Mandarin, preparing to be a missionary, and begin the process of turning from young man to man.
With each big milestone in this kid's life, we have been ready. When he started Kindergarten, I didn't shed any tears, nor did he. He was ready to conquer that challenge, so I was ready to conquer that challenge. When he started middle school, again, he was ready, so I was ready. High school...you get the picture.
Now he is ready to dedicate two years of his life to serving His Savior and the people of Taiwan. If he is ready to do that, then I am ready to let him do that. We have all been preparing for this day from the time he was little, and I have thought a lot about it. As I have been thinking, I have felt like I should share some of my thoughts and answer some questions that have been posed about missionary work.
But, he's so young!
Isn't it true that he is going because the church is forcing him to go?
But, doesn't the church make young men feel guilty if they choose not to serve a mission?
My heart hurts when I hear of young men or women who have had people say dumb things to them and made them feel like less of a person, or less of a disciple of Christ. The only thing I can say about these unfortunate situations is, don't let our dear brother, Satan, take control of the situation. You have a choice to be offended or not. Satan wants you to choose to be offended. The Savior wants you to turn to Him and allow Him to take the burden of guilt, sadness, and hurt away from you.
Aren't you scared for your son to be so far away?
How will you communicate with him while he is gone?
So why? Why am I excited to be a missionary mom?
My son is going to tell people how their families can live together forever.
My son is going to tell people that they are children of a God who loves them and has a plan for them.
My son is going to serve the people of Taiwan.
How can I not be excited when he is going to be doing all of these things?
Yes, he is going to have hard times. Yes, there will be tears shed, mine and his. But there is a much bigger picture to look at here. All of the hard times will be worth it. All of the tears? Yep, you guessed it. Worth it. Every single one.