It’s about time that I write something about the awesome experience we’ve had so far in sending a son to preach the gospel. I used to think that Levi’s preparation started around December 2011 when he expressed a desire to serve a mission. However, as I talked to a church leader about missions, he said that the preparation started way back when he was young. He was absolutely right. When Levi was in the womb, and he listened the scriptures being read to him, he was being prepared. When he first repeated his prayers with his parents, learned of the gospel, and decided to be baptized, he was preparing himself. When he fully participated in Family Home Evenings, and family prayers and scripture study, and church meetings and services, he was preparing himself. When he diligently woke up so early in the morning even when he hated doing that to attend seminary, he was preparing himself. Most of all, when he willingly served others in his family, in church, and in the community, he was showing his love to our Heavenly Father, and preparing himself to serve Him full time on a mission.
In April of this year, Levi came home from Utah to start working on medical, dental, interviews with the Bishop and Stake President, and other requirements for his mission. I confronted him and asked him directly if he was sure with his decision. I did not want him to serve because he felt tremendous “motherly” pressure. He said that he really prayed to our Heavenly Father about it and he felt good about his decision. Once my family and I heard that conviction, we were all out in support for him. He had many hurdles that he needed to leap over which included having his two wisdom teeth removed, renewing an expired passport in Los Angeles, and obtaining medication for an illness. Such things required sacrifices and money to accomplish. Soon all were finally completed and in just about a week of waiting, he received his call.
The mission call arrived in our home in Texas and Levi was already back to Utah for school. He could not wait any longer (or maybe his mom couldn’t wait any longer) , we opened the letter from the prophet via skype so he could see it. What joy and excitement we felt when my husband read the part where he would be serving his mission – Washington Everett Mission! Then, we were looking at his area through Google Maps, and started thinking of all the stuff we needed to do before he leaves for the Missionary Training Center (MTC).
Soon, Levi was back home for the finishing touches which included getting a temple recommend, participating in his first endowment session, having a missionary farewell, speaking in church, and finally, being set a part as a full time missionary by the Stake President. Whew, what a whirlwind of activities which I would gladly do over again for the next son to go. Finally, Levi returned to Utah to enter the MTC in October. That is what I have so far. As I get more updates from Elder Alvaro, I will be updating this page to include the latest and greatest news from the field.
Here are some pictures of Elder Alvaro during his MTC days.
at the Provo Temple
inside the MTC
Elder Alvaro’s First Area is Redmond, Washington). It is the headquarters of Microsoft and Nintendo. According to Elder Alvaro, the people there are so rich and they live in these huge houses. I hope him and his companion will be able to enter those doors and find people that will be interested in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Map of Redmond
Elder Alvaro and his companion Elder Prince baptized two young boys last December 22nd. The boys are James and Dillon.
First baptism for Elder Alvaro – December 22, 2012
Trip to the Seattle Temple – January 2013