You know, we have been tried as of late. It stinks, it is hard, it may only get harder. I don't like it. I don't enjoy it. But there are times... or moments... or even just flashes that someday, it will all be ok. I don't know when, how or what that someday will be .... but, it will be SOMEDAY. That was affirmed tonight when I had the opportunity to go to my mission reunion.
WAIT! Before you get any pre-conceived notions about how that was or offer up any jokes about how stupid they are... you need to know that it was none of those things. My Mission President was just called as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. So, it was a wonderful opportunity to get to hear about his call and family and the experience they have had since the mission.
For those of you who have not served a mission, you need to know that a Mission President has a VERY influential and powerful influence over you during the time that you serve as a missionary. He knows you... WELL. You meet with him on a regular basis.. have personal interviews..write weekly letters and not only that, he has a direct calling to provide you with direction and revelation while you are serving in that mission. There was more than one occasion where I would sit in front of my Mission President, and before I could say A WORD about my troubles/challenges/trials/successes he would recite them to me and even tell me how I was FEELING about them. It was powerful/scary/real and intense to have that kind of relationship. Needless to say, it's unlike any other time in your life.
It was a joy to see his family and how they have grown. He was MY AGE when he was called as a mission president (I am in my 30s) and had young children... 8, 6 , 4 , and two... His wife then had twins (surprise) while they were on their mission. When I was a missionary, I thought that was amazing. Now, as a mother of almost four... I think that must have been HORRIFYING! Regardless, he handled his tenure with grace, love and amazing ability and each of us KNEW there would be a time when this call would be issued to him. You could feel it in your bones when he would address us from the pulpit in a meeting. We just knew.
Things haven't changed much. He is humble, powerful, unassuming and wonderful to listen to. He even shared some challenges that he and his family had faced during that time, that were unbeknownst to us as missionaries. My burden was somewhat lifted... knowing that he too (in all his righteousness and near-perfection) had challenges at times in his life. It was wonderful to speak to him personally and share a little of my life with him right now. To talk to him about Jaxon, and the blessings and challenges that provides for our family. He was understanding, and affirmed that there was NO MISTAKE in having Jaxon a part of our family and that children with special needs are very carefully placed in their families for very particular reasons. That He knew, we could handle it. This I know, this I know.
I am grateful for small but powerful reminders that we are being watched over. No matter how extreme the challenge. I am grateful for the time I had to spend with President Hamula in such a personal way..tonight, but mostly in the mission field. He admitted that it was and probably always will be one of his most cherished experiences in his church committed life. Thank you for small blessings. Thank you for inspirations. Thank you for letting my life cross paths with such a profoundly beautiful spirit. Thank you, I am grateful. Enjoy General Conference . And if you would like to hear Jim Hamula speak, he will be speaking in the Priesthood Session on Saturday night. (You can read it later here)