Who are we?

We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are currently serving in the mission field of The Church
for a period of three years. This blog represents our own opinions and experiences for these three years. And does not represent or speak
for the doctrine or opinions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Mission President's Wife . . .

I'm grateful for those "Mission President's Wives" who give us a glimpse into all the thought and effort that goes into the calling of serving alongside your husband in the mission field.  I was recently reading this great example (Just Part of a Day's Work) from Sister Sandy Trayner, who's husband presides currently over the Texas McAllen Mission. 

You can read more in their blog - but here are Sister Trayner's thought that are just 
"part of her day's work"!





 Many times, I  have been asked the question, "So what is it that you do?"  I try not to be offended by the question. Honestly, I never have a spare minute, I am never "caught up" with anything, and I have cheerfully "put on the table of sacrifice" (for a time) many things that I would have been doing if we had not received the call to serve. Although is it difficult to describe a day in my life, I feel that occasionally some people have a perception that the wife of a mission president just doesn't have much to do except follow her husband around and take pictures.

Not true 

   I have decided to try to describe what may be the impossible- some of what it is that I do. It is important to remember, however, that what I do is not necessarily what the wife of another mission president does. As a couple, each president and his wife- together- find their own way to get the work done.  I am grateful that I hold a calling that was issued specifically to me. My husband was called and set apart and I support him. I was also called and I was also set apart as a missionary to serve as the wife of the mission president. I know that I am entitled to my own inspiration and guidance for my calling. Every day, I do my best to fulfill my calling and the responsibilities that come with it. We learned very quickly that our callings do not come with specific job descriptions, but there are needs that must be addressed regularly. 

   One thing that I do is spend a lot of hours talking on the phone and receiving and sending a lot of text messages and a lot of e-mails, mostly about health issues with the missionaries. Unless another arrangement has been made, the mission president's wife receives the responsibility to watch over the physical and emotional health of all of the missionaries in the mission. Although I think that I was usually successful doing this with my own five children, it can be daunting to think that I am dealing with 170+ at one time. The Lord has blessed me. I have felt His guidance many times as I have  tried to help a missionary. Funny thing, I have learned to say the word "diarrhea" a lot without flinching, even from the podium in Zone Conferences. I have taught so many
missionaries what the BRAT diet is that I could now teach it in my sleep. I have dealt with dehydration, coughs, allergies, rashes, broken bones, constipation, tumors, heartburn, so many rolled ankles that I couldn't begin to count them, migraines, broken front teeth, many, many ingrown toenails, fevers, road rashes, concussions, aching backs, dog bites, depression, congestion, surgeries, anxiety, the flu, known and unknown viruses, cuts requiring stitches, fatigue, dizziness, sprains, stomach aches, hypochondria  etc., etc., etc. I am the one who helps each missionary find a doctor to visit when needed. I enter health information in a computer. I prepare health lessons and teach about good health practices at Zone Conferences and at other missionary meetings. 


   May I add that when it comes to the health of the missionaries, I'm especially grateful for the help of four people who answer my calls. First to our AMA (Area Medical Adviser), Dr. Bourne (retired) and his wife. Elder and Sister Bourne are full-time missionaries based in Houston and serve many of the "southwest" missions.  They are always available to me. Second, to Bishop Mendez, P.A., who is one of only a handful of medical personnel who belong to our church and live within our mission boundaries. He serves the missionaries without a complaint and helps me keep the missionaries on their feet. Third, to my son Nate, who is an emergency room physician in Dallas. He is willing to offer support and advice. He has even occasionally been known to speak with a missionary over the phone. Fourth, to Brother Russell, from LDS Social Services. Brother Russell is based in Houston and makes many phone calls and treks south when needed. Thanks also goes to the great nurses that answer the phones in the missionary department's Missionary Medical. They are always a source of encouragement for me.  


It's just part of my day's work!
I am grateful to serve-
 For it is true that those whom ye serve, ye love.


   Another thing that I do is help my husband train missionaries. This is my "most favorite"! I attend meetings (with the Assistants to the President and my husband) where we plan what we will teach.  I study (a lot!) and I pray (a lot!) to prepare myself to teach to the needs of the missionaries.  I teach in Leadership Training meetings, in training meetings for new trainers of missionaries and new District Leaders, and I help train new missionaries.  I participate in Zone Conferences and Zone Leader Councils. I teach whenever and whatever the Spirit directs me to teach. In nearly three years, I have completely worn out my copy of "Preach My Gospel."  I love teaching missionaries! I love seeing the individual growth of each missionary as he/she applies what has been taught.






It's just part of my day's work!
I am grateful to serve-
 For it is true that those whom ye serve, ye love

   Another thing that I do is speak. I give talks in English and I give talks in Spanish.  I speak in Stake Conferences, Sacrament meetings, and firesides.  I study (a lot!) and I pray (a lot!) to prepare myself for the speaking assignments. In this mission, we probably don't spend as much time speaking to congregations as other mission presidents because we have a smaller number of members than most other missions. Still, we speak, and we speak together. My husband is good about letting other priesthood leaders know that I am his companion, and because of that, I speak.  I have always enjoyed speaking and now I do it more than I ever dreamed I would.


It's just part of my day's work!
I am grateful to serve-
 For it is true that those whom ye serve, ye love

   Another thing that I do is cook a lot. Although most people probably would say that I'm a good cook, this is not my most favorite activity. It is difficult for me to spend 2-3 hours preparing a large meal and then watch it disappear in 30 minutes. Maybe I feel this way because I am an Interior Designer. When I work on a project, I intend for it to be appreciated for years. That's not what happens with a good meal. I am, however, very grateful that I can cook. I give thanks to my mother for her example and teaching. My mom's a great cook, as was her mother.  Also, associated with a  lot of  cooking is a lot of grocery shopping. I think that shopping can be fun when it's more than filling full two carts of food at Sam's Club. Give me two hours and unlimited resources at a good mall and I'm very happy. Sam's Club grocery shopping is hard work- I load the carts with lots and lots of groceries, unload lots and lots of groceries at the register, reloadlots and lots of groceries into the car, and then unload lots and lots of groceries again at the mission home- often filling two refrigerators to the max.





It's just part of my day's work!
I am grateful to serve-
 For it is true that those whom ye serve, ye love

    Another thing that I do is travel. We travel a lot, but it's not vacation travel. We travel in a noisy blue minivan- perhaps we should have a secret hope that driving the minivan will help us feel young again! From most points in our mission, it is a three hour one way trip. We travel from McAllen to Corpus Christi (and back again), from McAllen to Laredo (and back again), from McAllen to Harlingen, and then to Brownsville. Sometimes we travel to Roma, to La Joya, Rio Grande, Alice, and Beeville.  Traveling is an essential part of what we do. I wish that I could say that I get a lot done while traveling. Unfortunately, I must admit that the thing that happens most is that I nap. 


It's just part of my day's work!
I am grateful to serve-
 For it is true that those whom ye serve, ye love

   I love what I do! The day is soon approaching that I will not have the same opportunity to give service in this capacity anymore. I will miss it a lot! I am reminded of King Benjamin's words, 
"...if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants."  (Mosiah 2:21)



   I love my Heavenly Father and I love the missionaries in the Texas McAllen Mission a lot! I will do all that I can to serve them. So what is it that I do? Simply put- Not enough.