With so many family and friends coming to support Sam as he was speaking, we wanted to spend some time visiting with everyone, hence the Taco Bar. Besides having more food that we probably needed because of the generosity of so many friends and family, we were blessed to be able to visit for a few hours and learn of some written advice they had for Sam as a missionary. I thought I'd share a few here anonymously. Feel free to add your advice to theirs in the comments.
"Work HARD - the Lord is on your side - and remember to ENJOY the journey!"
"It's so cool that you literally get to be the Lord's partner in bringing souls unto Him! Forget yourself and go to work and I know you will be successful. I'll be praying for you!"
"When you have a hard day of any kind, remember oh remember your Heavenly Father is mindful of you AND your Savior is there! You will have courage beyond measure! Love you forever!"
"Live the mission rules. Endure to the End. Thanks for being a great example to ME!!
"You will be an amazing missionary - you've already been practicing on us."
"I can testify that as you try to look positively at the world and your situations, you will be able to see God's hand."
"When it is time to work, Work Hard. When it is time to play, Play Hard. And at all times be mindful of the Lord."
"You are starting a new chapter in your book of life. You will have success if you work hard knowing you are doing our Heavenly Father's work. He will be aware of everything you do and will be proud and happy and will work along side of you. Trust in His love and protection. Go forth and set the islands on fire with your enthusiasm and love."
"Enjoy the Fish and Rice."
"As you travel to the Islands, know that many will cross your path in various ways. Pray for guidance. Trust in His love. Be patient and most of all know many are praying for you here at home. Keep a journal and share your experiences. Stay strong and endure well and great blessings will await."
"They need to hear your testimony!"
"You are converted. Now you'll have the opportunity to give this blessing to others."
"Remember that hard work and much love for the people will make the time pass quickly."
If you are in the area you are invited to attend Elder Samuel Haycock's mission address next Sunday. Details are listed below. We would love to see and speak to you all before he leaves for his mission!
To better prepare for his mission, Sam needed to get to know his ancestors to remember where he comes from and who he is. He spent a lot of time preparing and researching ancestors to find missing information from our genealogical history. He found a few ancestors that still needed some work performed and he and his brothers and sister were able to go to the temple on Friday morning to perform vicarious baptisms for the dead. It was a good opportunity to spend time together with their Dad at the temple being in tune with the Spirit and a great way for Sam to prepare to receive his endowments later that evening.
Allan and I were able to take Samuel with us to the temple on Friday night to receive his own endowment. The endowment is an opportunity to receive further blessings and instruction regarding the plan of salvation. It is an outer expression of an inner commitment to live the gospel more fully. It was a very peaceful and uplifting moment in our lives as parents to witness and support our son in receiving these spiritual gifts and covenants from God. We were very thankful his grandparents, aunts, uncles and close friends and mentors could be there to support him as well.
Samuel was able to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood today and be ordained to the office an Elder. What does this mean and why would it be important? It means that Samuel has been given the authority to use the Priesthood of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to bless the lives of those around him. The line of authority can be traced back all the way to Jesus Christ. His line of authority looks like this:
As we were putting the finishing touches on preparing our home for sale, Samuel received a call from our Stake President. We thought it would be a routine follow up regarding his upcoming interview for the Melchizedek Priesthood, but we soon found out that was not the case. He called to talk with Samuel about a letter he received from the Area Presidency and new Mission President regarding a change to his MTC arrival date. Instead of reporting to the MTC (Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah) on August 3rd, he would have his date pushed back 3 weeks to the 24th. Samuel thanked President Farnsworth and hung up the phone to tell me. I asked him how he felt about it. He said, "I feel at peace Mom. There must be a reason for it." We later found out that it was to help the missionaries coming into the Marshall Islands Majuro Mission to be able to be met personally by the new mission president, President Larkin. With such a large area to cover - hundreds of miles, it was necessary and very wise to allow for the Marshallese speaking missionaries to report on August 3rd, and the Kiribati speaking missionaries to arrive on August 24th. Tender mercies of the Lord! What could have become a deterrent and worry in having to wait a bit longer to begin serving, became a blessing and determination to serve well.
Before we say goodbye to Sam for the next two years, we went on a last family adventure. In preparation for our family moving to Montana after Sam leaves, we decided to combine looking for a new home with visiting a National Park - Yellowstone. What an amazing place with such bio diverse landscapes and vistas. I am grateful for God's beauty all around us and for the opportunity to enjoy it together. We braved heat, wind and stinky sulfur pots to be together, but it was worth it! We had a great time.
Elder Samuel Haycock
I am called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This blog is about my adventures in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ for the next two years in the Republic of Kiribati.
Rachel Haycock - I am the mother of 6 amazing children and the lucky wife of a dear, sweet man. I love to write, read, cook, teach and sew. I hope you feel the Spirit of the Lord as you read about Elder Haycock's adventures in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.