My Sister, A Missionary

Last spring my sister, Tina, started talking about serving a mission for our church. She thought it over for quite a while but by summer she had decided it felt right. She got her papers in mid-September and began working on them and arranging doctor appointments and interviews to get them all taken care of. Since her birthday is in February she had a little while.

My little sister is leaving on a mission today. Getting in some last minute snuggles with mu little guy before she reports. #lds #sistermissionaries

Then, at General Conference, President Monson made the big announcement, lowering the age limits for girls from 21 to 19. I admit, I cried. I immediately texted Tina to see what she thought. She had no idea what I was talking about because she was at work and didn’t get to hear the announcement. She freaked out a little when I told her. Apparently everyone who knew she was working on her papers bombarded her with calls and texts after the announcement.

Tina leaves on a mission

Ultimately the announcement didn’t change much for Tina. She was in school and had just purchased tickets to New York with her roommates for Christmastime. In the end it only moved her availability up about a month and a half.  She submitted her papers and waited for the call.

She was called to a mission in California and was told to report to the MTC the first week of February. That was last week.

It’s been so exciting watching her get ready to go. It was so wonderful going to the temple with her for her first visit. She is so ready and I’m so proud of her. In some ways I think the timing was meant to be. My mom had her last chemo treatment two weeks ago and I know Tina has been a big help for her. I think it would have been harder for her if Tina had been gone.

Tina leaves on a mission

The day before my mom’s last treatment was the day she spoke in church. My parents and our brother, Jazz, spoke, too (which is a big deal if you now him), and he did great. I sang I Know that My Redeemer Lives, arranged by my cousin, Mike. It’s a favorite of mine and I always have a hard time getting through it because the words are so powerful. It started snowing and the roads were terrible so most of our family from Salt Lake when home right after the meeting. It was a great day, though, and I’m happy we all got to spend some time together.

Tina leaves on a mission

Last week, on their way to the MTC, my family came over for a last goodbye. We were a little crunched for time but my dad gave Tina one last Priesthood blessing before we ran to a nearby Wendy’s for a quick lunch.

Tina leaves on a mission

I think Tina was a bit exhausted and anxious with all the stress of getting ready but my kids were thrilled to see her and play with her. She’s such a fun, sweet aunt to them and they miss her already. Tina and I had a tearful goodbye in the parking lot, too.

Tina leaves on a mission

Tina is such a dear friend and I’m really going to miss her while she’s gone. We’ll get to email, write letters, and talk on the phone and Skype at Christmas and Mother’s Day but it isn’t the same as just texting her the goofy things my kids say or pictures of the cute shoes I just found. She’s ten years younger than me, a fact I forget sometimes, but she is one of my favorite people. I’m so happy she’s serving a mission and I couldn’t be more proud but, at the same time, I just miss her. I couldn’t ask for a better sister and feel so lucky that she’s mine.

Tina leaves on a mission

4 comments to My Sister, A Missionary

  • Dominoe

    I sure love you and your sweet sis. She’s going to be such a wonderful missionary! And has anyone told you you look like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music with that cute hair of yours?

    (PS- you used Teeny’s real name throughout this post. I’m not sure if that was intentional, but I wanted to make you aware in case it wasn’t.)

  • Deena

    You should print this and mail it to her. Pictures included.

  • Connie

    What a sweet tribute to Tina. You will get closer through letters and emails over then next 18 months. The spirit of missionary work is so strong and blesses many more people than imagined. I know it’s meant so much to our family to have a missionary out. In two months my boys will exchange places — one comes home from London and one goes out to Birmingham England. I’m so thankful that they have that privilege to go change peoples lives for the better so they can become better themselves.

  • Julie P

    Oh the soul of sisterhood. You hit it perfectly. Which mission in CA is your sis headed for?