Friday, March 13, 2015

Missions and home towns

On January 2nd, a few days before Rebekah headed back to Logan to start winter semester after Christmas break, the missionaries came to dinner. Elder Maring was from England, he said. Born in Germany, but then moved to England when he was young and did the majority of his growing up years there. He and his companion both were pretty excited about the fact that Rebekah was in the midst of filling out mission papers. There was a lot of talk about missions and speculation as to where she would go.

Fast forward four weeks. Rebekah's mission call arrived on a Friday. The next morning Rebekah and I attended our Stake Women's Conference. One of the workshops Rebekah and I decided to attend was the one about "missionary moms" to prepare your children to serve a mission, whether they be just littles or teens who are actually in the process, and what to expect when they are on a mission. We thought it was appropriate timing. We walked in and there sat the Elders. Elder Maring had a new companion, but he immediately recognized us as we walked in and waved us over to seats near him. After shaking hands, we told him that Rebekah had received her mission call just the day before. He and his companion were happy about this news and right as Elder Maring was asking Rebekah where she was going to serve, it hit me that he was going to be very excited when she said, "I've been called to the England, London mission!" The look on Elder Maring's face was priceless! A few more questions revealed that not only was Rebekah going to London, but to the right part of London (there are two London missions)...the part that includes his home. The fact that he was serving his mission in her home town, and she was going to be serving her mission in his home town seemed rather mind boggling to him. He even said, "I'm going home in October! I could come visit you!"

A few days later we were having a birthday dinner for Julianne when the doorbell rang. Assuming it was another friend dropping by to wish Julianne a happy day, we were surprised to find the Elders on our doorstep. They wanted to stop in and say hello they said, and had some english chocolate for Rebekah. They were disappointed to find that Rebekah wasn't home. The didn't realize that she was living in Logan to attend USU. They were hoping to set up a time where they could have a little mission prep sort of family home evening with us. I assured them that Rebekah still came home on various weekends and that a mission prep message sounded like a great idea.

A couple of weeks later Rebekah came home for the weekend, Elder Maring and his companion came over and we all gathered around to hear their message. They gave Rebekah all sorts of information about being a missionary in general...but Elder Maring also told her all about London and the surrounding areas she would be serving. Hints about certain things she shouldn't say or do that could be offensive in their culture, food, slang, weather, etc. They answered any and all of her questions. They even told us about their own missions, funny stories and experiences and even how they felt about being called to Salt Lake City, Utah. Interestingly, both of Elder Maring's parents had served in this very same mission in Utah!

We had a great time with the Elders and their message and information was so incredibly helpful! Elder Maring has been recently transfered, but not before he gave me not only his personal email, but also his mothers email over in London, telling me that she would be more than happy to check in on Rebekah for me or get things to her, etc. And that if I wanted to send anything to Rebekah through him when he flies home in October, to let him know. It's nice to feel like we have friends there already that can potentially be looking out for Rebekah.

Julianne, Rebekah, Lilian, Elder Unklesbay, Brandon, Elder Maring

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