As we consider couple missionary service, it is appropriate to involve our families in the same way. In family council meetings, we can give our children the opportunity to express their support, offer special assistance we may need, and receive priesthood blessings to sustain them in our absence. Where appropriate, we may be able to receive priesthood blessings from them as well. Elder Robert D. Hales
Just as the youth in the Church sing, “We are as the army of Helaman,” we, as senior missionaries, and in fact, we as members of God’s Church everywhere, are as Ammon. We offer our talents to build the kingdom, and God magnifies them until they are swords of strength that gather and protect His sheep throughout the world. We are all, indeed, superheroes in God’s hands as we offer to serve Him.
Go on a date every single week. That’s part of what preparation day is supposed to be for. If you spend the whole day doing laundry, shopping, cleaning, and reading books, you’ll miss out on essential nourishment for your marriage. Missions don’t need to be spiritual and focused all the time. You can actually take time to have fun together.
“No senior missionary finds it convenient to leave. Neither did Joseph or Brigham or John or Wilford. They had children and grandchildren too. They loved their families not one whit less, but they also loved the Lord and wanted to serve Him. Someday we may meet these stalwarts who helped to establish this dispensation. Then will we rejoice that we did not seek the shadows when a call to missionary service came from the prophet, even in the autumn years of our lives.” President Russell M. Nelson
Even though senior couples often feel insignificant or incapable, they can bring about great things in the Lord’s work. One member interaction can lead to a whole family of converts. One service can lead to many open doors. “Small means in many instances doth confound the wise.”
From Elder Robert D Hales:
My brothers and sisters, if you have felt stirrings to engage in this work, however quiet those feelings may be, do not procrastinate the day of your service. Now is the time to prepare; now is the time to be called, the time to sacrifice. Now is the time to share your gifts and talents, and now is the time to receive God’s blessings for you and your family. . . . Let us, in our richest years of experience, maturity, wisdom, and most of all, our faith, rise to meet that need as only we can.
Elder Charles and Sister Liz Walton
From my dear friends Becky and Brian Gerritsen, who are serving a humanitarian mission in Cape Verde: (significantly shortened)
The most rewarding part of our work is getting to know individuals. We met a young man named Alvin from Senegal, Africa. Alvin was so impressed that our Church would give help to the poor children, so we gave him a Book of Mormon. He told us he is reading it every night. He is such a humble, good man, and will be a friend forever.
Another young man is named Nataniel. Nataniel works
very hard building a home he cut out of the mountain for his aunt, as well as working for a cleaning company. He is desirous of serving a mission. He has been a member for only 9 months and is 25 years old. People like Nataniel and Alvin have greatly enriched our lives.
As this New Year approaches, it’s time to start preparing for that mission you’ve been thinking about for years. Preparing and applying for a mission takes careful planning. It also takes at least six months of focused attention. So begin your adventure this week. Start looking at practical details that need attention. Begin practicing for a mission by working together with your spouse on a project. Think mission. Then take action.
On this Christmas Eve Sabbath, we remember not only the Savior’s birth but also His life of sacrifice and love. We can follow His example by sacrificing our time and talents in serving His children. A senior mission is like a tithing on our lives that we offer in thanks for the great blessings of light, truth, and redemption that the Savior gives us.
It won’t be like Christmas at home, but a mission Christmas can be one of your best Christmases ever. Missionaries still give and receive gifts and still decorate their apartments. But best of all, they share the gift of the gospel to both members and nonmembers. And they feel the true spirit of Christmas in a way that they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives. Christmas on a mission is truly a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!