Saturday, October 8, 2016

Our Setting Apart

Last Sunday we had the great opportunity of being set apart as full time missionaries by our Stake President,  Jason Killian.  It was something I had been anticipating for many months.  I have known that if I could listen and concentrate upon that blessing that it would bless me throughout my mission.  

I had an experience about two months ago (In August) that threw me for a loop.  We received our call at the end of April and for months we had just been plugging along getting our affairs in know, immunizations, studying Preach My Gospel, purchasing the clothes and supplies we  would need for Uganda etc....  Our mission was still months away and there was no cause for worry or alarm....yet.  

  At the end of July we helped Brach and Kendra get moved into our basement with the plan of them moving upstairs in October after our departure.  Well, shortly after they moved in I had a sort of breakdown thinking about leaving everyone and everything to move to Africa, a place of extreme poverty thousands of miles away from all I knew.  I had been keeping up with Tracy Collings' blog and had been excited yet a little anxious.  As I read her blog one evening it became all too real to me. Pretty soon that would be me living and experiencing this strange and different culture.  It just really got to me.  I also reflected on leaving my grandchildren and I could hardly bear the thought.  I was very distraught and by bedtime I couldn't hold it in.  I confided in Rick through my many tears the feelings I was having.  Rick held me in his arms and talked me through it.  He reminded me of how the spirit had let each of us know that this mission and the timing of this mission was right.  He reminded me that Heavenly Father loves me and that our family will be blessed because of our service.  He reminded me that even though we will be far away that we can still communicate with our family whenever we feel the need.  He reminded me that it is just for 6 months and that even though that feels like a really long time, in reality it is a very short time.  He reminded me that the people in Africa are wonderful and that it will be a thrilling adventure to teach the Gospel and be a representative of the Savior. 

And then he gave me a blessing by the power of the Priesthood.  
It was very tender.....and needed.  

I fell asleep exhausted and woke up refreshed with a renewed sense of peace and excitement at the opportunity to serve as a missionary.  I am so thankful for the Priesthood and how it truly blesses people.  And I am thankful for a husband who honors that Priesthood and seeks out opportunities to use it to bless not only me but my family and others.  I love him.  He is so good to me and how wonderful is it that we get to be companions not only in our adventures in Africa but for ETERNITY?!?

In the two months since this experience I have felt strong.  Instead of "How can I do this?"  My thoughts have been...."I can do this.  With the strength of the Lord, I can do this."  Truly, with the strength of the Lord,  I can do anything!

Back to our setting after my "breakdown" (for lack of a better word) I had been looking forward to being set apart by our Stake President.  I wanted to hear and remember everything that was said because I know that when I face difficult situations in Uganda I would reflect on the counsel given in this blessing.

We had the opportunity of having three of our children with us that night.  Skylar and Sarah, Brach and Kendra, and John and Kaitlyn, and Haivyn.  President Killian gave Rick and I the opportunity to express our feelings of why we are serving this mission and why I was thankful to have each other as our companion.  It was a wonderful opportunity for each of us to express..... love for our children, love for each other and love for the Lord and His Gospel.  After Rick and I shared our feelings President Killian opened it up to the others to share their thoughts. 

I will tell you only this,  that it was one of the sweetest experiences of my life.  
The love and support of family means so much to me.!

Rick was set apart first.  Because of the sacredness of this blessing I will share only a few of the things that I remember from this experience.  Rick was blessed that he would be able to use his time wisely and to take advantage of every moment of the mission to do good.   That President Collings knows and trusts him and that Rick would be a great strength to him.  That he would be able to help with family and work as needed while serving away.  These things will not be a burden.  That our family will grow from this experience and that he would be blessed with protection and safety as Heavenly Father watches over him.  

I was next.  Here are some things that impressed me.  I was blessed to be able to use my talents in my service.  That I will have comfort and know that my family is being watched over by Heavenly Father.  That my tongue would be loosed and be able to teach the people with simplicity.  That I would be an example to the women of Uganda of how to be a faithful wife and mother and to strengthen the sisters there.  That I would be protected physically and spiritually while I am there.

One other thing that I noticed was said, (and I believe it was mentioned in both of our blessings) was that this mission will "set a pattern for your life." 
I love that thought because I know what that means for the years to come. 

There were other things said that I will not mention but I will let you know that this setting apart will be a strength to me throughout my whole mission.  
I feel it and I know it!


  1. Thank you for sharing, I love the feelings from the Spirit that I can receive through reading about your experiences. God bless you both!

  2. This was really wonderful to read, my dear "sister" Janell. I'm glad to know you had the experience of feeling misgivings there for a little while--and that you were able to overcome them and just move forward. The power of a husband's priesthood blessing is SO marvelous!!!
    And thanks for sharing parts of your setting-apart blessing....I especially love that this mission will "set a pattern for your life", because you guys have 30 or 40 or FIFTY more years of life together!!!
    Thanks for taking time to write about this. Love, Karen