Our morning started quite early this morning. Actually I am not sure I even slept very much last night. I was too worried about missing the phone ring because today was one of the days that parents of missionaries look forward to - the phone call from the airport.
I will admit that while I was excited to talk to Hunter, and yes I didn't sleep much the night before either, it wasn't with the same anticipation that I had to talk to Wil. I am sure it had something to do with Hunter being in the MTC for only two weeks, while Wil has been there two months. Also, Hunter had been away at school the whole year before and I was working, so I knew he was gone, but it wasn't the daily quietness of a house sans Wil that I face now.
So I was prepared with my list of questions, went to bed and made sure the alarms were set, turned up the volume on the phone just in case, woke up on my own at 3:30 AM, had everyone else assembled by 4:30 AM, and then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. Wil had indicated he would call between 4:30 and 5 AM since the flight out of Salt Lake City was at 6. By 5:15 we were all getting a little anxious and by 5:25, we were about to give up hope. Then the phone finally rang. Seems like in the two months time at the MTC, Wil managed to forget our area code. He had to call directory assistance to find us and since our number is not listed, it meant Grandma got a very early surprise phone call. Too bad I wasn't prepared and filming as all this was explained, because the eye rolls and head shaking was so priceless.
Needless to say, the conversation was very short, because by the time he reached us, they were boarding his flight. We did get to say we love you and he told us he loved us, so while all the questions may not have been answered, the important things were said.
Another result of all this is that I have been thinking a lot this morning about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, specifically about prayer and the atonement.
Just as our family prepared to talk to Wil by making a list of questions, arising early, and in the case of his girlfriend - driving many miles; all our efforts could have been for naught if the call had not been received. How often I wonder does our Heavenly Father sit waiting for us to reach out to Him. Just as we were prepared with encouragement and love for Wil as he left for Japan, our Heavenly Father is waiting to give us love, support and council through life if we but put forth the effort to make that connection through prayer.
As parents, Rick and I include our desires for our children in our personal prayers. Whether it be for help during finals, overcoming a personal struggle or protection while travelling; we have faith that Heavenly Father is listening and that His Will will be done. We do this for our children because we love them. Yet I know that the love I have for my children pales in comparison to the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for each of us. The greatest prayer of intercession was offered on our behalf by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Through His efforts, I know that I will be resurrected and that I can repent of my sins and have eternal life.
This is the message that Wil, aka Elder Wixom, is taking to share with the people of Japan. It is a message of service and love. It is a message of hope and comfort. It is a message of peace.