GUATEMALA CITY NORTH MISSION February 2010 - 2012
STAY STRONG AND KEEP THE FAITH ~ Elder Smith's Motto
"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." D&C 121:7-8

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Thoughts

I am part of an incredible Missionary Mom Email group whose sons are all serving or are about to serve in Central America. These moms have given me such support, comfort, words of advice, and a few laughs as well. It's so fun to read about their sons and daughters and to know that I'm not crazy with all my fears and worries, and also share in my moments of complete joy and pride.

One of them sent this video to all of us recently and it touched me deeply. I hope you will all feel a little more of the true Christmas spirit after watching it. Thank you for sharing, RaShel.



As we prepare as a family for Jordan's mission, we are all so humbled by our Savior's example. We love Him. We believe in Him. We are committed to serving Him. And we will Trust Him completely with our own precious son for the next two years. What a blessing and honor it will be for Jordan to minister among the people living in the lands where Christ once stood.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2 months from today

It's been 6 weeks already since Jordan received his call. 2 more months and we'll be saying our good-byes. I've been counting down years in school and summer vacations that he has left with us for so long and it is unbelievable that the countdown is now just a few more months. He had his mission photo shoot recently. This first picture is one of my favorites.Weird to think that this will be his everyday attire pretty soon. I'll admit it is a nice change from his usual basketball shorts, an extra long tee, and a headband. I'm glad he's been able to work at the bank for the past 6 months to get him used to wearing a shirt and tie all day long. They were nice enough to let me photograph part of it for his scrapbook/blog.

The photo studio had a gigantic framed portrait of Jordan's senior picture on their wall. I had to take a picture with Jordan to show it's size.

It was all touched up and made his skin looked flawless, his fingers looked almost fake, and then I took a close up because it's the only time that we'll ever see Jordan without his infamous Uni! He was mad they airbrushed it out.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday Missionary Style

Well we didn't get any christmas shopping done on the biggest shopping day of the year. After looking through all the adds, nothing really stuck out....except for a Mr. Mac ad for $50 off a Missionary package and 20% ECCO shoes.

We met up with Jordan after he got off work and got down to business. I had been researching Missionary clothing and shoes on-line for hours and had our list down. I figured we would have to hit at least 4 different stores for what looked like the best deals and the recommended styles/fabrics for his mission.

We were so happily surprised to find out that Mr. Mac actually carried ALL of what I had put down on the list (even though their on-line store doesn't). We got a great deal on the missionary package, 15% to 20% off everything else, and came out with about 80% of what Jordan needed.

Making sure the suit had enough room to allow for extra missionary poundage!

Hamming it up for the camera.....It's hard for Jordan to be serious for more than a few minutes. So happy to have found the Ecco Boots that we wanted there and on sale. He's going to be doing a lot of hiking in very rural areas so these are perfect.

This picture made it all seem much more real.

I'm bummed I didn't get photos of him picking out his ties. That was the best part of the shopping trip. Jordan certainly know exactly what he likes and has a fun sense of style.

So this is what we got to cross off the "To Buy" list:
1 two pant suit
10 short sleeve shirts
2 long sleeve shirts
8 slacks in black, gray, charcoal, and navy
2 belts
2 pairs extra sturday Ecco shoes
1 pair Ecco hiking boots
1 three in one raint coat
5 ties (Jordan picked ALL paisley, his favorite)
1 missionary shoulder bag
1 toiletry leather bag
1 shoe shine kit
And a partridge in a pear tree!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mission Call Day (by Mom)

I spent Wednesday morning in the living room so that I could watch out the window and spot the mailman. What a long morning that was!!! My mom was equally as anxious so we spent the time dusting the furniture, cleaning the windows and the blinds in there (all the while peeking out the window!) I accidentally pulled too hard and all the blinds fell down, but that's ok. Now I had a better view! It was a different worker than our usual cute lady and he was driving a white mini van instead of the usual mail truck so that was weird. But he had the mail and that's all that mattered. The second I spotted him across the street, I grabbed my camcorder and taped the whole thing.

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Oh my gosh!!!! My hands were shaking, my heart was pounding, and I even started sweating with all the emotions that were rushing through me. I spent the next little while texting, emailing, and calling everyone about the big news. Then we all had to wait 8 long hours to open it until Jordan finished his classes for the day and a shift at the bank. Nicole came over early to help me make cookies. I had found some fun mission countdown blocks at Pebbles and I bought both of us one. We decided to make them together to help pass the time.

As soon as Jordan was off work, we all met and went out to dinner and then headed over to BYU. He wanted to open it at his dorm because lots of his friends that wanted to be there didn't have transportation to our house. He and Ocho figured out how to do a live feed so they broadcast it on line for all our family and friends that couldn't be there. 8:09 was the chosen time for "Jordan's lucky number 9."

GUATEMALA, GUATEMALA CITY NORTH MISSION!

It was so much fun to have so much of our family there and all the little cousins too! Jordan is the first grandchild on both sides so it's been a long time since we've had a missionary in the family! Thank you everyone for coming, especially everyone with little kids. Also thanks for everyone who tuned in on-line and for all the messages received since then.

Just a couple amazing stories concerning his call:
1. We had about 75 guesses from family and friends. Not ONE person guessed Guatemala!

2. My mom was born and raised in Guatemala City and has a lot of family still living there that she keeps in contact with. They are not of our faith and it would be so cool if Jordan could visit with them and teach them the gospel in Spanish!!! Not sure yet if his mission actually covers the part of Guatemala city where they live, so we will see.

3. A little over three years ago, Jordan was working on his Eagle Scout project. A family friend was associated with the Guatemalan MTC president and he learned that many local Guatemalan missionaries enter the MTC there with just the shirt on their back and a plastic sack of belongings. That really affected him and he decided to collect white shirts and ties to be sent to the Guatemalan missionaries and future missionaries from the city for his project. Now he's going to that exact place to serve them personally and will be one of them!!!

4. During October 2009 conference, Brendan and I were watching the "in between conference specials" that are always a favorite part of conference for me. They did a whole thing on a service project in a rural town in Guatemala. Click here to watch it. We loved it so much. We said that we wanted to take a family vacation with Jake and Allison to that place and help with the humanitarian efforts while Jordan served a mission. Little did we know that the little town would be right in the mission that he was called to serve in one month later!

5. We just remembered that Jordan did his 6th grade country report on Guatemala. It was fun to pull out his display board and see his 12 year old handwriting describing a country that would mean more to his life than he realized at the time.
We know that the call was so inspired. Jordan is thrilled beyond words and couldn't stop shaking all night. His call has already blessed our lives and we are so thankful to our Heavenly Father. Jordan is in His hands now and we put our trust and faith in His wisdom to guide and protect our son as he prepares to devote the next two years in His service among these choice people! He reports to the MTC on February 10, 2010.
The following is the 10 minute live feed that Jordan did on his computer for friends and family that couldn't be there when he opened his call. Just click on the tiny link listed below. Then scroll down until you see the link again highlighted in blue and click on it to view. It's 10 minutes long. The actual opening of the call happens at the 5 min. mark Fast forward to then if you don't want to watch the whole thing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And So the countdown begins (by Mom)

And so the countdown begins... I've been on kind of an emotional rollercoaster this week. Ever since the day Jordan was blessed as a baby, I have thought about this time in the future when he would leave home for two years to serve a mission. It's a time I have tried my very hardest to prepare him for and prayed that it would have the desire and worthiness to serve.

College has been a great stepping stone for all of us. It's helped him learn personal responsibility unlike anything he could have experienced living at home. He's learned to prioritize his time, wash and iron his own clothes, and cook for himself...even if it is mostly microwaveable meals. It's helped me to let go a little bit (....just a little bit) and get used to not seeing him every day. This week his mission papers were submitted and we are waiting for his call to come either November 4th or 11th. It's such an exciting and rewarding time but it's also SO scary! Brendan said that it's a lot harder being on the parent side of things than it ever was for him as the missionary.

Everytime I think about the wheels being in motion already for this huge life changing event, tears well up in my eyes. He's my baby. My firstborn. My motherhood guinea pig. Oh, how I have messed up with him. But I hope he'll forgive me. But as wonderful as this time is, I have to be honest here....How am I going to survive on a weekly email and a bi-yearly phone call when I am used to texting back and forth every single day and talking several times a week? Where will he go? Where will be his home for the next two years? Will he be cold? Will he be too hot? Will he like the food? Will there be running water? Will the people love him and take care of him or will he have a hard time having anyone listen to their message? Will Nicole wait? Will he have carpet or dirt floors? Will he learn a new language? And if yes, will it come easy or will he struggle? Will he be safe? Will he follow all the mission rules? Will he get used to getting up at 6 am? Did we do enough to help prepare him?

Making the decision to have him come into our family was a time when I had to exercise the most faith ever and put it all in the Lord's hands. Again, I am standing at a heart wrenching crossroads. The Lord blessed me beyond my greatest expectations the first time and all I can do is have faith that all will go well again. Jordan came to earth with a specific purpose and I know that his mission is the beginning of many great things to come. I am so proud of who he has become and his preparation and willingness to serve our Heavenly Father. I'm grateful for his "I will go, I will do" attitude. He has been blessed with quite a charmed life and it's time to give back, help others, and thank our Heavenly Father.

But still I cry. Still I worry. Still I am sick to my stomach to start on this new and unknown path as a mother. Because you see, Jordan will always be my baby boy and it's hard to let go of such a precious little guy that just yesterday was learning to sing "I am a Child of God." (2 years old)

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