It was wonderful to hear his voice. He shared with us some of his experiences, how he learned so much as a Zone Leader, learning to rely on the Spirit to guide him. He counseled our family to make time for the temple, learn about the blessings of the temple, and stay focused on it.
We all loved talking to him, and can't wait to get to talk to him next week for Mother's Day (he is allowed to call home on Mother's Day and Christmas). I don't know if he will be able to Skype, or just call. It depends on the area he is in.
He told us that in some of the areas in Samoa, he will have to wash his clothes by hand.
We are so excited for him. I miss him so much. I was in tears praying for him last night, but I am so proud of him and his dedication and worthiness!
Here is what I wrote to him tonight:
Part of my heart is with you, and will be going clear across the ocean. I am SO proud of you. You are an amazing person who I feel so grateful to have been a mother to. The best Mother's day present I will get on Sunday is knowing that you have chosen to dedicate two years of your life to serving the Lord. My boy is a missionary!
"Consecrated missionaries are not content with just conforming to the mission rules. They are not servants who must be commanded in all things. They work with zeal and do 'many things of their own free will' to accomplish the Lord's work.
They are not satisfied with a reasonable effort, but work to the very limits of their strength. They understand that success comes after the trial of their faith, often at the last minute, or at the last door, or at the end of a long and exhausting day.
When missionaries are fully consecrated, they forget themselves. They do not look back to their former lives. They are not casual or frivolous because their hearts and spirits are entirely turned toward the glory of God and the well-being and salvation of others.
Total consecration to the Lord will enable you... to call down the powers of heaven."
I love you!
And from Bob:
"I wanted to add a thought I had as I read the letter from your mom. I hope you remember, although your mission must be a personal consecration that you give to the Lord, it is not a consecration that you give alone.
In support of your consecration we also consecrate time, income, prayers and our dear son. And we do it because we love the Lord and know that without Him nothing matters in the eternal sense anyway.
We love you and love the opportunity to consecrate with you to this wonderful work.
Work your tail off and always keep the wheels moving so the Lord can steer you.