"A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race." Joseph Smith

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Submitting the Papers

Tonight we submitted our recommendation forms to serve as missionaries!  The forms will be reviewed by both the Bishop and Stake President before officially getting sent to Salt Lake City. Then we wait 5-6 weeks for the call!  Senior couples can request specific locations to serve, though they may be called anywhere. We have requested a humanitarian/public affairs mission to China, or anywhere in Asia or Southeast Asia.                                                                 Where do you think we will go?

"Congratulations! Your missionary recommendation forms have been submitted to your priesthood leader. Thank you for your willingness to serve the Lord as a missionary.Soon, you will meet with your priesthood leader to review your recommendation. You will then meet with your stake president for a final interview. 

Once your stake president submits your recommendation to Church headquarters, it will go through a review process and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will make your mission assignment. You should receive your call by mail five to six weeks after your stake president submits your recommendation to Church headquarters."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pre-Mission Thoughts

Many years ago, as a young missionary, I thought about going on one or more senior missions.  At that time, it seemed so far away.  Now the time is here, and those days in New England seem so far away.  Why now?  Well, there are several reasons.  First, I have observed many older couples and it seems that one's health starts to deteriorate as the years go by.  So, if Deborah and I are to go on any full-time, away-from-home mission it needs to be now rather than later.  I have already been in the hospital 2 times more than I wanted to be.  But I think I am now better than before my surgeries.  I just want to serve before I have to go back again - for any reason - except giving blessings to the sick.

The second concern is finances.  Everyone is concerned about finances when they 'retire', and we are too.  This is the hard part, especially when the cost of medical care is added in to the budget.  I am not sure how finances will work out, but we will just have to have faith in the Lord, and pray that the stock market continues healthily. 

Then there are the concerns with what to do with the house, cars, and other material possessions.  This spring, as we were cleaning, throwing away, and giving away material possessions, I suddenly noticed a change in my attitude toward material things.  What once was helpful, and even necessary, is now a burden.  We lightened our burden then but we still have more to go.  We have a plan to continue to downsize/right-size over the next 7 -8 months.

All of the above concerns will be resolved in time.  They are just changes we need to make to be ready to serve.  We are looking forward to our call.  Since senior missionaries can be called on so many different kinds of missions, in so many different places around the world, it is hard to focus our excitement on one mission.  So, at this time, while we prepare and wait, we focus on our gratitude for our many blessings and our desire to share the gospel, in any way, with others. 

To help us prepare, our ward bishop called us to serve as ward missionaries.  We are loving this calling!  It is fun to work with the new converts, the full-time missionaries, new investigators, and fellowshipping members.  There is so much to do.  We could be full-time missionaries in our own ward and still not have enough time to do it all.

I hope you will enjoy reading of our adventures via this blog.  We are not great writers and will not be able to convey in words how we feel, but please know that we anticipate this to be one of the best experiences of our lives.  And we get to do it together!  Greg

Getting Ready -When To Go?

We have always wanted to serve a mission together.  As the time has grown closer to serve, many questions arose.  How soon can we retire?  Will we have enough money?  What about medical insurance?  What is the process to filling out "the papers"?

We decided we wanted to go on a mission as soon as financially possible. After talking things over several times with our financial advisers, we discovered that if we are frugal, we can retire in the summer of 2014.  We checked the numbers over and over, planning for all kinds of possible scenarios, and spent time in prayer, fasting and going to the temple.  With that came a calm assurance that our desires are good, and Heavenly Father blessed us with a witness that our plan to go on a mission (or several) beginning next summer is acceptable before Him.  That was the first step, and an act of faith. By going on a mission next summer, Greg will be retiring early, but with the Lord's approval, we move forward with faith.  

We found out that senior couples can submit their mission papers up to 9 months before their availability date. We are looking at June 1, 2014 for our availability date, so counting backwards that puts it at September 1st of this year.  We can submit them any time! Yay!


This blog is about our experiences as senior missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We hope it will help answer questions you may have about serving a senior mission.  There is so much we didn't know about all the little details - what is involved in the medical report, when can you submit your papers, what is the process, etc.  Come join us and travel the missionary journey together!  Any questions?  Leave a comment and we'll be in touch!