Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dressing For the Title

Dressing for the Title

December 13, 2015

      The temperature has hovered around 70 degrees this week. It has changed just today with steady rain falling. I have been studying all the posts on Instagram from our family and friends of the beautiful snow that has fallen back home in Show Low, Az. I am so happy for all of them! But, honestly, it has been a good week for Arrivals, Transfers, and Departures.
      We only received 5 newbies this week with 12 missionaries going home. It is such an exciting time to see these new missionaries on their first day in Missouri. They are always running on fumes from lack of sleep but most have a innocent happiness about them. The elders are typically in their new suits and all the sisters are sporting new bags for all their goods.
      Now, compare this to the departing group that arrive in the office the very next day. The elders suits are more worn. Most of the sisters have told me at different times that they will never wear this skirt or that dress again. As a matter of fact, many leave their clothes in what is called our Zion Closet for other sisters to pick and choose from. This is also where many of our sisters from the islands or Mexico get their mission coats and boots.  Having raised six daughters, I love when I see sisters sporting a new outfit straight from Zion's Closet. There have been many a black plastic bag passed around from one Seaman girl to another through the years. I have been the lucky recipient of some pretty good items out of those big ol' bags.
      On Transfer Thursday this week, Sister Phillips came in from Overland Park. She was being transferred up to St. Joseph. She handed me two dresses out of Zion's Closet because they "looked like me". One fits, one doesn't. It was like wearing a strait jacket. And it wasn't even zipped. So, I did what any good sister missionary would do. When Sister Hixon came by with her new companion, I gave her the cute red dress. She knows what to do. If it doesn't fit her and no sister calls dibs on it before she leaves the area, it goes back in Zion's Closet. These sisters out here in Missouri are living a simple version of the United Order, don't you think?
     As for the elders, they don't seem to have as much fun as the sisters do when it comes to dressing. Oh, don't get me wrong. Some get regular packages from a mama back home who keeps them looking spiffy. Others have learned to drop by the office and give me their pants to mend. I have become pretty proficient at it. I always tell them I am volunteer help so don't expect miracles. And they don't. A pair I mended this week was supported with duct tape when I got ahold of them.
     The one thing all missionaries have in common whether they are new arrivals or departing for home is lack of sleep.  They are up every morning hard at it at 6:30. When departing missionaries tell me they are going to sleep in a day or two when they arrive home, I believe them.  They work hard. They play hard. They sleep less. So, when it all over for them and it is time to go home, elders pack up their worn white shirts. Sisters' bags have probably been changed out a time or two but I have NEVER seen a sister go home with a spanking new bag on her shoulder. I have come to believe it is a badge of honor for these tired missionaries to return home with a bag full of holey socks and gray underwear. These things can always be replaced. Their one sweet mission experience is worth it all.
     Call me if you need a hem fixed.

Sister Seaman....aka Grandma to Kyson, Teag, Cash, Max, Zane, Noah, Ezra, Elijah, Jett, Ethan, Kortney, Kenz, Mattie, Chloe, Livi, Brookie, Ellie, Macy, Mikael, Avy, and Sailor


     Well, another transfer has come and gone, and 12 good old friends have completed their missions and gone home.  It tears me up a little for a day or two but I get over it as I start to see their facebook posts show up with them getting back to their lives.  But I hope I never forget them or the sacrifice that they made.  They are outstanding people.
     Speaking of sacrifice, can I tell you about a missionary that is still here but barely.  His name is Elder Burke.  I was asked by the nurse the other day to take him to the doctor up in Liberty.  He and I rode in the mission truck and we talked.  He told me that he was sick and had been for some time and couldn't shake it. He had come down with a rattley old cough due to an infection in his sinus.  He said that he has Lupus and that he had spent several months prior to his mission just getting his health good enough to serve.  That delay makes him older and more mature than most of the new missionaries.  Because of the Lupus, and the medication he takes, his immune system does not work.  He catches everything.  What is he doing serving in the mold and mildew capital of the mid-west??
     The doctors have poked and prodded him and have decided that he must surgery on his sinus to open him up and dry him out.  The decision will be made in the next few days to either send him home or do it out here.  He wants to stay and finish his mission.  He is a good boy.  He is quiet and obedient and doesn't complain. His health is dwindling and he is becoming weaker by the day.  He has pneumonia now.  We think they may have hospitalized him this weekend. 
     Now I ask you, do you make this kind of sacrifice?  Do you have this kind of desire to serve?  He is my hero. 
     The thing is, there are many of the missionaries here serving with handicaps and impairments.  They do so out of love and obedience for and to the Savior.  They shame me and my pitiful service.  Where do they all come from?  They come from homes like yours, my dear daughters.  They have had mothers who have taught them and given them vision and faith and courage in the face of some mighty tough trials.  They have taught them to pray and read the scriptures.  And then sent them on their way. 
     Sacrifice brings the blessings of heaven.  I find great joy in serving with the missionaries here and it is a great honor for me to serve them and with them.  I pray that your children, my grandchildren, will be these kind of missionaries.  I love you all so much.  See you in a few.

Elder Seaman


1 comment:

  1. How thankful I have been over the years for those big old black plastic bags!!! I know they have on occasion been a pain for people to handle the transferring of those said bags (i.e. Papa or Jordy or Jace or Caitlin...ect Hahaha). I appreciated this view of the mission. People willing to help each other out. Sacrifice of money and fashion. It seems that when people focus on serving the savior those silly things become not as important.
    Thank you for the story of the sweet sick missionary. It makes me want to be better, more willing to submit to God's will. Surely he will be blessed for his sacrifice, as will you guys.