September 12, 2015
An Elder posed an interesting question to me yesterday. Since our male missionaries (Elders) serve for 24 months, and mission presidents (us) serve for 36 months, he wondered how we felt at the 1 year mark.
At the 6 month mark, missionaries will sometimes “burn” a tie. At a year, they will sometimes burn a white shirt (I refuse to tell you about the one who was wearing it when he lit the match….). This is their way of marking their service. Since we are serving for 36 months, the missionary that posed the question asked: “At the one year mark, did you a President celebrate, or did the two of you just feel bad that you still had 2 years left?”
Wow – how to answer that? I told him that we are fully aware of how much time we have left. I even know by percentages of time (I know, it’s just me). However, we can never dwell very long on that number or we become sad and start to miss home. So we usually mention it and move on quickly. Do we miss Oroville, family, and friends – you better believe it! But with all things that are tough, we try to just keep pressing forward. We will never burn a tie or a shirt, but we may kiss the ground we walk on when we return home!