Wearing Out in Service to God

A mission is an interesting thing. We send our children out to serve for 18 to 24 months to a new place often foreign to them, possibly with a people who speak a different language, different customs, food, etc. They are expected to be obedient to mission rules and to work, work, work.

This picture of my daughter's worn out shoes invokes feelings of gratitude and joy. Gratitude that she was willing to serve, wear out her shoes, and in some ways wear out her body in service to her fellowman and obedience to our Father in Heaven. It is different sort of satisfaction--maybe even an odd one.

Missions are NOT easy. If they are, then you probably aren't doing them right.  On average, Madison walked 7 miles a day in hot, humid weather. Wild dogs roamed the roads. People had monkeys as pets, and the spiders were as big as her head. Rats would run through their apartments. Insects seemed to always accompany the food. The smell of sewer was her constant companion.

On top of the cultural challenges and harsh conditions, Madi suffered grastro-instestinal problems throughout her mission. As was stated before, she was treated three times in "hospitals." With all the trials, she was the happiest she has ever been in her life. The minute she was set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, she seemed to "glow." I don't mean that in a corny way. But the light and love of the gospel emanated from her. It was a phenomenal thing.

Madi's fortitude astounded me. She LOVED her mission and initially struggled with the news of her early release all while going back and forth from the mission Recovery Center and St. Luke's Medical Center across the street. Even while in the recovery center, she continued to be ill and in pain. With tests back, decisions made, she found peace and comfort in it.

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