Saturday, January 11, 2014

When the Wait is Long

For many missionaries it is the wait for their call that seems the hardest but for countless others it is the waiting time before entering the MTC.

My brothers waited 5 Mons for one and the next waited 3 Mons in between the call and entering the MTC. Recently we have noticed that the wait time seems longer then normal, I don't know if their is any fact to that assumption, but with higher numbers in missionaries then ever before, it makes sense.

This article below discusses this very issue many pre-missionaries are struggling with:

When the Wait is Long Between Getting the 
Call and Entering the MTC
By Cara Secrist

One of the most exciting things you can do is to watch your son or daughter opening their mission call and searching for the location of their mission and the attached mission map.  After a while, they also find the date they are supposed to enter the MTC. When all the excitement dies down, you get to help them plan out what will happen between now and then.

Having had one son who waited about three and a half months and another son who only had five weeks before entering the MTC, I know it can be hard either way. With the new missionary ages I have heard of missionaries waiting five months or even more. It can be hard on a missionary to get his call before all his friends but then watch his friends all get their calls and leave before he does.

One thing that can really help is to set up a schedule of things that need to be done so that you are continually working towards being ready. Depending on where you live, your missionary may be able to work as a temple worker until they leave, or they may be able to enroll in an LDS institute class. Families can help by having regular study of the scriptures and of Preach My Gospel. Your son or daughter may also be able to go on splits with missionaries currently serving in your area or could work with your own ward missionaries.  All too soon for you, the mom, your missionary will be off on their big adventure, so you will want to get a good mission picture of your missionary to put in your Mission Tracker before he or she leaves.

While Waiting ... 
Here are some ideas to fill your time as you wait for your MTC enter date to draw near.

  • Go on Splits with the Missionaries.
  • Fulfill your duties in Church callings, especially in Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching roles.
  • Plan and prepare FHE's that center on missionary work or help you to prepare, sometimes family support can be a real strength as you are playing the waiting game.
  • Get a temporary job while you wait in attempts to keep busy and save up money for your mission.
  • Start learning the language, if there is a new one to learn, getting a head start may come in handy and can't hurt. 
  • Actively pursue service, it is likely you will be doing service projects throughout your mission so learn to love it now. 
  • Study, study, study. Fill your time with the works of the Lord. 
  • Surround yourself with uplifting people, media, and environments. It is said that while waiting for entry into the mission field you can be the most tempted. By avoiding those influences you are staying closer to the spirit and the work you are about to embark on. 
  • Help plan family outings and vacations. My family tried to go on an early family vaca so their soon to be missionary could join them. The memories made during this time will be so important as a missionary to look back on, try to relish in your family activities before you leave. It could be weekly girls nights before the Sister leaves. It could be family hiking trips. It could be taking younger siblings to the movies or park. Show your family you love them during this time. 
  • Give your family something to remember you by. I had a friend who painted an art piece for her family before she left, to hang in her room while she was gone. But making syncing a playlist for a sibling of your favorites will be cherished. 
  • Write letters to each family member, to give to them at the airport. Spend time thinking about what each person you love needs to hear. 

Always remember that no matter the place or the time or the language your call is prophetically given and should be held sacred:

“I have had [many] experiences feeling of the Holy Ghost…But I’ve never felt what I have felt as I have…participated in the assigning of missionaries…Because of technology, it is possible for us to have your picture and the information about you displayed. And then quickly, on that same screen, all the missions of the Church with all of their needs are displayed. Within minutes, and sometimes less than a minute, the impression comes so powerfully that it would be, if it were a single instance, something that you would never forget. Can you imagine sitting there for hours at a time, having that happen time after time without interruption? I testify to you that it is real…[The Lord] somehow not only knows you but loves you enough to ensure that your call is where He needs you to go to teach the children of our Heavenly Father.” (Pres. Henry B. Eyring, “Called of God,” address delivered at the Missionary Training Center, Aug. 26, 1997).


As always we would love to hear from our readers. What would you add to our "While Waiting" list? 

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