Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Countdown...for the the REUNION!!!

Portuguese speaking missionaries from MTC...middle of Winter 2015

Dear Friends and Family-

Because my mom changed my password while working on Family Search earlier in the week, and didn't realize that it would affect me accessing my lds mail account come the last P-day of the mission...there is no last email!  You will all get to wait and hear it first hand Wednesday June 28, 2017 at 8:38pm if my flights connect.

So instead of Sister Mikaela's last letter, I, her mother wanted to capture the last 18 months and share a few things that stands out to me.

As I hear other missionaries get their calls here in my circle of friends and family, the one thing I have not changed my mind on, is that I would not like to ever repeat the day we dropped our missionary off to the MTC!  UGH!   As others have dropped theirs off, they come back telling me- they understand.  It is hard to put into words from a mother, knowing that this is the first time in my life or my childs life that I will not physically be able to wrap my arms around them, for another 18 months.  That is a lot of faith and a lot of trust that the Lord will watch over them in that time.

Now, may I share some highlights that have been blessings and miracles in her 18 months.  I remember the first time  learning through  a letter that she might be struggling a little.  Maybe feeling homesick or sad...and as we all know, the letters each party writes  and then the other party must wait for that week to go by before a reply can be received the following week.  The missionaries are only allowed a certain amount of time once a week on the computer to write home.  In Cape Verde- the keyboards are not the same keyboard we have here in America, and it is all in Portuguese.  If the Cyber or Internet cafe is up and running, and the computer they get that day is working, it is still tough to get any length of letters from the missionaries.  I would say for the most of Sister Frongner's mission she was blessed and we received weekly emails.  About the time she was struggling, and as a mother, I asked myself this question..." OK - so I know she is a missionary and has been blessed to be protected and watched over.  She is serving on one of 8 tiny islands and the mission Presdent resides on one of those.  How do they really know my missionary is doing ok?"  Leaving that thought to many prayers( thats all you can do!).  I remember this took place earlier in the mission.  I had gone to the temple with my mother.We were blessed to be in the same endowment room that Sister Frongner took out her endowments in.  It warmed my heart each time I got to go into that room, I called it Mikaela's room.  Towards the end of the session, those attending have the opportunity to pray for others who are in need,  I love to do this and felt blessed to be able to pray for others that day.   Just as I was  finishing up and headed back to my seat i had the most undeniable words come to my mind- "Mikaela is going to be ok!"  The words so clear, and so concise, it  surprised me.  I didn't feel like I was really worrying that much, but then the words again, "Mikaela is going to be OK!",  Wow!  I such a tender mercy...I was filled with peace and calm and from that day forward.  That same feeling has carried me throughout her mission. There has not been a time if I reflect on those words, that it continued to bring the same feeling each time I drew upon them.  God is aware of us and so mindful- I have no doubt of this truth!

Another great miracle that I want to write about... because as I have had the opportunity to meet up with a few of Mikaela's companions as they have come back home- several have asked me-" what blessings  have we felt as a family from having a missionary serving?".
 This story is definitely more personal and some may find this story a little crazy- but it is what stands out to me as the most incredible blessing.  We will call it OUR HOME....

 My husband and I have struggled in our marriage over the last few years.  Mikaela was very aware of some of the struggles in our home long before leaving on a mission.  I don't think there is a marriage that does not come with its struggles.  As Sister Frongner served her mission, things on the home front, continued to erode.  I am so amazed to this day, the power of the Holy Ghost and how many times, the letters that I wrote to Mikaela,  she would ask how I knew what it was that she needed to hear that week, I would say the same-" how did you know?", because her letters were so in tune with messages that needed to be received on the home front some with a messages to the family, some to Shaun and so many to me.   I remember trying to be mindful of what I wrote and shared, always looking for the positive, as I did not want Mikaela to worry about what was happening at home.  But often she would directly ask- How are you and dad?  I know that in talking with her loved companions, they learned of her concern on the home front. I recall a letter she wrote to me, that in her weekly visits with the mission President, he would ask her how her family was doing and she would get to share her thoughts and concerns.  She shared with me his advice to her on one of those occasions.  He said-" If you will do all in your power to work hard and be obedient here in the mission, the Lord will watch over and take care of things on the home front. That does not mean things will turn out the way we think they should." I remember  Mikaela assured me she was working and doing all she could there and bore her testimony of the Savior and his great Atonement,   Our marriage continued to struggle- the contention in the home continued to rise.   This truly was a very hard time- everyone of the kids could feel it.  I personally wondered if our marriage would still be together when Mikaela arrived back home.
      It was at the end of March that we hit an all time low.  The only way to truly explain what occurred from that point, was that we experienced a miracle.  When we reached a crossroad- it is with no doubt that God intervened and there were hearts that were softened and  hearts that were changed!  ...truly nothing we had ever before experienced in our marriage .
      We have plenty of days that Shaun and I   recount the path we are on - it is nothing short of a miracle!   We still find ourselves brought to tears...grateful tears.  My husband and I have joined the same team, set the rope down, no more tug-o-war. We have daily prayer, scripture study, going to church and attending the temple....many things that were not happening in our marriage for a long time.   The scripture that stands out to me - is Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.  Lean not unto thine own understanding...we never know! We just never know!
     Through this adversity and in the course of the last 18 months I have grown closer to my Savior Jesus Christ and felt of his great Atonement greater than any other time in my life.  I have come to personally know my Savior and truly feel of his LOVE! Not just for me but the LOVE he has for Shaun and each one of his children.   I have been blessed with some of the greatest experiences with my Savior in these past 18 months, that have sustained me, strengthened me, and enabled me to do things that I  could never have done alone.  I love him with all my heart and am truly grateful for all that I have been taught in my adversities.
     I  feel so full of gratitude these past few days...reflecting on the reality of what HOME Sister Mikaela Frongner will come home to.  With truly a new start on the home front, we have a dedicated home, a place where the spirit resides.  A place where love peace and harmony are felt.  We are united unlike we have ever been before.  The kids have felt it and lived it...it  is awesome!

  We reflect on truly what could have been and contrast that with the feelings we are experiencing and  the blessing of the miracle of God intervening, hearts being touched, changed and softened,  Forgiveness and repentance has become a daily practice in our marriage.   I have no doubt that our missionary and her focused, hard work, and obedience has been a huge blessing in helping this miracle take place!  I can't help think back to those words of advice from her mission President, think of the faith that I know she has exerted and prayers that have been said have been heard and truly answered.
Our home is a piece of heaven on earth...unlike it has ever been before.
Shaun and I - do not take for granted the miracle we have experienced.  We know that not every marriage is this fortunate. If given the opportunity to share or help another couple we would.   D&C 88:119.
I love that Mikaela has been blessed with this amazing opportunity to serve the Lord and the people of Cape Verde.  She has truly loved it!  I recall her first email as she flew in to Cape Verde,  GOOD LUCK getting me back home!  She was serious!  She has given it her all. And served with all her might mind and strength.

1 Day and we will wrap our arms around her and give her the BIGGEST hugs ever!  Mikaela's little sister,Cambria, has chose to wait until her big sister got home to get baptized!  So this will take place
July 1, two days after she gets home.  We couldn't be more excited!

Guess who found the big white envelope- and sent a snap chat to Mikaela while at BYU!!!

Great Grandma Powell saying her farwell, and not knowing if she would still be here when Mikaela returned

packing for Africa...not a small thing either!

our family 18 months ago

Bishop Coy, Mikaela, Bishop Neilson, President Keller- setting apart 18 months ago

saying goodbye 18 months ago...not a small thing, but huge sacrifice these missionaries make
a DAY you glad you don't have to repeat...looking forward to the RETURN hugs!!!

The morning we took you to MTC-Wintertime...thank goodness it is summer, you say anything under 70 degrees you will freeze now!  

Oh how they have grown since...Abby will enter YW one week after you get back and Cambria is 8 and ready to get baptized

the CALL...she always wanted to go to Africa...here was the official call.  Now Mom understood why i could never convince her she doesn't want to go there...haha!  The Lord had other plans...they have been incredible!

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