money he saved up instead but he doesn’t want to use more than he’s allotted each month. At least I know he can survive out there) I really don’t think any mission is a “vacation” unless someone refuses to go out and do what they are asked to do and even then it seems like that would be stressful trying to explain to companions and district leaders why you don’t want to do what you’re supposed to do as a missionary. Some missions may be easier in terms of not getting infections or diseases as much if you stay in the US or other more developed places but my three who have served foreign missions and a US mission, all had hard things to deal with and came back stronger more patient people.

    2. Are you perhaps confusing the vacation they family takes with the former missionary after the mission? Or the many vacations her kids take before and after. From this post the only photo of a missionary in the actual mission was the niece with a family from the mission. I’m assuming a baptism?

    3. I was thinking the same thing. This is just another trip for Claire who has already been to so many other countries in her life. Australia is no biggie for her. Time to pop out the second set of earrings and start cleaning the locals’ yards and kitchens, and telling them all about all things Mormon. And I bet Daddy’s Amex Platinum card works just fine “out there”…

      1. Why does it bother you what someone else chooses to do with their life – especially someone as young as Claire?

          1. You sound very bitter and jealous. Just because you can’t provide your children with nice trips or anything extravagant doesn’t give you the right to pick on Claire. She’s on a mission for heavens sake, and you have to pick that apart? And your snotty remarks??? Wow, grow up!

    4. it’s my observation that there is a tier system in the mormon church. those who contribute alot or have good standing in some way, seem to get the “better” missions like london or paris. and those who seem to be on a lower end of things in anyway, their kids go to honduras or guatemala or some unsafe, dangerous place. i’m not mormon but have many mormon friends and this seems to be the way it goes from my observation.

      1. I’m
        Sorry to comment again but just wanted to help some of you understand a little better. The missions you speak of as being “better” are actually some of the hardest missions there are. My husband and son both served in England and my husband served in an area that had just opened after the riots in the 80’s and my son was also in some pretty rough areas. Not the green rolling hills you think of when you think of England and France and other Western European countries are similar. As I said before, I also have a son serving in a third world country. I haven’t noticed any kind of special treatment based on someone’s “good standing”. Missions are hard no matter where you go. Jen summed things up beautifully regarding this generation of kids who choose to serve. Thank you Shawni for sharing your family experiences. You and your parents have helped me in different ways over the years and it’s much appreciated.

  2. Not a shoulder showing in the entire “mission gang”! Way to go girls. Please post a picture of these same girls on prom night.

  3. What an amazing a beautiful sacrifice Claire is making! I love seeing kids walk away from their whole life for 1 1/2 – 2 years of a life of deep study in the scriptures, waking up early to meditate and read, pounding the pavement each day looking for people to talk to and serve. Missions are far from vacations!! Giving up movies, music, tv, social media, swimming, friend time, family time, dating, shopping, freedom of schedule…to fully dedicate your thoughts and actions to our Heavenly Father. Creating a closeness to the Spirit that is awe-inspiring. You see, young people these days while amazing…are often self centered (we all are) and many lack focus and direction (sure, it takes time to find our path). But there is something to be said when 18/19 yr old kids…walk away from their WHOLE familiar life in hopes for blessings and connection and experiences that will shape their entire future.

    In a world where life is so fast paced, way too digitally focused and lacking purpose for many…can we just take a minute and C E L E B R A T E these amazing KIDS for their choice to SERVE!! We don’t mock monks who give up their familiarity to live a more purposeful life whether for a season or forever…or priests to choose to remain celibate to focus their life on one of service and God. This has nothing to do with shoulders, (really people?) vacation (you must not have a missionary to actively talk to), privilege, or adding another country to the passport. This is a bright young girl, who can literally do ANYTHING in her life right now and she is putting it all down for a season of inner growth, reflection and experience. And it will be mixed with the hardest and best days of her whole life. And what amazing resilience she will gain through the opportunity of being with the people of Australia.

    Cant wait to read all about it!! Thanks Shawni for always being vulnerable and sharing your world despite the judgment of others.

    1. Thank you Jen! I agree with you that we should celebrate these amazing young people and their willingness to serve and to share.

  4. This is so exciting! I’m not part of your church but she seems happy and full of light and that’s all that matters!

  5. How exciting! Starting to travel young, no matter for what reason is exciting. GOOD FOR HER!
    I still follow blogs instead of instagram or other social media. And I love Shawni’s updates. Thank you!
    Go Claire…live your life to the fullest and serving God is always great!

    1. She has been traveling internationally since infancy. There is a family trip to China when Lucy was in the womb. She went to an international school while spending a semester in China. She has been to more countries than most people have been to their entire lives and she hasn’t even left for the mission yet. She was also in London at least once 7 years ago on a family trip. Probably more often. Not sure why she needed the experience all over again.

  6. It’s getting so close! Does Claire still have any mandarin from your time in China or will she need to relearn? While I don’t agree with many aspects of an lds mission, I do see the value in becoming fluent in another language and living far away from home in a way that’s much more independent than college. Looking forward to hearing about her adventure!

  7. I just watched a document called “The Mission” by Tania Andersson, that follows four missionaries in their mission in Finland 2019-2021.

    It was super interesting. I felt so bad how these kids try to speak Finnish but they only know the few frases and then when somebody answers, they don’t understand and cant really continnue the conversation. I just wanted to give a big hug to them all.

    I think it was a fantastic watch for someone like me who is not LDS but has been following this blog since all the kids were tiny babies.

  8. I think it was a fantastic watch for someone like me who is not LDS but has been following this blog since all the kids were tiny babies

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