Well we received our Mother's Day call from Michael. He tells us he is really enjoying his time in Japan, and loves his companion Elder Bigger, and they are having a very good time right now in the Sapporo Mission. He believes that eventually, they may both be transfered back to the Sendai Mission as more areas are reopened. However, the areas surrounding Fukashima, and Mayagi Prefecture I'm sure will see limited missionary activity, until the most affected areas are rehabilitated, and rebuilt.
We had an enjoyable time talking to his as a family, via a speaker setup attached to my celphone, and then Mike had an opportunity to talk individually to Jeri, and I, his three older brothers, his sister Emily via phone, and the rest of the family, and shared alittle about his experiences recently. It was truly a feast as we listened to him describe some of his experiences, and tell us about some of the things that have happened. I think he got to talk to 18 people! This will be his last phone call till his return in seven months. It was a long drink of water!
Living a 1/2 mile from the ocean has been rather difficult for him, seeing that we've spent so much time down at the beach in So. Cal. And the smell of salt in the air is surely very enticing to he and his companion. He made us promise that as soon as he returned we'd make a trip to Huntington Beach. I doesn't matter that it will be Christmas time, and winter!
Everyone agreed that Mike has done a ton of growing up while out on his mission, and his focus has really shifted away from what he wants, to what is expected of him, and what the Lord expects of him, and we can really see that his experiences surrounding the earth quake have strengthened his resolve, have shown how truly the Lord really loves his missionaries, and the members, and how much the church thinks about its young servants.
We also recently sent a couple of pictures of Mike from when he was a baby to his mission, which was preparing a special Mother's Day gift for president Daniels' wife. Mike truly loves President Daniels' and his family, and is really enjoying his "vacation" in the Sapporo Mission.
We as a family are so grateful that the Lord has built a program that takes young, and older members of the church, places them in an enviroment in which they learn to grow intellectually, emotionally, as well as spiritually, and are able to learn to love others more than they love themselves. I recall reading the apostles saying that they loved the lord, Why? Because Jesus loved them first.
When I get an opportunity I'll transcribe some of what Mike sent us in his letter of letters, 19 pages!