Who doesn't love conference weekend? Not for the obvious reason of staying home and not having to deal with wardrobe changes, nap times and sunbeams not wanting to sit down; but it's awesome to be able to sit at the feet of the prophets and hear their carefully thought out words and moving music.
I love watching conference with my family and especially love that I can record the sessions so I can go back and listen anytime I want. I was especially excited for Saturday afternoon when I saw they had a special program about the MTC. Awww the MTC. The Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah. This hallowed place that is the starting ground for so many missionaries. Including my parents, my husband, and countless men and women I have grown to love over the years. I have dreamed about one day seeing that place, but I knew it my heart it would not be through a mission of my own. Although many people encouraged, belittled, and asked fervently during my nineteenth and twenty year of my life if I would fill out the paperwork(I even got one and practiced filling it out) I just somehow knew my mission would be else where in life. I know that the MTC has a spirit that can probably only be match in say the Holy Temples of the Lord or maybe the Church Administration offices but the MTC just wasn't for me at the time.
When my precious son was born, and still trying to juggle the responsibilities of new motherhood I took some time in the hospital to daydream into the future. I saw him making choices that would help him down the path of righteousness and saw him conquering fears I am not afraid to admit to, which included serving a full time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As I smiled thinking of him with a handsome missionary tag on proclaiming his name and also that name of the church I started to cry, I started to weep really. The nurse thought I was just tired for having been in labor 26 hours and surviving a emergency C-Section but I couldn't admit my pain of the future. I swore then and there the only way he could even touch those mission papers is if I could some how see where he was going to be for a few weeks or up to 3 months(depending on the mission) at the MTC.
Fast forward to 3 o' clock Saturday(October 1st) afternoon. I was there watching about the Provo MTC. I saw the whole process of a new missionary saying goodbye to their parents for 18 months to up to two years. I saw mothers emotional but saying they knew this time would be important and well spent as their son or daughter would be in the care of the Lord. I wasn't weepy yet but I had a feeling watching this I might shed a few tears. The spirit of that hallowed place seemed to leave the tv screen and jump into my heart as I continue to watch the events of a new missionary getting used to such a big awesome place. Now, remember, I have two toddlers who got the gift of gab from their father and curious nature from me. My beautiful smart daughter looked at me and said ''Mama, can I go on a mission?'' With all the strength I don't have I honestly told her "Although I would be very sad and you would have to be a brave girl I want you to serve a mission." The tears tears that followed seemed to be the spirit talking to me saying that she would be taken care of if she did decided to serve a mission. Why wouldn't she be taken care of? She would be following in the pioneering footsteps of her maternal grandmother in serving the Lord.
I somehow finished the program both eyes non red and watched as my daughter was glued the screen about this HUGE place. My mother was awesome answering questions and going on a trip down memory lane telling me what had changed since she had spent some time there 31 years ago. We did some quick math and realized that once our Elder came back our Sister missionary would shortly be leaving after that(ah the joys of having kids back to back). I quickly said out loud that my heart couldn't handle that. Which is true it would be tough, but I now know that if the Lord speaks to my children over the years and they feel that it's something right in their lives I would be sad but very proud to say I have TWO return missionaries.
My mission in life wasn't to represent the church with an awesome black and white tag when I turned 21, which is okay. I was sealed at 22 and have had a big enough change and I'm sure more that enough time on my knees to qualify as a missionary. If anything motherhood puts me on my knees more than once a day and not just for picking up toys, cheerios or color crayons. I am not ashamed to say I need the angels on both sides of the veil to help me second to second. But I do know the Lord but that program on BYU tv for me. So my kids still have 16 and 17 years respectively to grow into their own characters and make the ultimate choice themselves I know that but I so needed to see that they would be okay, without having a hug and a kiss from me every night. Whew...if only someone could have told me all this in the temple right? We live and we learn and we love the Lord and somehow in his omnipotent wisdom he takes care of every single need. I'm making dinner so I'm outta here. Bye for now!