Recently, I've thought about the missionaries we have known and how they have helped us. I'd like to dedicate this post to a special group of missionaries that hold a very special place in our hearts: the missionaries of the Washington Tacoma Mission!
Let me explain. In Gig Harbor, we had the missionaries over every week for dinner. Near the end of our years in WA, the mission rules changed and we were not allowed to have them eat with us more than once a month. Here in Arizona, we have Sister missionaries and while we love them and enjoy the time they are here, when you have only sons, the connection just isn't as strong.
Finally, and this is probably the most important reason why this experience was so unique: we truly believe that one of the main reasons we moved to Washington was for Sean. Moving when you are a junior in high school is difficult, but we saw Sean grow so much during our time there and there is no doubt in our minds that his frequent and consistent interaction with these missionaries had everything to do with it. With his brother Ryan serving a mission at the same time, they became his big brothers.
1. Garlic rolls
2. Missionaries blowing out birthday candles and opening presents on Ryan's birthday
3. Elder Bullough's socks
4. The story about Elder Cheney's ex-girlfriend (that term may be a stretch) serving in his district
5. Kent's advice to the missionaries about life as they were sitting around our table
6. Guessing their first names
7. Pleading phone calls for a ride at the bottom of a big hill when it was pouring
8. Sean racing to the truck so he could pick them up at the bottom of those hills
9. Emails and pictures sent to their mothers and the friendships that developed from those
10. Basketball on Wednesday nights
11. A house packed with missionaries every Halloween
12. Farewell ties
13. Waiting for certain missionaries to come out of the bathroom
14. Squeezing their arms because it was all I could do to stop myself from hugging them, which is against the rules. The boys and Kent got to hug them, which made the desire even worse!
These are just a few memories, but there are 2 that are our absolute favorites and these are the ones that have filled our hearts with incredible love for these missionaries: their Christmas gift to members and people in the Tacoma Mission and the Gospel messages they shared with us.
Just before Christmas one year, the missionaries were all abuzz with the gift the entire mission had decided to give the members and the people living in the Tacoma Mission. They had practiced and practiced and invited us all to come to a musical performance that included their testimonies about the Savior, Jesus Christ. Without a doubt, this was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had and thinking about it now brings me to tears of gratitude and love for this gift.
Their messages were full of hope and love. Hope in the Savior, Jesus Christ and love for all those they were serving in the Tacoma Mission.
These are the same messages that our missionary, Sean, shares with the people that he has come to love in South Carolina. He truly learned how to be a good missionary from the wonderful example of our beloved Tacoma Missionaries. If you would like to learn more about that message, please ask us, or visit http://www.mormon.org.