Many years ago, as a young missionary, I thought about going on one or more senior missions. At that time, it seemed so far away. Now the time is here, and those days in New England seem so far away. Why now? Well, there are several reasons. First, I have observed many older couples and it seems that one's health starts to deteriorate as the years go by. So, if Deborah and I are to go on any full-time, away-from-home mission it needs to be now rather than later. I have already been in the hospital 2 times more than I wanted to be. But I think I am now better than before my surgeries. I just want to serve before I have to go back again - for any reason - except giving blessings to the sick.
The second concern is finances. Everyone is concerned about finances when they 'retire', and we are too. This is the hard part, especially when the cost of medical care is added in to the budget. I am not sure how finances will work out, but we will just have to have faith in the Lord, and pray that the stock market continues healthily.
Then there are the concerns with what to do with the house, cars, and other material possessions. This spring, as we were cleaning, throwing away, and giving away material possessions, I suddenly noticed a change in my attitude toward material things. What once was helpful, and even necessary, is now a burden. We lightened our burden then but we still have more to go. We have a plan to continue to downsize/right-size over the next 7 -8 months.
All of the above concerns will be resolved in time. They are just changes we need to make to be ready to serve. We are looking forward to our call. Since senior missionaries can be called on so many different kinds of missions, in so many different places around the world, it is hard to focus our excitement on one mission. So, at this time, while we prepare and wait, we focus on our gratitude for our many blessings and our desire to share the gospel, in any way, with others.
To help us prepare, our ward bishop called us to serve as ward missionaries. We are loving this calling! It is fun to work with the new converts, the full-time missionaries, new investigators, and fellowshipping members. There is so much to do. We could be full-time missionaries in our own ward and still not have enough time to do it all.
I hope you will enjoy reading of our adventures via this blog. We are not great writers and will not be able to convey in words how we feel, but please know that we anticipate this to be one of the best experiences of our lives. And we get to do it together! Greg