On Sunday it Mother’s Day which can be a good day or not so good day, depending on your situation. If you have a child on a Mormon (LDS) mission, though, it’s one of the best days ever. When a child is on a mission, you get to talk to them (either via phone or Skype) twice each year. Twice. On Christmas and on Mother’s Day. So yesterday was a great day at our house. We got to talk to York in São Paulo on a Google hangout (is it “a Google hangout” or just “Google Hangout”? I have no idea). India is already back at BYU and got to spend Mother’s Day with her grandparents and cousins. They joined in our Google Hangout and got to say hi to York to, which is the first time the grandparents have seen him since he left almost two years ago.
York is still the same kooky kid he’s always been.
He’s excited to come home in three months but he wants to work hard up until the day he gets home. Good boy.
Having experienced the joy of seeing a child return after a mission, I can hardly wait. I can’t even tell you how amazing it was to welcome India home. Having a missionary come home is every bit as exciting as having a baby. But with none of the pain, mess or nervousness that she’ll be deformed! There is nothing but happiness and joy at welcoming home this person that you love so much and has made fantastic choices and grown as a person over the last 18-24 months.
As soon as India came down the escalator at the airport I started to cry. I bawled big ugly sobs as I got to hold my firstborn baby in my arms again. I was so happy to see her and so thrilled that she had done it! She had made it through her mission which was wonderful but so hard and so tough! She had returned from Brazil with honor and was safe and sound. It was relief and joy all mixed together. My heart was fit to bursting and it was one of the best experiences of my life. When we die and go home to God, I wonder if it will be like that. He’ll be so excited to see us and to have us home safe and sound. He’ll hopefully be proud of us and our hard work and will be thrilled to have us around again. I like to think that’s how it will be.
In Utah, welcoming a missionary home is a big deal. Everybody and their dog shows up at the airport. But I knew I only wanted family to be there when India got home. I politely informed all the people who wanted to come along that it was just for our immediate family. And I’m so glad I insisted on that. It was such a lovely, wonderful experience that wasn’t diluted with a jillion people asking questions and getting in the way. Coincidentally my friend Buddy was there picking up her sister who was on India’s same flight so we had someone to take pictures of our family. She’s got a missionary daughter too, so she gets the whole thing.
In less than three months York will be home. He is planning on staying home and working all of fall semester to earn some money, so we’ll have a grand time getting to hang out with him until he goes to BYU after Christmas.
Baby #3, Finn, is just about to graduate from high school. He’s already turned in his mission papers and we should be getting his call any day now. We have no idea where he will go; it could be Mississippi or it could be Mombasa. Finn is an adventurous soul so he’s hoping to go someplace totally offbeat. Or at the minimum, someplace where he can learn Spanish (it’s cool that my older kids could learn a language, but Portuguese? Not exactly something they’ll be able to speak much). I pray every day that his call will be inspired and he will be at peace with it. Strangely, I’m hoping he goes someplace weird too. Not so much Mesa or Boise.
Wherever Finn ends up going, it will be an opportunity to become an amazing person. Not everyone has a fabulous experience on a mission, but every missionary has the opportunity to let humility and hard work teach him or her to become stronger, have a deeper belief in God and to love everyone with the pure love of Christ. I know this has been the experience of York and India and it’s something I will be forever grateful for.