Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One Year Later....Our Missionary Report - of sorts

One year ago today we walked into the MTC. We left behind the worldly things like mortgages, jobs, even television. I remember that I was actually shaking, I was so scared. It was like walking into another universe - and as excited as I was, I was also so worried about measuring up.

Elder Jones, on the other hand, was as calm as ever. He just doesn't let things ruffle him.

So here we are, one year later - a year of ups and downs. Days I've been so tired, my legs could hardly carry me. Nights without sleep. Tears on the pillow. Sweat so heavy my skin actually gets crusty. Sundays when I think "I just want one Sacrament Meeting where I can actually hear the speaker over the crying babies." One day at work where I don't say something silly or lose something or greet a colleague by the wrong name. Yep - there are definitely some challenges out there.

But life is about challenges, and fortitude and resolve and faith. Without challenges, life would be very dull indeed.

I saw a quote last night that said "There are two types of tired, I suppose one is a dire need of sleep. The other is a dire need of peace." I've felt both. Yes, a mission - as well as marriage, service, crack-of-dawn exercising, praying, hoping....and now caretaking of a big ol house on the beach....it can all be so very exhausting and overwhelming.

But I wouldn't trade this experience for the world.

I could have been assigned to the deep, dark jungles of Africa, or the cold and barren hills of Siberia, and I still wouldn't trade it for the world.

As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, "if for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived."

I think about the people I admire most. Each one of them have been sorely tested, and through this amazing process of life, became mentally stronger while miraculously letting their hearts become softer. 

Yes, I can do this...and I LOVE doing this. 

I love sitting next to my visiting teaching partner - a lovely young mother from Korea as we visit our assigned sisters from the ward. I always give the lesson, and because she feels limited in her language skills, she always shares a simple hymn. Such a pure voice. It's like a sweet moment of quiet joy for me - every month. 

I love shaking hands with the children in our ward. They all seem to get this serious look on their face, like they are performing a sacred duty. Shake the missionary's hand, look down at their toes and say in a low voice "good morning, Sister". So adorable.

I love walking into the temple - one of the only places in the world where my mind actually lets me relax (sometimes too much, as I tend to fall asleep at the most inopportune times). I feel so connected to my loved ones on the other side of mortality - who I miss so very much. I feel so connected to my Lord - and rejoice every time I learn something new about His ministry and His love for me and my family.

I love the Polynesian Cultural Center where I serve. The beauty and the spirit of it humbles me every day. It is an awesome wonder how Heavenly Father has created this great blessing for the world.

I love serving with the other missionaries, young and old. I just love them so much, I can't think of words to describe it.

I love my mission. I begin to dread when it will be over. I hope the next 9 months don't zoom by as quickly as these first 12 have. I want to drink in this great blessing. Soak up this love. Radiate this light that has been given for us to share.

This morning I went for my run on the beach and dip in the ocean. It was a good day to bring my camera. Somehow, I think this picture says it all - this sums up my mission to me:

Ocean waves
Light reflected
Rocky shoreline
Cool water
Stunning colors
A few clouds
Husband waiting patiently for me to come back in...

A moment of peace
Yet still kicking to keep my head above water.....

- all of it equals Paradise to me.

Me - kicking away. LOVE this new FinePix Camera!


  1. Awesome pics.

    Sorry It took so long for me to post. I'm in the process of having Mick bring Michelle back down to TX so that she can be close to me. She needs to be in a nursing home and I've been dealing with all that entails.

    Missy is helping organize the digging out process that needs to take place up there. She and I went with Michelle to her VA Dr. visits we had her schedule while I was up there. Mick took her to the Iowa City psychological evaluation 8/4. She shows no signs of dementia (I didn't think she would) but is no longer able to live alone. She can't sleep due to pain, but when she crashes she doesn't hear alarms for her meds and becomes disoriented. She has lost over 20 lbs because she forgets to eat, I think she's now in that state of not "feeling" hungry. Plus she has lost most of her will to interact with others, she just stays in her bed and watches TV.

    Anyway, she is very willing to go into a nursing facility, which surprised me! She has become afraid to be on her own and living with a relative doesn't work well for her.

    I have started working Fridays for Deb, my friend and the person that works on me, in exchange for my sessions. She and Paul have now moved "Fourrier House" out here to Bastrop (you can look them up on fb). She has agreed to let me work on Tuesday for Michelle's session. I will fix dinner and the 4 of us will have a family dinner night together. Michelle is very excited about this, this will help her in so many ways (she's heard so much from me over the years about how Deb has kept me on my feet and able to work).

    So, she and Mick will leave her place 8/29 and she will check into Silver Pines Nursing and Rehab Center on 8/30. This was not my first choice, but it's the only place she can still get her VA medical coverage. I do feel better about it since I've been to check it out recently. My last experience with them was not so good, Edward (my client) was there last. Thankfully they are under a new management staff, they are ever so much friendlier and better staffed. That kind of thing always trickles down.

    So now you have all my latest news except my 1st Great grandbaby is due 8/29. I've known all along I couldn't be there (that's killing me) but Lexy and Chance are going to have more family there than they know what to do with anyway lol

    I love and miss you guys, wish I could afford to come see you, again poor planning for my retirement years sigh... wish I could blame it on somebody else jk

    1. Oh Linda - our prayers are with you and we know you will carry on thru this with the same warrior heart and courage you have always shown. We love you and know that you are giving Michelle the greatest gift. Please keep us updated! Ron and Nina

    2. Thanks for all your love and support. I so look forward to all your communications and miss you both. Michelle will be here next Sunday, Missy has been so good about organizing the move.

      She said she thinks God must be watching over all this, she has so much to do. Bailey (their oldest) got her dream job and they moved her to St. Louis. Kate (their youngest) is off to college in Naperville, IL, the same weekend Michelle leaves. Tim (her husband) has a mother going through Ovarian Cancer, again. There is no cure for her so it's just a matter of doing what she can to survive as long as she can. She has been an inspiration to us all, she is a Pastor and has her church and congregation to look after, as they all love and look after her. She even keeps us all updated about her "journey" through a blog on a medical web site.

      I'm very blessed, my life is simple by comparison.

  2. +Elder and Sister Jones, Wow that year went by fast! Your blog posts are informative and spiritual. How wonderful for both of you to have this Mission Call. ~Regards Sister Sherry Smith formerly from Sequim.

  3. Thanks for sharing. Love you thoughts. Keep up the good work.Hugs, Lorna & Gerald P.S. The jungles of Africa aren't too bad. Actually, we're not in the jungle except the city jungle. Lots of fun going on here in Ghana too.