Sunday, June 26, 2011

Being a Missionary Mom

Can't wait till they get called
Can't stand to let them go
Can't stop talking about them
Can't wait till they get home

That really does seem to sum it up. But I have to be honest, even though I miss my boy I don't want to rush it for him or me. We are already feeling the one year mark creeping up on us and it seems totally unbelievable that it has already almost been a year. He loves the people of Peru and he loves serving. He is so happy and making the most of this mission.

I too have been so blessed being a missionary mom. When Dylan got his call I found out about an email group called MISSIONARY MOMS. It groups moms together according to where there children are serving. So I am in an email group with probably 50 -75 moms from the all over North America who have children serving in Peru. We have been able to share experiences with each other, comfort each other, celebrate with each other and support each other through this journey. My son has come to love the missionaries he is serving with and I have come to love their mothers. I have even been able to become really good friends with his trainers mom. (A trainer is a senior companion that is with a missionary when he first enters the field.) Elder Diaz was Dylan's trainer and he is an amazing young man. He taught Dylan first hand how to be the best missionary ever. Dylan thought very highly of Elder Diaz and his work ethic as a missionary. 100% obedient and he puts 110% into everything he does. He has a deep gospel knowledge of the scriptures and a burning testimony of the gospel. Elder Diaz is from Chile' and he immediately got his mom my email and she helped me learn to put all my fears to rest and put my faith in my Heavenly Father where our missionaries are concerned. She has come to be a wonderful friend and I hope that one day I will be able to meet her.

Elder Paolacci & Elder Diaz

This is my friend Marcela - Elder Diaz' mom
She has taught me much about having faith. She is a true example of what the pure love of Christ looks like. I have shared some of my struggles with her and her advice is always filled with pure love. She is a wonderful example to me.
There is only one obstacle with our friendship and that is a language barrier. But I have learned to use google translate like a pro. It may not translate perfectly, but I get the gist of what she is saying. And then it types what I am saying into Spanish.
Saturday morning I was concerned because I saw her facebook status say
 "Necesito ayuda del Cielo.......:("

Which translated into English is 

"I need Heaven's help"

This is so unlike her and I knew something must be wrong. So I emailed her to find out what was going on. She had received word from someone in Peru that Elder Diaz was being transferred to Huanuco to train a new missionary. During the transport to this new area he was robbed and someone stole EVERYTHING he had except for the clothes on his body. If you know anything about missionary transfers, you know that they pack EVERYTHING they own into 2 suitcases and head to their next area.  She felt lost and helpless. As a mom she was worried about making sure her son had what he needed. EVERYTHING was gone. But so grateful he was safe and unharmed. As mom she was also so concerned about how she would be able to get her son the things he needed so he could finish his mission. As a missionary mom I know how much all that stuff was. I immediately knew that her missionary mom friends could make this happen. With a few emails to other missionary moms yesterday everyone jumped into action and within a few hours  we were able to  gather items that Elder Diaz would need to finish the last 6 months of his mission. We were even excited to find out that Vanessa, our shipping contact in Salt Lake was flying to Peru on Friday and we would be able to send a big box for Elder Diaz.

Well a few hours later I received this email asking us to please not send the stuff we had gathered. That the church has insurance to replace stolen items. And a fund to take care of missionaries in these situations. They knew where our heart was and that we were only trying to help our friend. But they have seen many situations in these poverty stricken countries where people might get word that we have shipped all this stuff over and might actually hound our missionaries and put them at risk. The last thing I would ever want to do is risk the safety of our North American Missionaries.  

After some long hours of prayer last night I wrote to my missionary mom friends and believe it or not many of us were still awake in the middle of the night. We agreed that no matter how much we wanted to be the ones to help our friend Marcella provide for her son. We needed to follow the guidelines that have been set up for everyone's safety. I wrote an email to my friend  and assured her that the Lord will provide. That I am sure when we hear from our missionaries tomorrow morning , Elder Diaz will assure his mom that all is well .
I  know we all had our hearts in the right place and our intentions were pure. We are so grateful for the wonderful missionary Elder Diaz is and appreciate his love and devotion to the work of the Lord. We just wanted to take this opportunity to show him how much we love and appreciate him. 

I am proud to be part of a group of such wonderful sisters and at a time of need we were able to pull together quickly to come to the aide of another sister in need.  Even though it did not turn out exactly the way we wanted,  I am grateful for the spirit that I felt and the peace I feel knowing that Elder Diaz will be taken care of so he can continue to be the wonderful missionary he is and example to all those he comes in contact with.

I am excited tomorrow is Monday and look forward to hearing from my missionary !!!

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