Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Everything Just Changed for Me
They talked about how now that we have the internet they can post training materials online and they have shortened missionaries' prep time in the MTC because there are just so dang many of them.
I was struck by the similarity of this time to the invention of the printing press which enabled Mormons to get the Book of Mormon out there. I realized that the general authorities not only embrace new technology and use it but they expect me to step it up because of the internet.
In the olden days it must have been like, "with our new-fangled printing press you can read the gospel YOURSELF with your own portable copy that you keep in your very own house!" And now they are saying, "Well, you're on Pinterest all day anyway so surf on over to LDS.org and start getting your kids ready for their missions."
I also heard that the general authorities were looking at data about how there are fewer divorces between couples who both serve missions. (To be clear, they were looking at when a sister missionary marries a guy who went on a mission. Ahem.) So they wanted more people to go on missions. They also noticed that the year boys usually wait until they turn 19 and can go on missions can be a tough and awkward one. All of this led to lowering the age. I think it makes sense.
During the little news feature between sessions, it hit me that my daughters should go as much as my boys should. Now, you know I'm a feminist and I would have always encouraged my girls to go. But I didn't go on a mission and it really is optional in my mind for girls to go. But I want my daughters to be the kind of women who would go.
There used to be this unspoken thing for women like, "go on a mission if you've got nothing else going on." I would never have said that. In fact I didn't even know I harbored thoughts like that until I felt my mind changing. But I realized that I'm going to prepare them all to go. That's my job now. 3/4 of my kids are baptized. This is the next thing we are doing.
Now that they leave younger, it has become more of a parenting task to prepare them to go. Know what I mean?
I know there are factors out of my control and that my kids are their own people. They might not end up going on missions. But I think serving a mission is the best thing for them—like nursing, a sleep schedule, being read to, having chores, getting braces, and making them do their homework is the best thing for them. Serving a mission is no longer a decision Maggie or Ellen will make as a young adult. It's something they will do as teenagers, when I am still in charge of them.
Everything just changed.