I have many thoughts and feelings so far as my oldest son serves his mission in a place so far away from me in Australia. First off, I want to say that there is NO place right now where I'd rather have my son be. Yes, even home with me. The first week he was at the MTC I thought I was going to die. I missed him more than I can say or express. My heart ached each day because I hadn't heard from him. When I finally did hear from him, I felt relieved and so good. That's the thing I miss, texting. Who knew this mom, that never wanted to text, would eventually miss it so terribly much. That communication was gone. I had to rely on the Lord and pray often to ease my soul. I knew this is where he needed to be. Weeks have went by now and I still miss him terribly, but it's not the aching feeling I had when he first left. I can't tell you how exciting and wonderful it is to get his emails once a week. And I'm okay with that now. I thought it would be awful not hearing from him each day, but it's not for me. I look forward to his email every Sunday night (it's Monday in Australia) and I have my phone with me at all times between 5-9pm waiting to see that email come in. I sometimes catch him emailing and so I can "chat" with him for just a bit. Just that little tiny bit of communication makes me go on another week. His emails brighten my day and gives me hope. I love to read his experiences, who he has met, about his companion and what they do. His letters inspire and encourage me to reach out to others. They lift me up every week. So many people say they could never be away from their kid that long or how can you send your child off for 2 years? I'm not going to lie, it's hard. I miss him everyday! I think of him so many times during the day I can't count them. BUT he is where he needs to be. He is serving the Lord in a way that many people don't understand. It would be very selfish of me to tell him he can't go and he needed to stay home with me. I want him to serve the Lord first and foremost in his life. When he has a family of his own, he is learning that the Lord is first and he can do hard things with the Lord's help. I can too. :) I know the Lord is watching over my sweet son clear across the world from me. He has wonderful people around him that take care and love him as their own and that makes it so much easier for me. He has a companion that he thinks the world of and this relationship will last a lifetime. He has a sweet family from the branch (small ward) that he adores. They have them over a lot and he calls that his home in Australia. I am so grateful to them! To know he is loved and looked after is huge for me. I am proud of him and so happy that he has chose to do this in his life. To spend 2 whole years serving the Lord, being unselfish, doing service for others, lifting and guiding those who need it, testifying of Christ.....that's why I can send him away for this long and so far away. I hope to follow in his footsteps and serve my own mission when my kids are grown and Corry has retired.
"We can do all things through Christ who strengthened me (Phillipans 4:13)."
This is when Nick went through the temple for the first time! Several sweet members of our ward came to support him and it was a wonderful experience for us (his parents) and him. Love this kid through and through! Elder Macfarlane!