When my daughter was in the MTC I learned some things.
1. You can send a letter to your missionary and they will get it the same day if you use dearelder.com. They will print it off and deliver it to the MTC. Using the post office takes several days.
2. Look around for local shipping companies to send same day packages. (Sorry to those of you who are not local.) Prices are cheaper as you get closer to the MTC, and I was able to find one that shipped free on Fridays as a service. Ask around.
3. Please, please, please, keep it together when you drop off your missionary. Some are excited to go, some are nervous. If you lay your broken heart on your nervous elder or sister, you'll only make it harder for them. If you're sobbing to your excited missionary, that won't help them either. Wait at least until you get in your car and pull away. Then, if you must *sigh* let it flow.
I do not speak from experience in this, I admit. I was thrilled to the core when my daughter left, and still am. I do listen to the CD she made me rather frequently (she's a pianist). I miss her. However, I do understand that it is very difficult for many mothers to say goodbye to their missionaries. There are so many different circumstances that weigh in. What I did see when we dropped my daughter off was the mother from the car in front of us. She had gotten out of the car and was SOBBING, reaching her arms out to her young son as he left. And the son? He looked back at his mom, concern and uncertainty etched on his face. How could he experience the joy of stepping fully into his mission if he was worried about his mom? He needed her strength.
I sound judgemental. I don't mean to judge the mother--I know it's hard. My heart broke for that sweet mother. But as mothers of these modern day stripling warriors IT IS OUR JOB to
- Stand firm in the faith
- Support their sacrifice
- Encourage and uplift them in their need
- Make sure they know THAT WE KNOW they where they are supposed to be
And then reap the rewards. The evidence of their increasing in faith and humility. The stories of their sacrifice and service to the Lord. The Spirit that floods your home and heart. The increased desires you will cultivate to do missionary work of your own. The powerful influence of an older missionary sibling on the little ones at home.
I am so grateful to be the mother of a missionary.