Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Micronesia; Chuuk and Pohnpei, Places in the Heart
Kevin opened his mission call on December 14, 2009. When he read his letter to us and said the words "Micronesia Guam mission" I said, "Where is that?" Several other people who were there expressed thoughts about where they thought Micronesia was, most of them not correct. It is amazing how much one can grow to love a culture and the people there. Kevin learned to love the people there as he labored and served among them. He learned to adjust and embrace a lifestyle that was very different than the one he grew up in. I learned to love the people as he shared their stories with us. Upon returning home, Kevin had several items with him. These items were gifts from the families he had worked with and loved. They were people that Kevin now considers part of his family. He told us the story of visiting a family to say good-bye a few days before he left. They were very sad that they had no food to offer him though he told them repeatedly that he did not need food. Suddenly the lady got up and got something out that was wrapped up and obviously treasured. It was a pair of carved earrings. The woman asked Kevin to please give the earrings to his sister as a gift from her. Kevin tried not to take the earrings but the family insisted. Several times throughout his mission I took Kevin's camera cards, had the pictures made up, and sent the pictures to him. He would then give the pictures out. It touched me to see one of the pictures I made up of Kevin with one of the locals hanging on the wall next to the Savior with a special wreath around it. That picture can be seen on this blog several posts back titled "God Be with You Till We Meet Again". It is amazing to me how a place that I had never heard of can now be so special to me in just a two short years. I am grateful that Kevin was called to the Micronesia Guam mission and for the love that the people there showered upon him. I am grateful for the mission program that our church has. Yes, it is hard to let your son go for two years, but what our family gained from it was worth the sacrifice. I look at how strong my son has become in the gospel, the love he has developed for people that live in a place that I did not even know existed a few years ago, the love that many of those people have for him, and the lives he changed for the better as he taught the gospel and helped in many other ways and I know the sacrifice was worth it.