Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Called To Serve Him...The last weeks before he left on his mission...

The last few weeks before my son left on his mission were packed with Goodbyes.  My parents came out to visit us and took us on a trip to Zion National park and Bryce.
When my children were little we spent a couple of weeks every summer with my parents, camping and hiking.  So it was fun to go hiking with them again.  And it was their chance to say goodbye.  My children, my husband and I are the only members of the church.  So everyone in our family is watching my son as he serves his mission.  
It was a great mini vacation!  Thanks Mom and Dad.
I took a lot of time off from work the week before my son left.  We had a lot of little things to finish up.  The Friday before he left on his mission we let my daughter skip school and we spent the day together.  The first thing we did was go to Kneaders for breakfast.  This is my son's favorite breakfast, their french toast.

In the afternoon we went to downtown Salt Lake City and walked around Temple Square and then walked around the City.  We ended up having one of the best, but most expensive dinners ever.  At dinner my son said, this is what makes life great, being with your family.  That is part of the Gospel message, families are forever.  My son will go out and talk to other people about how Heavenly Father loves them and that being with your family forever is part of the plan. 
G.G.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Called To Serve Him... All the things we had to do to send my son on his mission...



Once my son received his mission call there was a lot of work to do.  Thankfully we had about 5 months to do everything.
This is a photo of the front cover of the book that is sent to the future Missionary.  Inside are all the instructions on what needs to be done to be ready to leave on your mission. I left the reading of the book to my son and husband. I wanted my son to be responsible for the preparations that needed to be done.  I did enjoy taking him places and helping him, but he was in charge of knowing what needed to be done and organizing it.
 The fist thing we had to do was get him a passport.  Which should have been easy, but because he never liked driving and did not take his driving test it was a bit of a problem.  You have to have a non temporary form of identification to get a passport, so his learners permit was not accepted.  So we had to go to the DMV and have him take the driving test and get his license before he could apply for his passport.  Thankfully it all worked out.  Once he had his passport he then had to get a travel visa.  These two items caused us a bit of stress, but of course it all worked out.
When you travel to certain countries you sometimes have to get special immunizations.  My son had to get immunizations for Typhoid.  You can't go to your doctor for this, you have to go to the state health department.  They gave him this box of pills which he had to take every other day for a week.
Missionaries are only allowed to wear certain types of clothing.  So there was a lot of clothing that we had to buy.
 My husband is not enthused about my wanting to take photos at the clothing store.  I think I annoyed everyone during the last few months with my wanting one more photo...
My son's favorite color is purple, so he got all purple ties for his mission.  While he is away I carry a purple pen in my work uniform so that I can think of him.
My husband is glad to see Skinny Ties are back in style...  It was fun and expensive to buy all the clothes my son needed.  We also had to buy suitcases to pack everything in...
The last few weeks before my son left I kept asking, do you need to pack suntan lotion, allergy medicine??  He kept saying I don't think so...Then finally opened the book of instructions and there was this list of things to buy.  We spent about 4 hours one day buying all the last minute items.  My son got a very generous tip at his work which paid for all of it.  I won't say how much the tip was or where he worked, but if you know him you will know where he worked and getting a tip usually never happens.  He felt very blessed by it all.  Heavenly Father provided for us in so many ways while preparing for this mission.  It was a very lovely and spiritual thing to live through.
When my son was in 7th grade he told all his friends he would someday serve a mission.  They all thought he meant he was going to be a spy and go on some top secret mission for the government.  While that is not the case, it seemed some days like that, with packages coming in the mail, and instructions on where he was going.  A few days before leaving he received this book to start practicing speaking Spanish... It seemed very much like he was leaving on some secret mission...
Looking back it seemed like the first few months went really slow, but the last month it flew by a little too fast for all of us.
G.G.

Friday, April 21, 2017

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission...The Call To Serve.....

Finally in December he recieved that big envelope in the mail that held his future call in it.
We all had to wait till my husband got home from work to open it.  I think that was the hard part, having the envelope there, but waiting to open it.  Where would he be going??
We have a video of him opening his mission call.  which I have tried to upload, but unfortunately at this time it is to long.  I'm going to try to edit it. 


Here he is getting ready to open the his mission call.  Inside the envelope is a letter telling him where he is called to serve and a booklet with all the things that need to be done before he leaves on his mission.  Looking back I realize I should have read through that booklet.  But I wanted my son to be in charge of preparing.  My Son was called to serve in Mexico.  I can say that he was happy.  I have watched the video a few times this week, and he just looked happy about this call.  From December to April we have been going through and doing all the work it takes to send a young man off on a mission.  If I thought all the appointments and such were a lot to apply to serve a mission.  All the preparation after receiving the call is about as daunting.  It was a learning experience for our whole family.  Since December I have thought a lot about Hannah from the Old Testament.  Wanting to have a child and promising to give him to the Lord.  How hard it must have been for her to give her young son to the priest at the Temple.  It has been a hard few months helping my son to prepare to leave, but in my heart I have known that it was the right thing for him.  This was one of his dreams ever since he was a young boy.  I'm very proud of him and his choices.
G.G.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission.....Waiting for the Call....

This is another short post...Once all the appointments and paper work are done the application to serve a mission gets sent to the church headquarters.  Other than helping in the doctor and dentist appointments I wasn't involved much in this process.  My son and the Bishop worked together to get this part accomplished.  I wanted my son as a young adult to be in charge of these changes in his life. I think it was a good experience for him.  At some point in November 2016 all his paper work was submitted.
And then you wait.  The wait is usually about 2 weeks.  So every day you check the mail box looking for a big envelope.  I have to say it was the first time in a year that I was excited to look in the mailbox.  The previous year going to the mailbox caused anxiety for me as I was taking care of a legal issue and while it all ended very positively for me most of the correspondence was through the mail and sometimes just thinking of it was not fun.  But waiting for "The Call" that was fun.

I think the other thing about waiting for "The Call" is that everyone had their hopes of where my son might go.  I was hoping he would go to England or Scotland as that is where our ancestors are from.  My daughter probably hoped he would go to Japan as she loves Japan. My husband was thinking he might go back to New Jersey.  My son just hoped he did not go somewhere in Utah.  Friends and family members made guesses on my facebook page.  My brother came the closest to where he got called to by guessing New Mexico... This part was all very much like planning a vacation, you are planning and dreaming but nothing is really real or set.  There is more relaxed day dreaming than there is reality.
G.G.

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission....Paper work and Appointments....Oh My!

It's been almost a year now since my son graduated from school.  I guess we thought he would already be on his mission.  What we did not realize was all the paper work and appointments that you have to go through to just apply to go on a Mission.  I'm not even sure that is correct "apply to go on a mission."  My son did all his applications to college on his own.  I never saw anything that he sent in.  He was accepted to all the colleges that he applied to so he must have done well.  But to me it seems the process to go on a mission was ten times harder than the application to go to college.
I would advise if you want to leave soon after you graduate from high school to start the process while in high school. I didn't realize there would be so many forms to fill out.  Not only are there forms to fill out there are doctor appointments, and dentist appointments.  Appointments with Bishops and Stake presidents and more papers to fill out.  The process for my son seemed to take months, I think maybe he dragged his feet a little on it all.  We started the process in May of  2016 and the final paper work was not mailed out till November of 2016.  My son chose to deffer college until after his mission so all those months of paper work and appointments were also filled with his working a full time job that helped him save money to pay for the mission.  I was glad for those months as I drove him to work every morning and just got to watch him grow and change.
     The appointments to the doctors were to make sure he was healthy and able to serve any type of mission.  We also made sure he was up to date on all his vaccinations.  The dentist appointments were the same were his teeth healthy, were there any problems.  We had all of his wisdom teeth taken out.  I can see why they would want this done, having an infected wisdom tooth is not fun.  That happened to me when I first moved away from home and was living in New Jersey.    At this stage of the mission process you are not really thinking that you are preparing your child to leave you.  I don't think they are really thinking of that departure either.
G.G.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission....

My son will soon be leaving on an LDS Mission.  He has most likely wanted to serve a mission since he was just a little boy.   In Primary they sing this song.. I hope they call me on a mission when I have grown a foot or two.
 My husband and I are converts to the church and I spent many years helping in the Primary and listening to children sing this song.  Each year children would fill out papers about themselves as they had a "Spot Light Child" each week and one of the questions was always where do you want to serve on a mission.  I wish I had those papers to see where my son might have said he wanted to go.  I asked him and he can't remember...and I can't either.
I look at my son and I'm so proud of him that he wants to serve a mission.  He has always had that as a goal in his life.  My husband and I have never really pushed our children on the mission subject.  We never sat him down and said we expect you to do this.  In fact I feel very blessed as while most teens tend to fight going to church our children have gotten up each Sunday on their own and willingly attended all 3 hours of church.  They have also gone to their week night meetings.  There has never been a struggle to get them to go.

With my son Sunday seems to be the day that he actually gets up and gets ready on his own.  The nice thing about moving to Utah has been that church is walking distance away.  For many years he would get up early and leave before us so that he could help put out the Sacrament.  We never told him to do this, he did it all on his own.
Before living in Utah, we lived in New Jersey.  My Son was the only LDS student in his school or maybe one of the only students.  I remember him coming home and telling me about how he shared with his classmates that he would some day go on a mission.  He told them that he had promised Heavenly Father that he would not date until he returned from his mission.   His classmates did not know what a mission was and thought he was going to be a Spy and go on some top secret government mission.
I have loved watching my son grow up.  He has grown that foot or two...he has spent the last year working full time to raise money to go on his mission.  My biggest fear two years ago was how ever will we help pay for this mission?  A good friend told me if you send your child on a mission the funds for that mission will come.  And so I gave all that worry to Heavenly Father.  I gave him our finances, and said my son wants to go on this mission and I will trust that you will help us.  It has been amazing to see all the changes Heavenly Father has placed in our lives to help us with this mission.  He has over and over showed me that he knows what our needs are and that he will be there to help us.
I go from being excited for him, to nervous, to heart aching sadness...I have been helping him prepare and trying to block out the fact he is leaving all at the same time.  While I know that the best thing for your children is for them to move on and experience life and go on adventures, I also miss those sweet years of being with my children.  Someone once said that the teenage years are meant to help you want your children to leave.  But I was lucky and got really good teenagers and still have a hard time letting them go.
There are all these books out there to prepare your missionary for their mission... I'm wondering are there any books on how to prepare yourself to let your missionary go?  I've already told my best friend I'll be texting her alot... So as these weeks fly by and my son gets ready to go, I'll share our journey with you... At least with typing on a computer there will be no tear stained sheets of paper.
I can't believe how one moment you can be so excited and the next so sad... Just another roller coaster for my life...
Do you have a child serving a mission?  Or have you had a child serve a mission?  What did you do?  How did you feel?  Would love to hear your stories...
G.G.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2017 My Selfish Year....

2017 is my year to take a new path.  Over the past two months I have been contemplating what I want to do this year.  What my goals are, and in all my thinking I have come to realize that it is a good year to be selfish.  I think this decision comes from the comment given to me last year close to this day.  A person told me they thought I was one of the most selfless people they had ever met.  And thinking back on the situation I was in I realized this was not a good thing.
My ability to be selfless led me into more pain than I really ever want to experience again.  I look back at  the last few years and see that I have put others first to the point of harming myself both physically and emotionally.  I look at all the sacrifices I made for others and realize in it I totally lost my sense of who I am.  I know there must be a balance between being "selfless" and being "selfish"  and that is really what I hope within the next few years to figure out.  Since I had gone too far to the extreme of selflessness I now have decided to go to the opposite extreme of being "Selfish".  You may think this an awful step, but I think really it will be a wonderful step for me.
I have decided that this year is about taking care of myself first.  I will be healing myself, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Because I feel that somewhere within the last 6 years I have lost myself.  Does this mean that I will not help others?  No.  It just means that all the things I chose to do this year will have to also be healthy for me.  I will no longer be the one who gives all the breaks to others at work and takes none for myself.  In fact when I see people doing this I tell them, take your breaks too.  I will no longer be the person who drops their plans to run to the rescue of others, but never has the same happen for them.  I will no longer be the friend who continues to contact people and never have a reply back.  If asked to help on any level I will think of all the good and negative of a situation and then decide if it is a healthy situation for me.   One of the great lessons I learned last year was that my health is more important than anything else.
I fought a battle last year, a battle that went on from about March to November.  I won the battle, but it wore me out.  My husband commented that all we do is work, and run around.  I told him I'm not doing that this year.  I've already started the process of my selfish year.  The first thing I have done is spent the last two months cleaning my house.  I have been cleaning it out, and organizing it.  Because once spring is here I will be spending my days off in my two favorite places, the Temple and in Gardens.  The house can collect dust and dirt all summer, I plan to spend as little time as possible in it.
I have been looking at all the aspects of my life and planning my changes.  I am no longer being the "Star" employee...I don't need to be the " Exceeds Expectations" employee...I no longer need to be the "Manager of the Month"...I actually don't even care to be a supervisor.  I play two roles in my new job, sometimes I'm a supervisor and sometimes I'm just a cashier.  I joke that I suffer from multiple personality disorder as each role has different rules and not only do I get confused as to what I'm allowed to do, most of the people I work with get confused too.  I even wear different uniforms for my roles.  But I have found I simply have no desire to be a supervisor.  I like to just have an easy day with no responsibility.  I've asked to be supervisor less and cashier more.  Because I've realized that I no longer need my job to define me.  My job is just a means to get money to do the things I want to do. I don't need the thrill of being in charge.  I watch people who desperately want it, and feel sad for them, because really it's not important in the long run.  I also have started asking for weekends off, and have started to ask for more Sundays off.  I told my supervisor just this week, I don't mind working Sundays, but schedule me so I can go to church.  Soon I will have my schedule figured out so that the important things are first and work is second.  The nice thing is that my supervisor will work with me so that I have the right balance of work and home life.  I have told my fellow associates and supervisors that this is my Selfish year...I am glad they understand.
Last year a lie was written about me.  It hurt.  I spent months writing in a small journal about the hurt of the lie.  I also fought to have the lie exposed.  But in the process I also showed mercy and let the the battle be ended without causing huge damage to others.  This year I have slowly burned that journal and the papers with the lies.  I have found that an important thing in life is to talk positive about yourself.  So every time I think of the lie,(which thankfully is not often anymore) I quickly think of my new positive self affirmation.  I tell my self  "I Am Calm, I Am Sweet, I Am Successful."

 Here are the things I have learned you need to do during a selfish year... Turn off negative thoughts... Do you think negative thoughts about yourself?  I sometimes do, and so this year my goal is to quickly change to positive thoughts.  I have come up with what I want to be, I have thought of the positive things I want people to think when they see me and I say them to myself over and over. My husband said when he met me I was the sweetest person he had ever met, and that somewhere in the last six years I have lost that level of sweetness...So I'm trying to find that again...I'm not sure if I can, but that is why I say I am sweet....People always seem to comment that I am Calm...so that is why I say I am Calm...And who doesn't want to be successful....

Look in the mirror and appreciate yourself....Do you look at others and think how great they are and then look at yourself and not think you are great...you need to stop doing that if you do... make this your year to build yourself up. Say positive things about yourself even if you don't believe it at the moment... the more positive you put out the more will come to you.

Tell the people who have always been there for you that you adore them...And let go of the people who really never are there for you... This will be a year of letting go of people and loving people for me...One of the things I have read on line is that people pick words to study throughout the year.  I have a few words I'm studying.  Friendship....I don't think I understand what friendship really is, or what a true friend is to what an acquaintance is....so I'm going to be studying Friendships this year.  My other word is Desire... I want to learn what it is to Desire to Know God...I don't want to know God to earn blessings, I want to know what it is to Desire to know God..Because I love him and for no other reason.  I get so tired of hearing people say if you do this God will bless you.  I just want to Know God because I love him, not because there is some blessing to be received.

My selfish year is about finding the best version of me and finding my inner magic....because I have lost who I am. I will spend this year finding out who I want to be and become that.  I think it will be a wonderful, magical journey.  And I will be sharing it with you.  Along with my husbands new job and my Son's mission and my daughters adventures.... I look forward to this new year.... Do you have any plans for your new year?  Do you have a word you are studying?  Are you cleaning out your house, changing your life?  Dreaming some great dream.... I'd love to hear about it.
G.G.
related articles
15 ways to be more selfish and why you should
why you should make 2017 your selfish year