When Eishelle turned 20, Bill and I felt like, wow, we have a 20 year old daughter. We’re old. How did this happen? I got so excited that in one more year, Eishelle will be going on a mission. To my dismay, she was not sure if she wanted to go or not. I thought it was a sure thing, that I will have my first child go and everyone will follow. Not. I was not thinking that she had a choice and that I should not force my missionary ideas to her. She had to decide for herself.
BYU – Idaho, I thought was destroying the missionary plans I had for my daughter. Everytime, Eishelle would call me, she tells me who got engaged and who is getting married among her friends. I would ask her, “How old are they?” Eishelle would excitedly tell me, “18 or 19. Some are 20”. She would not see, of course, but my jaw would drop. She would tell me she was dating some guys there and I was afraid she would be one of those girls that will be engaged soon.
Then came a young man into her life, Kelvin. He was her high school classmate and was a non-member of the church. They dated and since he does not know the standards we live as members of the church, I was a little scared. I was not ready for this. All the fears of a mother filled my mind. She is now 20 and she has her own life although she still lives with us. I got all the “what if’s” in the world. This mother prayed and prayed and prayed and fasted a couple of times. Then daddy came in the picture: “if she wants to date him, he has to come to the church and meet up with the missionaries”. I think Eishelle’s interest in becoming a missionary was rekindled when she would be there when Kelvin was being taught in our house or wherever. She would share her testimony at the end of the lesson too. She must have felt the missionary spirit. Well, after several lessons with the missionaries, Kelvin got baptized. Thanks to Elder Campbell, Elder Mun and Elder Anderson.
One time, I was assigned to teach a lesson in one of our women’s classes called Relief Society about missionary work and Eishelle was there that morning to listen and support her mom. After the lesson, she said, “Mom, I want to go on a mission”. I was the happiest mother in the world. My fasting and prayers have been answered. She said she prayed about it and nothing will change her mind now. I was like, “YES!!!!”
Eishelle went back to college in her 4th semester, I think, now with Danielle who will be a freshman in BYU-Idaho. This was fall of last year. She still dated some guys, told me about them and at the end of the conversation, she would always mention about going on a mission. She filed her mission papers and when the semester was over, Eishelle and Danielle flew back home and we were just waiting for the mission call to come.
Danielle, on the other hand was not too much drama. Seems like she was very fixed with her decision to go although she dated a couple of guys too. I guess she just didn’t have time for that drama thing because of October’s General Conference. These general conferences comes every 6 months (April and October) and during these conferences authorities of our church will speak and give us updates, talks, inspirations and so on and so forth – anything that will help us improve our lives kinda’ thing. The president of our church, who is President Thomas S. Monson, spoke about changes in the ages of missionaries. This is how he said it:
“Brothers and sisters, I now turn to another matter—namely, missionary service …
I am pleased to announce that effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will—or should—serve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available.
As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21.”
When I watched and heard this over BYUTV, my heart leaped for joy. I said, “Danielle can apply now and go, she will be 19 in 4 months.” I had to text her right away and this was how our conversation went: This got all of us excited that we were crying. Even my younger children got so excited that they were counting their fingers on how many more years for them. Pres. Monson is so inspired. And so it was, both Eishelle and Danielle are going on a mission. The plan now was that after they come home, Eishelle will just wait for her call and Danielle complete her mission application. Both of them are not going back to BYUI at this time.