The time is quickly approaching for my 19 year-old daughter, Becca, to leave on her mission to Santiago Chile. She speaks in church this Sunday, and then flies to Chile to begin her 18 months of service. This will be the fourth missionary I have sent out into the world. My feelings are tender.
My daughter has always been full of energy and sunshine and brightens our home. We love her and will miss her immensely! I am grateful for the year she was away at BYU as it will help ease our separation from her. But she will be missed.
It is nice to know that she understands what freedom to choose means. She did not have to serve a mission. She chose to. She was careful not to serve because everyone else was doing it, though the current excitement around the Church is contagious. In January, she got the confirmation she needed to know this is the right thing for her to do at this time in her life.
Preparing a daughter is more work than my sons. But she has been teachable as she let me guide her using my lists saved from experience preparing her brothers. She will need to be teachable as a missionary as she serves with various sister missionary companions and teaches people in a culture that is very different from Farmington, Utah. Missions are not easy both emotionally and physically. But, she is prepared.
Being part of her high school track and cross country team has taught her how to support and cheer her team on. And being a big sister has taught her how to be an example and leader. Working at a senior care facility all summer taught her how to care and lift others less fortunate than she is. So much of life’s journey can prepare our youth for their missions.
I am grateful for parents who taught her about sacrifice when they served several missions leaving their children and grandchildren behind. I am grateful for pioneer ancestors who taught her how to sacrifice as well. Putting aside college, and time with family and friends is a huge sacrifice, but sacrifice brings blessings from Heaven. I have seen this.
I have faith in the words of her pioneer great-great-great grandfather, William Clayton:
May she have a wonderful experience sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people in Chile! May we each discover blessings along the way as we sacrifice, lift and serve each other.