KARA: "You’ve got an LDS missionary son serving in another part of the world. Talk about him, where he is serving, and tell us what it’s like to be a missionary mom."
WENDY: "Being a missionary mom... WOW! I never thought this could be so hard and yet rewarding at the same time! My son Casey has served a mission now for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for one year on January 14th of this year. I can't believe it has been a year already, it has flown by for us here at home as well with him! He is serving in the Colombia Bogota South Mission and is currently in a city called Ibague'. He has learned Spanish and has mastered the language, it seems so cool to hear him speak!!
When he got his mission call I was scared because you hear "Colombia" and you think drug cartel and when we looked it up on the internet it had said that in the mid 90's Colombia was ranked number 4 of the most dangerous countries in the world! I had to look inward and find the strength and faith to turn him over to the Lord for two years and trust the Lord to protect him.
He has told us of missionaries in his zone that have been robbed at gunpoint and that there are places that they are not allowed to go or they will be shot. For some reason I have been at peace with this and know that he will be safe as long as he is obedient to the rules. I have never cried so much and have had sleepless nights of worry though.
We were able to talk to him at Christmas which was nice although the phone kept breaking up. We did have a nice surprise about a week before Christmas. I had a message on my phone from a man who had recently returned from Colombia from a business trip and had a package for us from our son Casey. I stood in my kitchen crying. I called him and found out that he lived in Provo, so I had my daughter, who lives in Orem, go and pick it up for us. She brought it up on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning we opened it and found lots of little souvenirs, coins, and some camera files. We stuck them in the computer and he had videos that he had made showing us his house that he lives in and everything you could think of. He spoke nearly 45 minutes, talking and bearing testimony of what he was doing, then to my surprise he said this through his tears, "I would like to extend my mission if that's okay with you, I love all of you, but I need more time, more time to serve my God!" This did not phase me, that is so Casey!! I could never be so proud of him and how could I tell him NO you can't stay, that would be so selfish on my part! I told him on the phone to go ahead and put in the request for the extension and I hope he gets it and I will support him 100%!
He loves the people and the work that he is doing, he has had great success and is lost in the service of the Lord, I wouldn't want him anywhere else right now than out serving the Lord!!"
KARA: "Wow, Wendy, as the mom of a previous missionary, I know how hard that would be to hear that your son wants to stay longer than 2 years! But, I also know that there is no better place for him to be."
KARA: "What are your goals for the New Year? How will you reach those goals?"
WENDY: "Probably the most common one everyone says, lose weight!! I would like to lose about 30 pounds, though, and to accomplish this I would like to walk, I love walking. The problem is time, isn't it? We never have enough time, but I know that is just an excuse!!
I also would like to have better control over my thoughts, no I'm not thinking bad thoughts. I tend to misjudge people and think wrong of them until I get to know them better and then I feel bad later. I feel that I should be better about thinking positive about others and look for the best in people."
Tomorrow, Wendy will talk about some of the trials she's been through, and also about what inspires her! Also, I'll be posting a slideshow of Wendy and her family tomorrow morning. Please come back.