Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

As My Son Leaves to Taiwan . . . Gratitude

This week, my young son gets on a plane to Taiwan, where he'll spend the next 22 months of so sharing the Gospel with the people of that great nation. I'm very pleased with the experience he has had at the Missionary Training Center in Provo. Such wonderful, caring people.

A couple weeks ago he played the piano to accompany a female vocalist (another missionary) for a large devotional at the MTC. How delighted I was to receive a DVD in the mail with a professional-quality recording of the performance, including 3 different camera angles with smooth transitions. Sadly, I threw away the cover envelope before I realized what a personal, thoughtful gift had been sent - I somehow thought it was a standard CD or something that all parents got. No, someone went to the trouble of recording the performance, editing, and sending us a DVD of a performance by Elder Benjamin Lindsay and a sister. That's all that was on the DVD. Very thoughtful. Anyone know who I can thank? Yes, I'll call the MTC myself and ask.

I was also pleased with the whole structure of the program and the care that the Church shows for its missionaries. Thank you! We had one issue where we needed some personal help and were really happy with the caring attitude we encountered. I felt like neither my son nor us were just a number, in spite of the large numbers of missionaries that pass through the Center.

One tip for parents with missionaries in the MTC: DearElder.com is a marvelous way to get physical letters into the hands of missionaries quickly - for free (but please donate). My son told me that they have little time for email and that he really prefers physical letters since he can keep them around to read at leisure versus having to rush through an email during limited computer access times. DearElder.com combines the convenience of sending email with the tangible delight of physical letters: they print your letter in Provo and deliver it to the MTC. Nice! They can also send letters (for a slight fee) to other missions for you. They really made life a little nicer for both us and our son these past few weeks.

Now just 22 months to go! Meanwhile, I'm brushing up on my Mandarin in hopes of keeping up with my son - an optimistic goal.

14 comments:

Deila said...

My son leaves for Taiwan as well this Tuesday, for Taichung. I have used DearElder.com, and it has been very helpful to send a letter every few days, as that email session goes by all too quickly. I only wish I knew Mandarin to brush up on! Very exciting for them this week.

gentlyhewstone said...

Jeff, may I recommend using this site: http://www.mandarintools.com/lds.html.

I've learned a lot of useful Chinese from this guy's resources.

Papa D said...

We have a young man in our ward who has been in Taiwan for a little over a year. He loves it there. I'm sure your son will enjoy it, likewise.

Andrew T. Long said...

Mr. Lindsay, I must say congratulations on your missionary! I am very excited for you, your family, and your son. Missionaries have changed and blessed my life, as I am certain your son will do the same to others.

Again, congratulations, and may many blessings be upon your family.

God bless!

Tracy Keeney said...

What a thrill and a joy for you, Jeff! Our son is still 5 years away from his mission, but he's been gearing up for it since he was little. We also have 2 daughters that talk about missions as a possibility.
I know it's will be one of those paradoxical things for me when it's time for them to go-- worry and concern mixed with joy and excitement-- hopefully with a steady lean to the latter. :)
The talk surrounding letters is usually focused on how much the missionaries look forward to them and depend on them for support and strength. But I have the rather confidant feeling that the parents at home need letters from their missionaries just as much!
A scripture comes to mind..
"I have no geater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

Bored in Vernal said...

Congratulations on your missionary. Our daughter just got a call to Taiwan and will be going into the MTC in late January. The MTC is a wonderful place, and how nice that anonymous person was to send you such a lovely CD.

Emily M. said...

I think your son is in my dad's MTC branch--he's in the branch presidency there. He and my mom both commented to me this week on how great the districts that were leaving are. Good missionaries. I'm sure your son will have a great experience in Taiwan.

Bookslinger said...

You got at least 9 Chinese restaurants in Appleton. Are you going to (or have you) "seed" them with copies of the Book of Mormon?

When your son gets back, if he doesn't take off immediately for college, you can take him around to those restaurants (5 days, lunch and supper) and he can follow up with his perfect Mandarin skills.

Eileen said...

I am excited for you! It is interesting how our children's activities expand our horizons. When our son was in Japan, we learned about all things Japanese, from the culture to the language to the food. And the vicarious spirit you share as your son labors in the Lord's vineyard will truly enrich your household. What a sweet time in your life!

Jeff said...

Jeff,

That is really cool. I think that the focus on mission and the heart that is created on each assignment is special and is one of the things that is drawing me to the faith.

I'm going to a sacrament meeting this week for the first time. I want to thank you for the couple words of advice off and on over that last many months. The work you've done on Deut's "prophet test" verse was outstanding.

Any other suggestions are appreciated always.

Thanks again and congratulations on your son's mission. If he's anything like his father, he'll do your family and our Savior proud.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Good luck to him! What a great experience he'll have. My son got to conduct the music at a large convocation while he was at the MTC before going to the Philippines. Said he felt like a ROCK STAR!

Tianna said...

Wow! It's crazy that Ben is already on his way to Taiwan! Good luck trying to keep up with him and learning the language! ;-)

Maria said...

Hello, Mr Lindsay! :)

My name is Maria Shaw, I´m from Sweden, and I have been reading many things You´ve written.
I hope that I do not give a bad impression if I´d say that I would very much like to get in contact with you, for some questions and answers about "deeper" doctrines of the Church. I am debating with other Christians, and there are somethings I don´t know how to explain properly, and I am afraid to get into something that can cause doubts or damage of the Church if I dont sort it out...,
This I do not want to happen, and I know that You are "a good explainer" :)
I could ask somebody here in Sweden also, but maybe You do not mind helpìng me, I hope, as I am impressed of Your ability to express things so clear...

I am a member since 1985, I am 42 years old, and my Testamony about the Truth of the Church of Jesus Christ LDS, lives safely in the deepest of my heart, I love the Church, it is precious to me!

Please, I hope I´m not impolite, but I havent found any webside where I can otherwise write to You, and I am sorry for my stumbling English:)
Please, do not get offended, although I write to You in this way, in Your blog.

All my best!

Sinserely/
Maria :)

shaw.maria@gmail.com

Mormanity said...

Thanks, Maria. You can reach me at jeff at jefflindsay dot com. I've also sent email to your gmail account.