Sunday, November 15, 2015

Field Notes

By Beckie Carlson

The last two years have been very memorable in my life. I had a daughter get married, I started a new career, I completed two Masters programs, and one of my sons served a mission. All of these events taught me lessons. Some of them included time management, patience, and strength, but the biggest lessons I have learned have come in the last week from my newly returned missionary.
A little background is needed. My son is incredibly smart. He is right up there with his dad the rocket scientist. He is the one I would go to for help with math, finances, science, computers, etc. I truly missed his wisdom while he was gone the last two years. He was also a bit self centered, lazy, and not interested in the affairs of others. I prayed that his mission would help him learn to love others and to be more compassionate.
I am here to say that prayers are answered. The boy that I watched get on a plane twenty four months ago was not the man that I saw come off the plane four days ago. He is strong, confident, loving, and a spiritual giant. I understand now the parts of the Book of Mormon when they wrote that words could not utter the feelings of joy. My joy was full.
My missionary has taught me many things since he has been home. Here are a few of them;
Being busy is good. Idleness is just the opportunity to lose your focus. Be anxiously engaged in a good cause at all times.
Confidence comes through effort. He was a super shy kid. He is still uncomfortable talking to strangers, he says, but he talks to people where ever we go and shows genuine interest in them.
Don't assume. Just because his siblings might not have attended church in months doesn't mean he won't ask them to come today and actually succeed.
Less is more. Being a missionary is a practice in frugality. He wants very little and feels guilty for the things I buy him. (I'd love this to rub off on all my kids!)
Heavenly Father loves his children more than I ever could. This was an important one for me. I have friend that I feel responsible for. I feel I have to keep trying to help them, regardless of the way it destroys me at times. It's okay to let them go. Heavenly Father won't. He will keep trying to help them.
He didn't come home to judge or fix us, but his example is already making waves. I love having him home!! He is talking about going to the YSA ward and I want to say NO! Stay with me! But I know his life is before him. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. I love what missions do for these young men!


  1. How exciting! My son is the brainiac of the family too, and it will be hard when he leaves us- but he's only 11, so I have time to prepare. So glad the mission has wrought such beautiful changes in the life of your son and your family. :-)

  2. Thank you for an uplifting read. I love the changes that happen to young people on missions...if only every kid would take that opportunity and run! What a blessing. I'm so happy for you.

  3. My daughter leaves for her mission in two weeks. I'm sure it will help her but it's hard for me to let her go. I'm happy for your joyful reunion with your missionary!

  4. Sounds like he has grown so much in 24 months and I can imagine how proud you are of him

  5. What a wonderful sharing of how God grew up your son! As parents, we all wait to see good character traits emerge in our children. You are blessed!



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