I am loving General Conference this weekend.
New Ages for Missions!!!
The monumental announcement of the new age boys can serve is now 18. I have 3 boys, so that will affect me in different ways. What it might mean is 2 of my boys will be serving simultaneously for a time. My oldest will be 19 when he graduates from high school, he was planning on going right after school, which is unusual. But by the time he graduates it may be more the norm. A year later T2 will graduate and then turn 18, so he would have the choice of leaving then. Wow!
I wasn’t even thinking about the girls, so when President Monson continued on and announced they were changing the age of when girls can serve to 19 I was amazed. I felt the spirit and knew it was inspired. I started crying tears of joy. My husband and 12 year old were on a plane flying up to Utah for General Confrernce, so it was just me and my 14 year old and 6 year old and they were confused as to why this was such a big deal. But I really feel like it is!
I am not sure what I really think about the possible meanings of the new age for girls.
- Does it mean serving a mission is more important than schooling for young woman?
- Does it mean serving a mission may be more important than an early marriage for a young woman?
- Will this be a wonderful way to help young women make a successful transition into womanhood as active members of the church?
The answers probably would vary depending on the girl!
How I ended up as a missionary
- I am an only child.
- I started going to church with a friend when I was 15 (attended early morning seminary and everything.)
- I was baptized on my 18th birthday, because my parents wouldn’t let me get baptized so I had to wait.
- I graduated from college at 21.
- I had known I was supposed to go on a mission for awhile, but my parents were not supportive, so it took me a very interesting story and time to actually go.
- I finally left to serve a mission in Bordeaux France when I was 22 1/2.
My mission was life changing for me.
I wouldn’t have been able to serve at 19. I needed to finish school and be independent of my parents before I could go. But for many girls with supportive parents, a mission at 19 could be a wonderful option. I think the important thing to remember is that girls can still go when they are 22, they don’t have to go at 19. It just adds a whole new group of women.
Regardless of the age a young woman serves, the things she learns can help her as a mother. Obviously you don’t need to serve a mission to be a great mom! But it helped me.
I am excited more girls will have this opportunity.
What I learned on my mission and how it helps me as a Mom.
1. Boys are silly and gross. Before my mission, I was kind of boy crazy and I thought they were ALL wonderful ALL the time. Remember I am an only child, so I never saw the stinky side of boys. Let me tell you, I don’t know if it was the food at the MTC, but I experienced more farting than one could ever imagine. It was a shock.
Imagine the shock of being a wife and mother of boys if I hadn’t learned this. Instead my boys don’t freak me out that much.
2. I learned how to live with someone you don’t know at all and you might not choose to live with if you had the choice. (Just so you know, this is Sis. Nagel and she was my favorite companion ever, I would choose to live with her again for sure!)
I did chose my hubby. But I didn’t get to hand choose my children. One who shall not be named is not always the easiest person to live with. But I had learned on my mission how to be a little more patient/understanding and live with challenging people.
3. I learned how to teach with the Spirit. On my mission I had the opportunity to teach multiple times a week. I learned quickly that teaching with the Spirit is the way to go. Much more effective then on my own.
As a mom, the Spirit is my biggest help to me as I teach my children. It is the biggest help in pretty much any tough decisions I make regarding my children.
4. I learned how to deal with frequent changes. I have always been a very “boring” person. I get in a routine, I like it and I see no need to change. Life it good and safe that way. Well on a mission, you have changes at least every 2 months or so. A whole new person is dropped into your life, or you get a new person and a new city thrown at you simultaneously. It wasn’t comfortable or easy, but it helped me to grow. It more importantly helped me to learn how to be more open to change.
Mothering is a series of changes. As a mom just as you figure a kid out, he changes. Or you think, I got this discipline thing down, because xyz worked so well with T1, it will certainly work with the other boys. Well, NO. Each of my kids is very unique and I have to learn a new way for them too.
5. I learned how to chill out and relax. Maybe some people go and learn how to be more disciplined and dedicated. But since I was the lone convert in my house, I had to stand STRONG AND FIRM. Which made me a bit rigid. With support from companions, districts and zones, I didn’t have to stand on my own. I had support and it helped me to relax and it was good. (My husband who knew me before my mission agrees wholeheartedly with this. It was a good thing for me to relax.)
As a mom I sometimes have certain ideas of how I want things to go. Well, they don’t always go that way. (Actually they almost never go that way.) I know that I can chill out and relax on certain things. That in the end it will be OK.
Did you serve a mission as a young woman?
If you did –
Did you learn things that have helped you as a mom?
If you didn’t –
Do you wish you had?
Do you think you would have if the age was 19 when you were younger?
I am so excited for these new changes. I am not sure what it all “means”, but I know it was inspired of God!