I hope they call me on a mission
When I have grown a foot or two.
I hope by then I will be ready
To teach and preach and work as missionaries do.
I hope that I can share the gospel
With those who want to know the truth.
I want to be a missionary
And serve and help the Lord while I am in my youth.*
Words and music: Newel Kay Brown, b. 1932. (c) 1969 IRI
*These are the words of a traditional Mormon "Sunday School" song for the youth. As far as I know, there isn't a version for the more "mature" sets of missionaries that go out to serve. But there should be.
By the time you read this, Grumpa Max and Grandmary should be en route to/or in Salt Lake City, UT to get a few weeks of specialized training in preparation for about a year's missionary service at the Washington, D.C. Temple starting in October 2014. Here's a drones'-eye view of the Washington, D.C. temple.
If you can't view this video, click this link or cut and paste: http://youtu.be/aDy81Wxqb8k
Pretty impressive, no?
Now, I'm sure there are questions.
Q: What's a mission?
A: "Missionary (LDS Church) Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church)—widely known as Mormon missionaries—are volunteer representatives of the LDS Church who engage variously in proselytizing, church service, humanitarian aid, and community service."
~ per a wikipedia entry
Q: What's a temple?
A: "...a temple is a building dedicated to be a house of God and is reserved for special forms of worship. A temple differs from a church meetinghouse, which is used for weekly worship services..."
~ per another wikipedia entry
Q: Why do they need retirees to do this?
A: Not to be flip, but some retirees LIKE to be busy AND they have the time. It takes a lot of work to keep humanitarian efforts going, administration churning, training ticking, etc.
Q: But won't they miss [insert family celebrations here aka births of grandchildren, birthdays, holidays?]
Q: Why do your parents want to do this?
A: Good question. I can't answer for them -- though I will ask -- but I suspect:
a) It's a family tradition. Grandma Ollie actually did a mission in Washington, D.C. Many of my great-aunts and uncles have been on senior Church missions. Both of my brothers went on missions; one to California, the other to Brazil.
c) Mom did not go on the "traditional" youth mission when she was the usual age. She was serving the youth of America by teaching them about English literature.
d) They have served the Church in other various ways throughout their adult life. While "retired" in Utah, they have worked together in Church service: at the Saint George Temple and in Church humanitarian work in a cannery.
e) They are healthy, willing, and able.
I'm proud of these two!
I'm hoping to share Max and Mary's Mission Moments as we go through the year. I'm trying to make sure it's documented SOMEWHERE!