Ring, ring…why don’t you give me a call

MOTHER’S DAY!

Yep, and you know what that means….that long awaited phone call.

So here are my suggestions on some things you might want to include in on that conversation.

Believe me…you may think you have a grip on what you want to talk about, but when comes the voice on the other end, all thoughts flee and you become a babbling mess (well, maybe not for all of us, but it has been known to happen).

Here is that list. I posted this last Mother’s Day and at Christmas too…but always good to repost for those who may be new missionary mums and dads.

Downloadable version available at the end of this post…

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These suggestions are kindly shared by Betty Pearson, who hosts the LDS Missionary Moms Email Groups. If you have a missionary serving somewhere in the world and have not yet signed up for an email group, then you are truly missing out. Betty volunteers endless hours of her spare time to provide this free service, and there are literally thousands of missionary mums connecting every day because of it.

No matter where your missionary is serving in the world, there is an email group of missionary mums connected to his/her mission. The women in these groups are fantastic. I personally belong to two groups; one connected to the mission my daughter is serving in, and the other connected to the area I live in.

Now for that list…

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, I am sure there are many more ideas that can be added to it, but it is here merely to get you started. Also, don’t think that you have to ask all these questions in one sitting.

I would suggest that you have pen and paper on hand to record any significant responses your missionary may have.

The Church in Your Area:
How many members in your ward/branch?
What is the church building like?

The Area You Serve in:
What is the town like?
Rural, small town, small city, med. city, large city?
What does the area look like?
Flat? Rolling hills? A lot of trees?
How hot is it?
How cold is it?
How often does it rain?

About Your Companion:
How is your companion?
How long has he/she been out?
Is his/her family LDS?
Do they support him/her with letters?
Life member or convert?

Your Wellbeing:
Are you sleeping well?
How is the food?
What is the best food you’ve eaten?
What is the weirdest food you’ve eaten?
How many dinner appointments do you get?
What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Lunch?
How are your clothes?
Shoes?
Socks?
How are your feet?
Any problems?
Do you need more toothpaste?
Deodorant?
Vitamins?

Your Surroundings:
What is your apt like?
Is it in a big building?
Are your neighbors friendly or scared of you?
How far away is the Mission Office?
What do you see outside your window?

Other Missionaries You Serve With:
How many in your District?
Where are they from?
Who is the District Leader?
Zone Leader?
How often do you have Zone Conference?

Your P-day Routine:
What do you usually do on P-day?
What service do you do?
How often?

The Work:
Who are you teaching at the moment?
What do they do for work?
What are some of the questions they ask?
How much door knocking do you do in a week?
How much teaching do you do in a week?

Another suggestion by one of the mums from our email group was to ask the missionary to open their journal at a random date and start reading.

Well, I hope these questions have been helpful. You may even be able to come up with some more.

Enjoy the call with your missionary and I would love to hear from you how the experience went.

Download and print a PDF of these questions – Questions to Ask on Mothers Day Use the back of the page to record any special comments or information your missionary shares.

What More Could a Mother Want?

The leap

When your missionary daughter says to you she loves you but doesn’t miss you, is not homesick, and doesn’t want to come home, you really know that those apron strings are being cut.

Direct quote just two days into her MTC experience, “I love you guys so much, don’t miss me too much because I’ll be having the time of my life …I am definitely not homesick yet”

But I am ok with that. I have never been one of those mums who dies a little bit inside every time her child steps out into the big wide world and discovers something new to explore (without being there to make sure they don’t hurt themselves).

My parents left home when I was 19. They packed everything up, stored it away (including me), rented out our family home, and moved to the other side of the world to discover their family history roots in the UK for 2 1/2 years. I was left behind to fend for myself.

I wasn’t sure I was ready for that. But I had no choice. I was thrown into the waters of life and was told to sink or swim.

It was a difficult time for me. At times I struggled to keep my head above the water line. I really didn’t know who I was without my family.

Looking back on that experience now, it was a defining time in my life. I discovered an independence I never knew existed. I discovered an extended family within the church that became my support when I needed it.

But most of all I discovered who I was and what I believed. I no longer just believed on the traditions of my fathers. I learned for myself the rich blessings available to me, as I trusted in the Lord. I began to apply everything my parents had taught me, and I discovered that it was all true.

My parents had planted the seed of faith in my heart, but that faith wasn’t going to grow much more without me applying it on my own. I no longer needed the faith of my fathers to get me through. They had helped to plant the seed, now it was time for me to nurture it.

So when my daughter says to me she loves me, but doesn’t need me, it is not a sign that I have failed. It tells me she has found her swimming style and is on her way to becoming all that her Heavenly Father wants her to be.

As a mother of a missionary, every time I receive an email or a letter from my missionary daughter I feel fed, and alive. My faith is strengthened as I see my purpose here on earth bearing the fruits of my labour. She is discovering for herself who she is, what her purpose on earth is, and is bringing that purpose into the lives of those she teaches.

Hang on, did I just throw my daughter into the waters of life and tell her to sink or swim? Or did she jump herself?

Whatever it was that just happened, I know that she is making the most of the experiences she is having. Her faith is increasing, and she is discovering who Heavenly Father wants her to be. And she is having the time of her life.

What more could a mother want…

Mum or Mom

You say potato, I say potato…

You may wonder why the title “Missionary Mum’s Meeting Place”. Well, firstly, for the benefit of my US friends, and without getting too far into the spelling habits of Aussies, the word ‘mum’ in the title is spelt correctly from my perspective. That is the way we do it down here, so no apologies will be forthcoming.

Secondly, I narrowed the focus to mum’s because in my home I am the designated email writer of the family. I am the one who has the most contact with our missionary – there being only one degree of separation between us (and that being the technology). For the rest of the family there are two degrees of separation – sometimes more.

I qualify this by stating that my husband does send, what he terms his ‘Father’s Counsel’ email once every couple of months. But I’ll be addressing this in future posts; so I don’t want to give too much away.

So, while this site is open for all family members of missionaries to participate in and visit, I suspect that the majority of visitors will be mum’s.

But of course, if you are not a mum, and are happily visiting then I would love for you to give me a shout out and put me in my place…

A Mother’s Mission

Our family has a long history of missionary service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). With the first LDS missionary arriving on the shores of this great country of Australia in the 1850’s, we are proud to have since contributed to that written history.

My husband’s aunt was the first full time missionary in our family. Back in the 1950s, she set the example for generations to come.

Both my husband and myself served proselyting missions: He in the Philippines Manila Mission (1975-77), and me in the Australia Perth Mission (1980-82). Over the years, our extended family has contributed to the worldwide LDS missionary force with close to 50 individuals serving variously in all four corners of the world.

Along with my daughter, who is currently serving (Apr ‘11-Nov ‘12),  we have also had recently three nephews serving in the Sydney Australia Mission, Ghana Africa Mission, and Milan Italy Mission.

The highlight of that contribution by our family would have to be when my husband’s brother recently served as Mission President over the Australia Perth Mission. He initially served there as a 19-year-old proselyting missionary back in 1977-79. So to be able to go back and preside over your own mission, some 30 years later, would have to be one of the greatest honors for an individual.

With all this experience, you might say that I would have all the answers. But from my seat, as I type this narrative, I keenly feel the difference between serving a mission and being a family member at home supporting a missionary.

My daughter is the first of my four children to make this commitment. How deeply I feel the need as a mother to ensure that she makes the most of the time she has out there. This is my current mission.

While I have a rich missionary heritage to draw from, I decided to start this blog so I could, not only share my experiences along the way, but, as the blog title suggests, create a meeting place where like minded mums and families can come to share and talk all things ‘missionary’ – after all, there are well over 50,000 of you out there.