Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Last emails from Mom and Dad

Sydnee ( Sister Johnson)

Wow, we have been thinking about this all week. We were filling out our weekly planner and then we got to Aug 11th. We are questioning being on a mission right about now!!!!

I'm thinking about the first email I sent and the flood of emotions I felt as you embarked on the mission. I was bursting with love and (parental pride) which means righteous pride as Ammon taught. Little did I realize how much that would grow. As I have followed the weekly trials and successes I have felt and witnessed the love you have gained for the Savior and our Father in Heaven. I feel of your trust in them and their trust in you. I love the words of the Scriptures that teach us we can become "favored" to the Lord. I hope you are personally feeling this way right now. Yes, we all carry our weaknesses, but when we are moving in His direction with full purpose of heart, we are in His care.

I'm excited to hear from you and see how this last week has gone. I always get something from your emails that inspires me for the coming week. I'm hoping and praying that the reasons for your being where you are for a short time will be evident prior to your leaving.

Mom and I have been getting as much ready for your return as we can. Assignments have been made and everyone is helping out. We are wanting it to be special and hoping you will be okay with us not being there in person. We often feel bad about this. It was not our initial intention and as it nears we feel the pain of this distance. I also have a witness that we were supposed to be here. Too many things have happened with people and circumstances that witness of this. However it has not always taken the worry and homesickness from our knowing we will be not be there.

We have arrangements with the Stake President to Skype or Face time in when you get your release. We also have the okay to do the same when you speak in church. Hopefully the kids are set up to have us do the same when you arrive in the Airport in SLC. I hope you can share this with us using this modern technology platform.....

One last thought. Elder Holland teaches us in  missionary training that there is power and miracles in the 11th hour. It is a sacred time in missionary work. The last door, the last street....and now the last week. You are at your best in both testimony, faith, obedience, abilities to teach and having the gift of the Holy Ghost to be with you. Use it all with all the energy of your heart so the blessings of the Eleventh Hour can be yours and to those you will touch.

I was thinking about the Hymn, "God be with you till we meet again." You will now experience this in a whole new light. Never again will the experience come in the same way, at the same time, and with the same people. You will say farewell to them. You will see some of them again, but without the sacred 'mantle' you have been clothed in. Now you will sing this hymn in your heart with other people in mind. It is not us or your home, but the labors in a strange land to strange people who have now become a part of you.
Good for you!!!!!  I pray with all my heart, that God will be with you as you leave the mission.
I know this work is true. I know it supersedes all other work. (Moses 1:39) I am so grateful to share it and to testify of the simple truth which brings salvation to all who embrace it. A mission brings it all into perspective. I love Heavenly Father with all my heart. I feel the same for the Savior and I can't imagine where I would be without the gift of the Holy Ghost. I know you know this too.

I hope you feel of my love for you. Always and forever….Dad


I can't believe that I am writing this final email to you as a missionary! I discussed with Dad the other day how excited I feel about your coming home. How can this be when we won't even be 
there? As we talked we realized that this is a celebration of a great accomplishment and that is why we can feel so excited about it. You have learned so much from your experiences. You have gained growth, understanding and empathy in a way that a mission can teach, because of your efforts to be obedient. You can feel so good about what you have done. You have gained confidence in yourself, that comes from a trust in your Heavenly Father, and an enabling power from Jesus Christ, as He has succored you in your challenges. 

I am so appreciative that I have been serving a mission along side you for these last ten months. I never would have had the same perspective as I do now. I can understand, in a clearer way, why a missionary, who has been faithful and dedicated to doing their best, comes home anchored more firmly in the faith. I have always seen missionaries go out and come home and report in church and been amazed in their transformation. Now I know what happens in the months in-between. The ups and downs, the emotions, the heighten weaknesses, the disappointments, the stretching, the love, the service, the connection, the change of heart. "Our Savior wants us to really love Him to the point that we want to align our will with His. We then feel His love and He can bless us as He wants to."

No one can ever take away from you this testimony that you have developed through your missionary service. It is like the Ten Virgins, and five were prepared with their oil when the Savior came. The other five tried to borrow some oil but it isn't the kind that can be shared. It must be earned. Your testimony has come as you have labored for it, and it will continue to grow and increase. 

I always love my children. They are such a blessing to me. I would love them no matter what, but l feel like the scripture in 3 John :4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
I am indebted to my Heavenly Father for the great blessing of the gospel in our family. I am grateful to parents, siblings, a good husband, children and grandchildren who are trying to do their best in being faithful. I have learned that, in a larger degree, as the three of us have served on these missions.

I can't wait to welcome you home! My arms will ache alittle for the want of encircling you in them, but my heart will be warm and happy. My gratitude is best described in Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over." My joy is running over with delight for the many blessings we all share.

Enjoy this last week to the fullest. I know you will have mixed feelings and tender good-byes. I am thinking of you!

Love, Mom

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