These are all thoughts that went through my mind each time I watched one of my boys open their letter or "mission call" assigning them to the area they would serve for 2 years for the LDS church. These times have always left me with mixed emotions: happiness that they have met this goal, excitement that they are embarking on a life changing experience, but also sadness because I knew how much I would miss each of them.
When Jon opened his mission call, these feelings were especially strong. Hunter was home and there with us via Facetime and Wil was still in Japan. Three boys at three different points on the continuum. As I thought about this, I had the strongest impression that this is in a small way how our Heavenly Father felt as we left His presence to come to earth to gain a body and to be tested. To learn and to grow. To gain experience we could gain in no other way.
Do we write home or pray when times are good and not just when they are bad? Are we willing to heed the counsel He has given us through the scriptures and continues to give us through a living prophet and answer to our personal prayer? Will we diligently strive to return home to Him?
How joyous have been our reunions when our sons have returned home!!! Lots of tears! Lots of hugs! Lots of smiles and laughter! Lots of excitement as experiences are retold! How much more joyous will be the welcome we receive from our Heavenly family when we return there.