Thursday, August 23, 2012


by Debi

Greg and I have had our mission call now for four months.  Every where we go the subject of our mission comes up.  When we tell people that we are going to Africa on a mission for our church they get very excited.  The first words that come out of everyone’s mouth are “YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT!”

After a few minutes of discussion, I find out that they have never been to Africa and they have never served a two year mission as a senior couple.  It is usually an aunt that went to Africa or a business associate or sometimes even someone in their ward. 

Now I love a positive mental attitude but this is almost ridicules.  Greg and I decided that the Church has sworn everyone to secrecy that has served in Africa.  When a missionary is about to go home they probably make a pledge not to tell of all of the problems because no one would ever go there again. 

This is a typical scene from a market place in Ghana

This is the question that I have been asking myself the last few months, “How can I love a place when everyone I love is not there?”  Now, that is the real question.  I will go and I will serve but my heart is breaking right now.  Every time I see one of my grandkids and give them a hug my mind goes to that very question.  How can I leave?  How can I keep my heart from breaking? 

The only solution that I can find is to fall in love with the people that I am going to serve.  I need to get up to my elbows in service.  When you serve someone you learn to love them.  I am praying every day that I will have the pure love of Christ for everyone I meet.  I need to look into those beautiful African children’s faces and give them all the love I have for my grandchildren.  In other words, I need to lose myself in the service of my brothers and sisters of Africa.

School lunch for the children - doesn't it look yummy!

Then after two years I am sure that I will say, “Oh, you are going to Africa?  YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT!”


  1. Thanks for sharing your blog! I will love checking on you over the next two years! We have had a few senior couples from our ward serve in Africa on missions and yes, it is hard and real challenging but they do come back and say they loved it because of the very reason you wrote about. They served and loved God's children in Africa. I know you will give your all and I am proud to be your sister! Love ya, Jyl

  2. choked me up. I don't know how you are going to do it, but I don't know how you raised 8 amazing kids either... you just will (and you will be amazing!!) plus think of all the people you have praying for you!!

  3. Carter, my awesome husband served his mission in Africa for two years, and he LOVED it!! If you ask him, only the elected get to serve and love the people if Africa. You are going to be such a great tool in the Lords hand. The quote on my mirror is "We can do hard things!" And I KNOW you of all people can do hard AND great things!! Sure love you! Can't wait to follow all of your adventures! Carter is jealous of you! :)