- If we are willing to leave our loved ones for service in the mission field, we will bless them with a heritage that will teach and inspire them for generations to come.
- As we serve in the mission field, our children and grandchildren will be blessed in ways that would not have been possible had we stayed at home. Talk to couples who have served missions and they will tell you of blessings poured out: inactive children activated, family members baptized, and testimonies strengthened because of their service.
He speaks of some specific areas of concern. The first one is the fear of what to expect or what will be asked of the couple.
- Fear of the unknown or fear that we don’t have the scriptural skills or language required can cause reluctance to serve. But the Lord has said, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” Your life is your preparation. You have valuable experience. You have raised a family and served in the Church. Just go and be yourselves. You are the testimony, and you will touch the lives of those with whom you come in contact.
He assures us that couples can make a difference where others cannot.
- The service that couples provide is essential to the work of the Lord. Couples can make a difference. Couples can accomplish remarkable things no one else can do.
Another concern he addresses is that grandparents will miss out on important family events.
- Couples are sometimes concerned that in their absence they will miss weddings, births, family reunions, and other family events. We have learned that the impact on families while grandparents are on missions is worth a thousand sermons. Families are greatly strengthened as they pray for their parents and grandparents and read letters sent home which share their testimonies and the contribution they are making in the mission field.
Elder Hales shares that sacrifice is required. Families of these couples needs to help support them through the many trials that they will face. But just as anything that the Lord asks of us, we will be tested and sacrifices will need to be made.
- Missionary work has always involved sacrifice. If some sacrifices are necessary, then the blessings will be all the more abundant. Children, encourage your parents to serve and assist them with financial support if necessary. You may lose a baby-sitter for a short time, but the eternal rewards you and your family receive will more than compensate for the brief sacrifice. To younger couples with children still at home, I urge you now to decide to serve in your later years and to plan and prepare so you are financially, physically, and spiritually able. Make certain that the great example of missionary service is a heritage you will leave your posterity.
The blessings of serving are great. Individual growth and growth with your companion are achieved in this setting like no other experience we will go through.
- The blessings of serving with your eternal companion are priceless and can only be understood by those who have experienced it. My wife and I have had that privilege in the mission field. Each day is a special day with daily rewards that cause personal growth and development in the Lord’s time and in the Lord’s way. The fulfillment that comes from this kind of service will bless you, your marriage, and your family for eternity.
A final concern that he addresses is that the older generation will be required to have a set schedule, memorize discussions, or do assignments that they might not be able to physically accomplish. He assures us that there are many opportunities to serve and that we the schedule is completely different and what is expected is completely different from the young group of missionaries.
- The ways in which couples can serve are virtually limitless. From mission office support and leadership training to family history, temple work, and humanitarian service—there is an opportunity to use almost any skill or talent with which the Lord has blessed you.
He closes with these words of encouragement.
- Where much is given, much is expected. You have received much in your life; go forth and freely give in the service of our Lord and Savior. Have faith; the Lord knows where you are needed. The need is so great, brothers and sisters, and the laborers are so few.
I remember when I served a mission that the senior couples were such a highlight to have around. Elder and Sister Brammel were such a light to whoever they visited. They were so loving and caring and truly understood the need that the Lord had for them in the mission field. If you are thinking about serving a mission soon or later in life, begin to prepare now. If you will not be able to serve, plan to help support a couple that can and live through their experiences as you support their efforts. Great blessings come from missionary service.