Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Hardest Part of a Mission

I protest! This is not good planning. Today was the farewell of 3 - count them....THREE of the sister missionaries that work in my office. A few weeks ago Sister Miller left and now, the other three sisters in my office are leaving me too.

I can't believe they would do this to me, seriously.

Okay, so it's not all about me (except in this blog....where let's be serious, it's TOTALLY about me - oh, and that hero of mine. It's about him too.)

But lets get back to the subject at hand.

My friends are leaving and I am staying - here in....oh yeah......Paradise. Okay, I'll quit whining. But I can't promise to like it. I will REFUSE to like it. I'll wish them well, and smile and even be excited for them. But I ain't gonna like it!

It all started with Monday's Family Home Evening, where Sisters Bisson, Cummings and Edginton gave their farewell talks. It's like this for every returning missionary. They get an opportunity to say a few words, then we sing Aloha Oe (and cry a LOT) and then line up and hug and cry some more. Personally, I spent most of that evening staring at the ceiling - because looking at any of these ladies would start the waterworks.

Sister Bisson
Sister Cummings

Sister Edginton
Singing Aloha Oe

Elder Jones waiting for his turn to hug and sniffle.
Today's Luncheon - Thank yous and praise all around

The good-byes continued throughout this week ending with the big farewell luncheon today. So many people showed up, there was no room left in the Board Room. That's how loved these women are.

with President Grace

So I end this pity party with an explanation of how I really feel - both about the experience of being away from my own family and the special circumstances of these great women I serve with as expressed in a cultural belief I shared in Devotional last week:


Radiate the Spirit – I live to radiate the spirit of God every day in every way
We refer to this particular Cultural Belief the most often – probably because it is the first one on the list. But I wanted to take a different angle on this subject this morning, if you will indulge me.
There is nothing quite like the look on the face of one of the missionaries, especially the sister missionaries, when they start talking about their families.  This is particularly true when a family member is coming to Hawaii for a visit. We women get downright giddy about it.
Yes, it is difficult for us to leave them and come to this little island in the middle of the sea. But we have been promised that sweet blessings will come from that sacrifice.
I personally received direct instruction from the Lord that if I were to place my trust in Him, exercise faith, and serve with my whole heart, that my family would be blessed abundantly. And so they have. The miracles in their lives have been beyond my wildest dreams. I have been so humbled. I am so blessed.
So we missionaries, on top of all the wonderful blessings that come from serving a mission, also feel great joy in how our missions serve our families.
A missionary never stands alone. Even though our precious family is not physically here beside us, they are truly here in spirit, backing us every day.... praying for us, calling and writing to us, loving us every step of the way.
…and I have discovered – and I say this with great reverence – that this support does not just come from our family members here on Earth.
I can testify that I have felt the presence of our loved ones who have left this Earth also. This is especially true of the beautiful single sisters who serve us. 

My dear friends, I want you to know, first off, that I never think of you as “single”. Your loved one is here too – supporting, loving and blessing you for honoring your eternal union. I see their influence. I feel the united strength you two built and how it has made you the great warrior that you are. I feel them here, right now, working with you, side by side. Their spirit radiates from your heart, and it is magnificent to behold.
How grateful I am for eternal families – for the gift, the promise and the blessings they bring.


....and just to be clear - how extremely grateful am I for the blessing of these angels in my life. Oh, I really will miss them so. Keep in touch, dear friends. And God's speed!


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Nina. It is amazing how friends touch us in so many ways. Barb

  2. How difficult it must be for those sisters to leave you. The spiritual bonds you share are so invaluable. That's why this is so hard for you. It's a gift to have friends with whom you share things in common, but it's quite another gift to have friends with whom you have that spiritual bond. You'll never forget them. <3 Thank you for being one of those friends for me, too.