March 15, 2013

Be Good and Sing

Our family has been so blessed this week.  Our oldest son was called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He will be serving for 2 years in Sao Paulo Brazil!  We were beyond shocked when we heard this news.  We asked him to send a photo of his call before we were convinced. He wanted to open it privately in Rexburg, so he texted the news to us.  It made me a bit sad that he wanted to do this without us online or something, but I had to get over that.  I'm just grateful that he is worthy and willing to go.  He seems happy with his call.  I am thrilled.  I was totally expecting Ohio. It is not usual for kids with a history of ADD to get calls outside the United States.  They want them to have access to medication if needed.  Nathan only uses his medication on rare occasions.  He's pretty high functioning without it.  The church leaders may send you to Canada, but not Brazil.  It must really be 'meant to be' for our son to go to Sao Paulo.  He did get an extra interview and follow up call relating to his medication issue.  I'm sure they were just being careful. 

So now I'm obsessed with  finding out more about Brazil and it's culture.  We own the movie Rio.  You know the one with the blue parrot?  So I think that should pretty much cover things.  Oh and we have the soundtrack as well, so... we're good!  Its funny how many things start popping up that are Brazil-related once you start looking for them.  I looked online this morning to see when we could possibly combine a family photo shoot with my oldest before he leaves and found the Blue Lily photographers will be in Utah this summer.  I hope to combine a trip home at the same time that they are there. The Blue Lilys travel all over the globe and are just now posting photos from guess where? Brazil of course!  It was fun to see that.  Then yesterday I recalled that in the 5th grade, my friend Amy P and I did a report together on Brazil for the cultural fair.  I recall the little green and yellow Brazilian flags on toothpicks that we passed out. The half shelled out watermelon bowl her mom made for us to serve fruit from.  It was pretty classy with a zig zag cut edge.  I should have known that would have some future impact.  I don't ever recall studying or making hand-outs for Ohio or passing out buck-eye treats.  I told my friend that maybe I thought I heard the spirit whisper "Ohio" and it was just too noisy in my house to hear correctly.  "Sao Paulo" kinda sounds like "Ohio" right?  It's totally possible. 

(a pre-mission photo shoot below)

The night we got the word I was just so happy.  I could not stop thinking about what this would mean for our family.  The trials leading up to this week have been plentiful.  I think that is usually the way things go.  Satan works harder on us before a big blessing comes.  I was awake into the wee hours of the morning thinking about everything under the Brazilian sun.  Would my red head get enough sunscreen? Could/should he bring his violin? Would he have to drive in that crazy city? Would my baby get swept up in a Carnival parade and be forced to wear big puffy sleeves?  I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like that.  I got up an surfed the web a bit and that just gave my mind more things to wonder about.  I snickered like Stefon when I read that there would be a chance that my oldest would be doing his laundry by hand on a cement slab in the sink or possibly the river.  I could barely get that kid to put it from the washer to the dryer on his own.  So there is room for growth.  

And that is really the thing isn't it?  The growth?  He's going to  do some growing on his mission, our family will experience growth, hopefully the Brazilian people will experience the message of hope and grow from knowing my son.  He will be a wonderful asset.  He's charming and funny.  He has a testimony of the Gospel and he wants to choose the right.  From the time he was small and would push his little red trike around the block, he'd say on the hilly side "press forward saints!" I knew then he would serve this way someday.  However, he did used to complain about church from time to time and say "Church is the same thing each week the message is just 'be good' and then we sing.  Be good and sing be good and sing week in and week out"  So now as he gets ready to depart I will be sure and give him two bits of advise... Be Good. And Sing.  Because that is the thing right?  Just choose the right and then praise God and be happy.  Sing!  Be thankful.  Pay it forward.  Share what you know.  That's the singing part.  I pray that as he goes forward his song will be heard.