Jenna always asks if we can sign up to feed the full time missionaries – which is something we did often when Roland and I had the Church calling of being the ward missionaries – but now that he is in the bishopric – and often with hours at work – we’re not as available to feed the missionaries as we were at one time. And so it’s actually rare when we do sign up. Jenna would prefer that we could do it once a month at least.
Our goal was to send our three boys on full time *proselyting* (defined at the end of this post) missions. As Biff is our oldest, he went through the interviewing process and paperwork first. We had taken him in for his physical. We did all we could do – and waited.
I wish our then bishop had been honest in his dealings to begin with – and perhaps he had really said something to Biff who either didn’t relate the events with us or maybe it just didn’t fully register.
Our bishop had said Biff’s Spirit was definitely there – but he just didn’t feel he was socially ready. HE DIDN’T FEEL . . . I often felt that it was more laziness on my bishop’s part than it was revelation. But that’s me. Perhaps it is I who was wrong.
Because Biff was unable to serve a proselyting mission, it was suggested that he fulfill a service mission – which means he would continue living at home as he served and continue working his job.
He brought home a list of positions available – and there were a lot to choose from. Roland tried steering him in the direction of working at a plant such as the pasta plant or dairy where he would learn a trade. Even planting flowers on the temple ground would have helped him to prepare for a job or career – but Biff wanted the opportunity to serve with the public more and chose to usher or assist at events that would take place at Temple Square or the Conference Center.
His confidence was built in ways that I did not understand at the time. Others found it refreshing to have such a “young” member on their team. He was diligent about his calling and received recognition for fulfilling his assignments and callings. He grew in ways that I didn’t recognize at the time – but am beginning to see now.
Interestingly enough, both of his brothers were called to Portuguese speaking missions. Tony was called to report to the MTC (missionary training center) in Brazil at the beginning of April 2008 and Randy left for the MTC in Provo at the end of April in 2009. He’d been called to Portugal.
It hurt both me and Biff to see his brothers serving proselyting missions when Biff himself had been denied that opportunity. And Roland would encourage us that Biff’s mission was equally as important – often comparing missionary work to a three legged stool and asking – which is the most important leg?
We all represented that three legged stool. Biff on his service mission, Tony and Randy proselyting in Portuguese, and Roland and I as the ward missionaries who worked with the full time proselyting missionaries In addition to our two missionary farewells, our family had been called upon at least three times to give missionary themed talks in Sacrament meeting (a meeting for the entire congregation)
Before Jenna started reading, I looked for graphics so that she could memorize the talks that she gave and Roland and I would each write our own. Sometimes the boys spoke in addition – but not always.
Roland and I served in our church calling for about three and a half to four years before we were released and then the ward boundaries were changed and the ward got a new bishop. He was the bishop who sent out Randy.
Each of us has had experiences that have made us grow. Each of us has learned to appreciate the others’ position even more. For in order for a three legged stool to function properly, all three legs are required.
Evangelizing; doing mission work. Unlike in Christianity, it doesn’t have a negative connotation. In Mormonism it is used in a positive sense.