It is with much sadness that I am writing this post. Darin has been the membership secretary in the mission office for the past 4 1/2 months. It has been wonderful because I have been able to communicate with him every day by email and we have been able to talk back and forth with things that he has needed. I felt like he was safe there and he made such amazing friends with the members in that area. I was fortunate enough to have met a family that was in his ward when they came up last December. It will be so hard for me to not hear from him daily and am now going back to watching for the Monday P-Day emails. I haven't really been keeping current with the blog since our emails are mostly personal conversations back and forth. Darin's duties in the office consisted of keeping the membership records in order, verifying that people were actually married or who they said they were, and filing papers at the court house for any legal matter and marriages. He also was responsible for subtracting the "wedding money" from the missionaries personal accounts before sending their monthly stipend out. It is weird to me that the missionaries pay for the weddings out of their own money but I guess that is how it works best. So, if a missionary has several weddings in a month, which costs around $50 then they are eating rice or beans or oatmeal for every meal that month. I asked Darin if he was excited to get back out into the field and he said yes and no. He will miss the luxury of the office such as having a vehicle to drive and washer and dryer but he is excited to be teaching again. I am missing him all over again as if he just left since I cant communicate with him but I am so grateful that he is loving his mission. He has grown so much and is becoming a better person while bringing families closer to God and our Savior. I know without a doubt that there is no better place for him to be. I cant wait to gather around the table again every Monday night to read his emails and to hear of his experiences and his thoughts.
I did want to write about what an amazing Christmas it was. Darin tricked us!! He told me that there was a family that wanted to meet me that I had mentioned before that came up in December. He said he was sending up some things that he didn't need or have room for. When we got there they brought out presents that Darin had sent up for each one of us. They were actually wrapped too so I was shocked!!! Yes, I got a bit teary eyed!! It was so sweet of him. So he told us not to open them until Christmas day. I waited until he skyped on Christmas so I could open the gifts with him. It was really special. I didn't even care what the gifts were, I was so happy to just be able to see my son and talk with him. He sent me his scriptures that he used his first year out with all of his markings and notes. He also sent me a woven bag from Honduras. I love reading though his scriptures and seeing his markings and reading the thoughts he had. I cant understand a lot of the words but do understand enough to figure it out. Thank goodness his notes are in English!! He gave Emma a bag from Honduras also that she takes to church with her and also a bracelet. She loves it. You cant go wrong with a purse and jewelry for Emma!!!
I cant believe he will be home in 7 months. His release date as of now is Sept 15. I cant explain how proud I am of my son. It is not easy for these kids to leave their families to go to an unknown place and to work harder than they have without hardly any communication home. It is a test of faith for them as well as us. We give our sons and daughters to the Lord for 2 years because we know that bringing our brothers and sisters to Christ and giving them the gift of the Gospel is the most important step for their salvation. You don't have to be called on a two year mission to do that. I know there are some that cannot officially serve in that capacity but it does not diminish their worth or desire. We are all called to the work no matter where we are. My patriarchal blessing says that I will have many opportunities to bring the gospel to my neighbors. I definitely need to do better at this!! If these kids can go out with faith then so can we to those around us every day.