This morning a mother from California called to let us know her husband had passed away. One of her sons is serving in our mission, the other son is serving in the Pocatello Idaho Mission. Our missionary still has 11 months left on his mission. His brother was due home just after Christmas. Both are staying to finish their missions. As our missionary stated after I let him know his father had died, "I know that the plan of salvation is real, and where my father is, I need to stay out here and teach more people about it." He further stated that this past week he has been the best missionary of his mission, buoyed up by the spirit and his personal knowledge that Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World made it possible for all of us to overcome sin and death. This Elder is an amazing human being. He is resilient in Christ. He is elect!
My mind went immediately to the acts of the apostles of old who withstood persecution, physical ailments, doctrinal challenges, death of loved ones etc...yet they endured. Paul wrote to the Romans about this experience.
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The state of Utah sends thousands of missionaries out to the rest of the world every year. Some of the prospective missionaries may have a slight mental or physical disability which may limit them serving outside the states. When a stake president has a concern over their ability to serve, these missionaries are called to serve in one of Utah's 11 missions as "two-transfer" missionaries. They come to our missions to serve for 12 weeks. Some go home after 12 weeks having completed their missions with honor, some get called to serve for 21 months after their 12 weeks here in Utah.
This week was special. One of our "two transfer" missionaries received her endowments. She served for 12 weeks and touched many lives. She came to Ogden to receive her endowments with her family and her companions and those she got to know here.
Two other missionaries received full time mission calls Thursday night. Their families came to the mission office and we opened their calls together. Tears were shed, gratitude offered. One was called to serve in our home mission...Ventura California. He was excited and so were we. The other was called to serve in our mission. We were all surprised. I believe he was a bit disappointed but we are glad to have him.
We are also associated with many young service missionaries who aren't able to serve full time missions. They labor in the canneries, Deseret industries, family history centers etc. we had a combined missionary meal and devotional with them which was such a sweet meeting. The spirit was profound as we joined with the disabled to share testimony, sing praises to God and worship our Savior Jesus Christ.
Days are becoming weeks, weeks are becoming months. The past couple of weeks our family felt the pangs of homesickness. We love our mission, but we miss our neighbors, friends and ward family in Newbury Park. More than a few tears have been shed by the Jaggi family as we contemplate the blessing so many people are in our lives.
We love the 142 young missionaries and 100 senior missionaries in the Utah Ogden Mission. The senior missionaries especially have been angels in the field. Many are serving their 2nd or 3rd missions. They work from home and serve in so many ways. We are amazed at their faith, perseverance and dedication to preaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
We've welcomed many new missionaries, said goodbye to a few. The work is hard and fun. We love Ogden!